Upfest 2016: Urban art around Bristol

Living in Bristol is living in a melee of different summer festivals. Every weekend there is something new to do, from food festivals, to music festivals, to art, to community activity. It really is great to live in a city which thrives on diversity and hosts so many, often free, events for it’s residents to experience and be a part of .

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One of my favourites for sure! Zeus, by Pichiavo

Upfest is one of those such events. It is Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival and offers visitors the chance to see artists from around the world create their masterpieces all around Bedminster. Upfest started in 2008 and has grown massively since then, with over 30,000 people visiting over a weekend. 2016 was the first year I was free to explore the festival, so I layered on some SPF 50 and headed onto the sunny streets of south Bristol.

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I decided to tour Upfest with a group of people I found on Meetup, a great little website/app where you can go to local events with complete strangers. I’ve had some awesome days/nights out with some of the groups that I am a part of in Bristol. Once again, a day at Upfest with a group aptly named “Young and Restless” was excellent. Loads of laughs, a couple of cans of pimms and free food from The Co-operative who were one of the sponsors.

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It was really inspiring to see so many artists doing their thing on the streets and in the parks around Bedminster. I am barely artistic or creative, nor am I an “art buff”, but I was in awe with a lot of what I saw. People are so talented! I found a painting of an awesome tree of life that I wanted to buy at one of the affordable art galleries, but sadly it had already sold by the time I spotted it; it could have the been the first piece of my collection!

Walking around Bedminster recently you can still see the legacy of Upfest as many buildings retain the artwork that was completed over the festival weekend. Such a vibrant place to live; I love it!

lisa sig

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