About the City Centre and High Streets Culture and Events Programme, future events, ongoing events, and past events.

About the events programme

We're investing in the culture and events sector to:

  • support Bristol's city centre and high streets, by increasing the number of people visiting and using these places
  • help the recovery of the culture and events sector
  • re-establish the city's reputation for creativity and imagination following the impact of COVID-19

We organise activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, funded by:

  • Bristol City Council
  • the West of England Combined Authority's Love our High Street project

Starting in October 2021, the programme has focussed on the city centre.

We're working with Bristol-based organisations, with experience of working with the community to organise cultural activities and events, in the nine priority high streets:

  • Brislington Hill and Bristol Hill
  • Church Road
  • East Street Bedminster
  • Filton Avenue
  • Filwood Broadway
  • Shirehampton High Street
  • Stapleton Road
  • Stockwood
  • Two Mile Hill

Activities will be specific to each of the nine priority high streets. Examples include:

  • markets
  • community events and family fun days
  • public art installations

The programme runs until 31 August 2023.

View a pdf slideshow of recent events (3.01 MB)

Ongoing events

Better Sundays at Broadmead market

Taking place on the third Sunday of each month, the Better Sundays at Broadmead market has a range of traders:

  • offering local, sustainable and ethical food and goods
  • complementing Broadmead's businesses
  • adding diversity

It encourages new business start-ups to take up a market stall.

As well as entertainment and activities for all ages, there is a wide selection of stalls offering:

  • sustainable food
  • arts and crafts
  • clothing and homewares

Better Sundays at Broadmead builds on Bristol's Gold Sustainable Food City status and Bristol Eating Better Award, a free award for food businesses that sell healthier food options and promote sustainability.

Dates of the next markets:

  • 20 November 2022
  • 4, Sunday 11 and 18 December 2022

St Nick's Night Market

Located next to St Nicholas Market (St Nick's), the night market brings the Old City to life.

The event attracts an average 9,000 people, supporting the recovery of the area following the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) to the night-time economy and the hospitality sector.

The night market:

  • has a wide selection of stalls, selling food and drinks from local producers and suppliers
  • promotes sustainability
  • builds on Bristol's Gold Sustainable Food City status

Traders wanting to take part in the event can fill in the St. Nick's night market online application form.

The next market is planned for April 2023.

Past events

Bump in the night

Lamplighter Arts CIC are the creators of Church Road Lantern parade and lead artists for Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade. They invited everyone to celebrate Bristol's historical and cultural heritage, through a spectacular lantern carnival on Sunday 30 October 2022.

The parade of giant illuminated puppets started in Broadmead, moved through Old City and finished on Queens Square, drawing in crowds along the route.

To help bring the giant lanterns to life, workshops aimed at all ages and skill levels were held throughout October at Bristol Old Vic, The Galleries and in Bristol's Old City.

Participants could also:

  • explore the free workshops online
  • choose a lantern and help build it
  • join the procession

Visit the Lamplighter Arts CIC website for information on Bump in the night.

Overstory

Overstory, a tree-inspired immersive art installation from leading contemporary artists Ivan Morison and Heather Peak, took root in Broadmead from 19 to 30 August 2022.

Brought to Bristol by The Natural History Consortium, the charity behind the city's Festival of Nature, the artwork temporarily transformed Broadmead.

The installation and programme free activities involving art and nature were enjoyed by more than 9,300 visitors.

Inspired by native trees across Bristol, the artwork:

  • encouraged interest and discussion around the importance of trees in our lives
  • highlighted the necessity of tree canopy coverage across the city

Overstory aligned with Bristol's plan to scale up tree planting in the city by 2050, for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

Luminarium

Bristol Light Festival brought the sensational sensory experience Luminarium to Bristol from 4 to 14 August 2022. Open each day on College Green, Luminarium was a free, fully accessible, family friendly immersive experience.

The Luminarium:

  • was a sunlight-powered sensory experience, featuring kaleidoscopic colours, domes, tunnels and pods
  • took inspiration from natural forms, mosques and gothic cathedrals and modern architecture

More than 12,000 visitors enjoyed the world-famous inflatable installation.

Little Amal

Little Amal, the 3.5m tall puppet of a young Syrian refugee child, visited Bristol city centre on Friday 24 June in recognition of:

  • refugee week (20 to 26 June 2022)
  • Bristol as a City of Sanctuary

The puppet, whose name means 'hope' in Arabic, has walked 8,000km from Turkey, travelling across eight countries. Her journey and the events created along the way focus people's attention on the plight and urgent needs of young refugees caught in conflict.

We worked with Bristol Old Vic, inviting people to join the festivities.

Approximately 4,000 people welcomed Little Amal to Bristol. She walked around King Street, Corn Street and the fountains, before setting sail aboard a Bristol ferry for her onward journey.

The Big Jubilee Lunch

Bristol Cathedral and partners held a Big Jubilee Lunch on College Green on Sunday 5 June, to celebrate HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee. This was part of the Jubilee bank holiday weekend celebrations.

The free, full day event was suitable for all ages. It included:

  • live music
  • food
  • family friendly games and activities

Bristol Light Festival

Bristol Light Festival held its second edition from 1 to 6 March 2022.

It was:

  • presented by Bristol City Centre BID
  • supported by:
    • Redcliffe and Temple BID
    • Arts Council England
    • Bristol City Council
    • West of England Combined Authority
    • Cabot Circus

The programme included 14 artworks, all making their first appearance in Bristol, which could be visited using the festival map. Artworks started at St George's Bristol with the final installations at Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus.

The festival objectives included:

  • bringing light to the city centre at a traditionally dark time of year
  • reducing anti-social behaviour
  • creating playful spaces for all the family in the city centre
  • showcasing and engaging local creative enterprises, artists and organisations

In Memoriam

In Memoriam, a touring artwork by Luke Jerram, was presented on College Green from Friday 1 to Sunday 17 October 2021. It was an evocative symbol of local, national and international solidarity.

The ceremonial art installation was a memorial to losses experienced during coronavirus (COVID-19). It was made in tribute to the work of NHS, health and social care staff, and the volunteers who have contributed so much to so many.

Remembering the people who have been in hospital and care homes during the pandemic, the circle of flags was created from NHS bed sheets and arranged in the form of a medical logo.

Audiences could enter the area to explore the artwork, offering a safe space for people to pause for reflection, remembrance, recognition and recovery.