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The Best Summer Festivals in Bristol

2 June 2018 | Natasha Healy

The festival season is just on the horizon and this year there’s a host of great events in Bristol to look forward to over the coming months. The summer is sure to be packed with fantastic events to remember, come rain or shine, and there is something to suit every taste and occasion from family-friendly day festivals to explosions of Bristol’s buzzing music scene.

Bristol Harbour Festival
What better way to spend a summer’s day than strolling around Bristol’s stunning Harbourside, sipping on cider whilst you listen to some great live music? Headliners of the festival include reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, hip-hop tunes from Grandmaster Flash and ska, dub and bass scene sounds provided by Trojan Sound System. The festival also promises a feast for the eyes with a range of dance performances and artworks. Other attractions include a top-quality food and drink stalls, circus zone and maritime events ensuring there is something to keep the whole family happy.Image Credit: Bristol Harbour Festival via Facebook

Bristol Harbourside Festival takes place in Bristol Harbour. Runs 20 – 22 July 2018.

St. Paul’s Carnival
St. Paul’s Carnival is returning this year after a short hiatus, and is sure to be welcomed back with a bang. The carnival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, unites people from all walks of life to celebrate African Caribbean culture in an afternoon of dancing and merriment. Visitors crowd the streets of the St. Paul’s area to enjoy the music, food and visual arts on offer in a salute to Bristol’s great community spirit and diversity.

Image Credit: St. Paul's Carnival via Facebook

St. Paul’s Carnival can be located at St Pauls, Bristol. Runs 7 July 2018, 12am – 10pm.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
The Bristol Balloon Festival is iconic for the city and draws in droves of visitors each year. The festival attracts over 130 hot air balloons from around the world, meaning there are some truly stunning views over the city skyline. Visitors can head to Ashton Court and enter the grounds where the balloons are held - make sure you take the time to peruse the number of trade stands, fairground rides and other entertainments that are also available. Alternatively, some choose to find a spot overlooking the city and take in the sights with a picnic and whilst snapping a few insta-worthy pics.

Image Credit: Christopher James via Flickr

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta can be located at Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN. Runs 9 – 12 August 2018.

Bristol Pride
The LGBT+ community takes over Bristol for almost two weeks this summer in a celebration of inclusivity and love which all can attend. Pride events take place around the city centre, and range from theatre, comedy and dance, to an award-winning film festival, Queer Vision. The headliner Alexandra Burke tops the festival off on Pride Day, the 14 of July. Expect big colours, big decoration and big laughs.

Image Credit: Bristol Pride via Facebook

Bristol Pride, events taking place across the centre of the city. Pride Day festival is donation entry on the Saturday 14 July at the Bristol Harbourside. Runs 2 – 15 July 2018.

The Downs Festival
Cpping off a fun-filled summer is The Downs Bristol which promises to flood the Durdham Downs with host of great music acts meaning saying goodbye to the sun doesn’t have to be quite as heart-breaking. The line-up this year is packed full of outstanding acts, featuring Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Paul Weller, Orbital and Goldie & The Ensemble.

Image Credit: Benjamin Eagle Photography

The Downs Festival is located at Durdham Downs, Stoke Rd, Bristol BS9 1FG. Runs 1 September 2018.

Tokyo World
One of Bristol’s biggest music festivals, Tokyo World is a major attraction for students before term begins. The festival takes over Eastville Park with 5 fields of music featuring over 100+ artists for loud and lively weekend. The line-up is yet to be released but if history holds true it’s sure to be bursting with noteworthy reggae, house and techno acts. Get your most garish garms out and hit the field.

Image Credit: Tokyo World via Facebook

Tokyo World is located at Eastville Park, Fishponds Rd, Bristol, BS5 6XA. Runs 22 – 23 September.

Bristol Refugee Festival
The harrowing refugee crisis has been strewn across headlines for the past couple of years and has invited a wealth of debate regarding immigration. The Bristol Refugee Festival aims to educate visitors and highlight the contribution that refugees have made to the city, culminating in Refugee Day on the 20th June. The month-long festival is part of a nationwide programme which aspires to overcome common misconceptions about refugees through a range of arts and cultural events.

Image Credit: Bristol Refugee Festival via Facebook

Bristol Refugee Festival, various locations across Bristol. Runs 1 – 30 June 2018.
 

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