Bristol Harbour Festival returns for summer 2023

Mayor Marvin Rees (centre) is pictured with four young musicians, one of whom is holding a guitar. M Shed, the cranes of Prince’s Wharf, and the harbour can be seen behind them.

Last Wednesday, Bristol Harbour Festival announced its return of the 2023 event, which will take place 14 to 16 July. Three days of maritime magic will put local talent at the forefront of 2023 Bristol Harbour Festival showcase.

I joined aspiring artists from Access Creative College, who will be performing at this year’s festival on their own stage in the Amphitheatre, in a reimagined new area, Harbour View.

The young artists will also feature on the line-up for the festival’s new Music Quarter, in Queen Square, programmed by Tony Benjamin. This space will kick start the festival on Friday night.

For the launch, 18-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Madara Plusa performed Massive Attack’s Teardrop, accompanied by 17-year-old guitarist, Jack Isgrove.

Madara Plusa and Jack Isgrove will be performing at the Harbour Festival.

The performers were also joined by fellow students 21-year-old Shaye Stewart, a gospel musician, pianist, and producer currently studying Access Artist’s development course, and 18-year-old DJ Fitz, a music producer and DJ studying Music Production.

Access has been providing creative education in Bristol for more than 20 years, offering full-time vocational courses in music, events, games design, computing, Esports, graphic design, film, and photography.

The college has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, ensuring students, irrespective of background, successfully develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to thrive in the creative and sporting sectors.   

Achievement rates are above national benchmarks and progression to higher education from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are double the national average. 

Bristol Harbour Festival in 2023 will see newly imagined entertainment zones, Circus Playground moving to College Green, and an inclusive water programme that celebrates our city’s harbour.

DJ Fitz is another one of the young artists that will be performing.

Attracting over 250,000 visitors to enjoy over one mile of entertainment, the festival will feature a huge range of local talent, world-class circus, music acts and on the water activity from cardboard boat races to high octane jetpack stunts.

The festival has opened its annual expression of interest for those wanting to perform and get involved with the festival this year, hoping to attract new and interesting talent to the festival, from all over corners of the city once again. With a large number of performers coming through the EOI form last year, applications are open to everyone and anyone looking to share their talent.

Bristol Harbour Festival’s new and reformed festival is brought to the city by Bristol City Council. The Circus Playground is supported and funded by the High Street Recovery Fund. To keep up to date with all Harbour Festival news and updates, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit the website.

For more on Access Creative:

Instagram and Twitter

Check out our young performers:

Shaye – Instagram

Madara – Instagram and Soundcloud

Jack –  Instagram and Soundcloud

Dominick – Instagram and Soundcloud