Free city-wide events in May and June

Councillor Craig Cheney, smiling, looking towards the camera.
Today’s guest blog is from Councillor Craig Cheney, cabinet member for Finance, Governance, Performance, and Culture.

The City Centre and High Streets Culture and Events Programme is delivering another packed programme of free events and entertainment across our city centre and Bristol’s nine priority high streets in May and June. Our investment will keep helping support businesses, the local economy, and the recovery of the culture and events sector.

Following last month’s blog, our funding continues to support existing markets and establish new ones. As well as adding diversity, complementing existing businesses, and boosting footfall, markets provide a great opportunity to test your business proposition before investing in property.

Returning for the first time this year on Friday 5 May, St Nick’s Night Market will help bring the Old City to life. From 5pm to 10pm visitors can enjoy a variety of entertainment and a wide selection of stalls selling food and drinks from local producers and suppliers.

Coronation: Knowle West Style will mark His Majesty The King’s Coronation on 6 May. Locals are invited to join in for a fun day of cake, crowns, and creativity, with activities and entertainment for young and old alike.

People from Stockwood are invited to share their sounds and stories to help create the Stockwood Sounds Audio Trail, a playful new community audio trail celebrating all things Stockwood. Join Brave Bold Drama in Stockwood Square on 13 and 14 May or 10 June.

Follow the exploits of Dr Fausty and Freya, two squabbling tour guides, on the Bristol Comedy History Walk. Delivered by Bristol Improv Theatre in partnership with Angie Belcher, the tour will provide a quirky look at the hidden histories of Bristol. Led by improv performers and comedians you can expect some hilarious alternative perspectives and sneaky Bristolian in-jokes. The 90-minute tours are fully accessible, and will run from May to August.

Actors from Bristol Improv's Comedy History Walk are pictured with laughing alongside an audience.

Spanning four weekends in May and June, Invisible Circus will present Weekends of Wonder (WOW), the first street performance festival of its kind in our city. From comedy and magic to giant kangaroos and adorable hedgehogs, veteran street artists will perform alongside cutting-edge new talent creating vibrant circus and theatrical performances in circle shows and interactive walkabout acts. WOW is inclusive, barrier free and open for everyone to enjoy.

Forming part of the Festival of Nature’s 20th anniversary event on Saturday 17 June, the Natural History Consortium are bringing The Walking Forest to the centre of Bristol. Follow the trees through the city and reconnect with nature as the immersive Walking Forest travels through town all the way to the Wild Weekend takeover at Millennium Square.

On 18 June, Bristol Cathedral will be celebrating Bristol 650, bringing together communities from across our city. The full day event will start at 10.30am with the Sunday morning service on College Green followed by live music, food and family friendly activities through until 5pm. 

A black and white still from Windrush 75: Stories through Film is pictured.

Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover, presented by Bristol UNESCO City of Film and partners, starts with Windrush 75: Stories through Film. To mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush and to celebrate the contribution of Bristol’s Afrikan-Caribbean community to the city, Bristol Museums are screening a dedicated programme of films on board the Vintage Mobile Cinema in Broadmead from 22 to 24 June. And showing in the evening of 22 June will be premiere of award-winning filmmaker Clive Smith’s “Bristol’s Afrikan-Caribbean Legends of Martial Arts” at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

A Wall is a Screen: Secrets of the Old City promises to be a film night like no other. Join Encounters Festival and Hamburg-based collective A Wall is a Screen on 30 June for a guided evening walking tour exploring hidden architectural gem around the Old City and featuring a curated selection of short films projected onto nearby buildings to watch along the way. The event will be repeated on 16 September.

An image of a crowd cueing for A Wall is a Screen event in Hanburg.

Bristol Photo Festival are working with Historic England to deliver Picturing Bristol, an exciting programme of workshops and exhibitions to be showcased across Bristol over the summer in community spaces, local shops, unconventional venues, and the public space, highlighting our nine priority high streets.

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.