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Back to Upfest – where the art went up, and the rain came down

31 Jul

Europe’s largest street art event returned to Bristol at the weekend.

Upfest included the work of 350 artists, some working on small boards, others on large panels – temporary pieces that will go when the festival packs up.

But the wall murals – some three or four storeys high – will remain for the next 12 months, which is great news for Festival Chronicle, because – thanks to both the rain and the sheer scale of the event (it’s now two miles end-to-end, without a detour to Redpoint Climbing Centre or South Street park) – we only got to see about half of it when we visited on Saturday. Continue reading

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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

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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