The city’s flagship event, the Bristol Harbour Festival, returns from 19 – 21 July featuring both familiar favourites and new attractions, and filling the harbour with three and a half miles of vessels, food markets, live music and performers. Showcasing the city’s maritime heritage, the historic floating harbour takes pride of place during the weekend, celebrating its rich history with free, family-friendly activities. Colston Hall will also present two one-off gigs on Bristol’s Harbourside with legendary British band New Order taking to the stage on 18 July, and The Specials kicking off the weekend on 19 July as part of their 40th anniversary tour. There will also be a Circus Playground in Queen Square, dance in Millennium Square, markets, spoken word events, and plenty of live music on stages at venues around the water’s edge.
Bringing a whole lot of colour, sparkle and community feels in abundance, St Pauls Carnival arrives on 6 July, with spectacular displays of dance, culture and music for the streets of St Pauls. This year there will be four stages hosting a range of Afro Caribbean-inspired and world music alongside contemporary dance tracks, reggae, soca, grime, hip hop and drum and bass from midday until 10pm, celebrating the culture and diversity of our city in style.
It’s Bardy Time
“All the world’s a stage,” contemplates Jaques in As You Like It, and he’s not wrong as this month Bristol’s biggest Shakespeare Festival kicks off. Whether you prefer more traditional Shakespeare or something a little experimental, there’s plenty of events and open-air theatre to enjoy. Laugh your socks off as the Natural Theatre Company brings Shakespeare Undone! to SS Great Britain, watch the transformation of Prince Hal in Fluellen Theatre Company’s Henry V at Ashton Court Mansion, or pack a picnic for a super-glam outdoor adaption of the classic star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet at Brandon Hill Bowling Green. See the full programme and buy tickets online.
A one-day festival of music, food and drink, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Caring in Bristol, is taking place on 27 July (12pm – 10pm) on Windsor Terrace in Clifton. The event is being organised by Dan Clibery, who was motivated to put the festival together after his dad, a talented musician and educator, died from cancer. On this private Georgian terrace, festival-goers will find acts such as Kobo Town, Mad Apple Circus, Daisy Chapman, The Bristol Ensemble, and Lonely Tourist – plus a whole load of other summery gorgeousness.
The streets of Ashley Down will be filled with the smooth sounds of “Why, why, why Delilah…” on 13 July as Welsh singing legend Tom Jones plays The County Ground. With a career spanning more than 60 years and more than 100 million records sold, Jones will be bringing some of his most famous hits such as What’s New Pussycat, Sex Bomb, and It’s Not Unusual to Bristol, and some tickets are still available on Ticketmaster. The concert’s promoters LHG Live have also teamed up with The Prince’s Trust, who will be fundraising at the event.