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So what’s it like going to the first gig in 18 months?

22 Jul Royal Blood at the O2 Academy, Bristol on 21 July 2021

Forget Covid, I’m old enough now that it’s been a couple of years since I went to a gig. But what a re-entry into live music, what a mix of emotions!

I live in a forest, work from home and the most packed place I usually experience is the local Waitrose, so it was with no small amount of anxiety that I went to the Academy in Bristol, capacity 1,600, to see Royal Blood.

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Red Hot Silly Feckers – chilli-eaters munch the world’s hottest peppers at Grillstock

11 Jun

Picture of Matt courtesy of Clifton Chilli Club

Picture of Matt courtesy of Clifton Chilli Club

What happens when you’re invited to eat 13 of the world’s hottest chilli peppers one after another, on stage, at a food festival? Matt Tangent – a DJ and producer better known for spinning hot tunes and composing fiery tracks – knows, and he’s here to tell us all about it.

Meat, Music & Mayhem – That’s the tagline for GrillStock BBQ & Music Festival and I was there on day one of Bristol’s fifth hosting of the mammoth event on Saturday, June 7 to experience my own fair share of all three – particularly the mayhem bit as I was taking part in the chilli pepper eating contest that very afternoon.

I’ve done some crazy things in my time but that has got to be near the top of the list. Continue reading

Upfest answers the old question: graffiti – art or vandalism?

27 May

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Why Join Art School When You Can be a Vandal? That’s the tongue-in-cheek question posed by one of the artists at Bristol’s Upfest, Europe’s largest urban paint festival.

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Hunting the Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster

30 Mar

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How can an infestation of insects save an ailing shopping centre? Festival Chronicle donned pith helmet and binoculars to undertake a bug safari around south Bristol. Continue reading

Fun at Igfest, Bristol’s interesting games festival

4 Oct

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Ever played Quidditch? You know, that game from the Harry Potter novels, all broomsticks and snitches?

We have, thanks to Bristol’s Igfest Fringe, where Muggle Quidditch was one of the 20 games that took place in Castle Park. Continue reading

Graffiti artists aim high at multi-storey See No Evil festival, Bristol

21 Aug

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Bristol’s Nelson Street is, without a doubt, the arse-end of the city’s historic centre. The once-elegant Georgian thoroughfare, named after Admiral Lord Nelson (Bristol has a great seafaring heritage), was destroyed by German bombs during the Bristol Blitz and, like much of the city centre, was rebuilt in concrete in the 1950s and 60s.

But unlike its neighbouring districts – the redeveloped harbourside, the mercantile Old City, the modern cathedral to retail therapy that is Cabot’s Circus – Nelson Street has yet to benefit from the merciful release of the wrecker’s ball.

Of all the architectural forms to be found in Bristol, the brutalist municipal buildings and car parks of the postwar Age of Austerity are the most reviled. Just the spot for an international arts festival, then. Continue reading

Graffiti rains supreme at Upfest Bristol

4 Jun

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This week, they’ve all been talking about the Queen in Bedminster. But not Elizabeth; it’s Mary Portas, Queen of Shops, and her promise to help revitalise the tatty post-war shopping centre who has got people excited.

But whatever Queen Mary brings to the party, I wonder if it will do as much to enliven the area, or to bring as many people to South Bristol, as Upfest, Europe’s biggest street art festival, where the streets were alive with the smell of spray paint yesterday.

There was a gaggle (?) of graffiti artists from all over the world of all ages, shapes and sizes spraying walls, boards, shop fronts, beer gardens, beards (saw a pink one) and of course a New York subway train.

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