Free city-wide events in April and May

Councillor Craig Cheney, smiling.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor for Finance, Governance, Performance and Culture and Labour Councillor for Hillfields ward

Building on the success of last year’s City Centre and High Streets Culture and Events Programme, the 2023 calendar has 45 projects with over 100 free events scheduled between April and September.

Looking ahead to April and May, we can share details of the events taking place in the city centre or on one of Bristol’s nine priority high streets. Through supporting the culture and events sector to showcase Bristol’s reputation for creativity and arts, we are encouraging locals and visitors alike to use and visit these places to bring benefit to the areas and businesses there.

Building on Bristol’s diverse range of markets, funding is helping to support existing markets and establish new ones:

The new East Street Market will run on the first Saturday of the month, starting on 1 April. The market includes pre-loved goods, jewellery, homeware, prints, vintage items and more.

Returning on Friday 5 May, St Nick’s Night Market will help bring the Old City to life between 5pm and 10pm. Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide selection of stalls selling food and drinks from local producers and suppliers.

Picturing High Streets, an outdoor exhibition capturing local highstreets is pictured in Broadmead. Inviting audiences to consider the value and role of their local high street.

Broadmead is currently host to Historic England’s major new outdoor exhibition Picturing High Streets telling the stories behind our shopfronts. It celebrates our high street heroes, captures familiar scenes, and invites audiences to consider the value and role of their local high street.

The council have partnered with Historic England to extend the concept and have commissioned Bristol Photo Festival to create new photography in our nine priority high streets, from April to August 2023, through a series of collaborative photographic projects, workshops and exhibitions to build a portrait of the high streets and the communities who use them.

Filwood Community Centre is bringing Knowle West Style to Filwood Broadway:

  • Knowle West Style – Easter Trail: runs from 1 to 14 April. Join the free family Easter Trail along Filwood Broadway. To win a prize, trail packs can be collected from reception at Filwood Community Centre, Monday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm.
  • Coronation: Knowle West Style on 6 May will mark the King’s coronation by celebrating the diversity and styles in Knowle West for a fun day of cake, crowns and creativity.

St Georges Community Centre on Church Road, are holding a BS5 Spring fair on Sunday 2 April. The event will have plenty to keep the family entertained, including face painting, an Easter hunt, Bike Bristol with Dr Bike giving advice and repairs, and We the Curious.

On 3 and 4 April and 13 and 14 May, award-winning theatre and community arts company Brave Bold Drama invite people from Stockwood to join them in Stockwood Square to help create a community audio trail. Once completed, the Stockwood Sounds Audio Trail allows you to play sounds and stories that the community has created, transforming your experience of walking around Stockwood into a celebration of local people’s creativity.

Building on the success of the Grand Iftar in St Mark’s Road, Muslims for Bristol will hold a Grand Iftar on College Green on Thursday 13 April. This is an opportunity for Bristol’s diverse community to come together, share food and learn more about each other, and the significance of Ramadan and the Iftar meal for Muslims.

Bristol Improv Theatre will deliver the Bristol Comedy History Walk from May to August. Led by improv-performers and stand-up comedians, people will be taken on a humorous and engaging walking tour of Bristol’s hidden historical arcana. You can expect some hilarious alternative perspectives and sneaky Bristolian in-jokes to accompany this fun trail through the city centre. 

Invisible Circus will present Weekends of Wonder (WOW) throughout May and June. The street theatre festival in Broadmead will include vibrant circus and theatrical ‘Covent Garden style’ performances in circle shows and interactive walkabout acts designed to entertain and wow with unexpected happenings, larger than life costumes and awe-inspiring skills.

WOW coincides with the opening of Sparks, an inclusive arts and sustainability hub bringing together arts, sustainability and education in Broadmead, run by local charities ArtSpace LifeSpace and Global Goals.

The latest addition to our programme is Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover presented by Bristol UNESCO City of Film and partners. Nine engaging public events will take place between June and September, celebrating unique aspects of Bristol’s culture and identity via a range of screen-based experiences.

Further details of the events together with new events will be added our website once details are confirmed and promoted through the councils social channels.

The City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme is funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England’s Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project, with the aim of supporting the recovery of the city centre and Bristol’s high streets.