Safe and steady return for Bristol’s events calendar: 0L1A0387d

14 Apr 2021

Safe and steady return for Bristol’s events calendar

Smaller-scale activities lead sector recovery

Breaking Bread, Bristol Comedy Garden and the Spiegeltent will help Bristol’s world-renowned events calendar make a steady return from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic this year.

The trio of attractions are just some of the exciting smaller-scale activities being prepared and planned for by organisers in Bristol’s parks and open spaces team over the forthcoming months as the city’s events sector emerges from lockdown.

Bristol City Council’s events team are working closely with colleagues in Public Health and Bristol’s Safety Advisory Group to support the safe return of events in Bristol’s parks and open spaces, with events that adhere to government guidance and COVID safety planning being considered from June onwards.

Priority is being given to Bristol-based event organisers that have a positive social and economic impact on the city, with bigger events not able to yet be fully confirmed due to the nature of the government’s roadmap plans out of lockdown.

The roadmap puts 21 June as the earliest that large gatherings will once again be allowed and means that test events need to be held nationally first before further large-event guidance can be produced.

As a result, Bristol Harbour Festival organisers have announced the event will take a break this year and instead focus on its 50th anniversary in 2022. With the restrictions leaving too little time to deliver a safe 2021 festival, the energy and focus is now shifting to using the additional planning time to prepare for next year’s once-in-a-lifetime event.

A flagship event for Bristol’s unrivalled arts and culture sector, the Harbour Festival requires significant time to fully curate and programme of more than 300 artists and performers, along with 200 visiting vessels as well as preparing the large three-square mile event site.

Jon Finch, Bristol City Council’s Head of Culture and Creative Industries, said: “The events sector in Bristol is one of the most important parts of the city’s identity, which makes the decision to postpone the Harbour Festival all the harder.

“We are determined to make sure as many safe smaller-scale events are facilitated and supported to take place this year as possible and we are also going to do all we can to make sure that the Harbour Festival will return next year to celebrate its 50th anniversary.”

“The roadmap out of lockdown potentially means a very uncertain time for many of the thousands of events sector workers and festival attendees who live in the city. However we are continuing to support as many events as it can and want to support as many as possible to go ahead this summer.’’

Carly Heath, Bristol’s Night-Time Economy Advisor, said: The Harbour Festival is taking a breather this year, but we are still expecting many ticketed events to take place and we will support as many as we possibly can.

“The events sector in Bristol is intrinsically linked to our night-time economy and as we safely emerge from lockdown we know how keen Bristolians are to get back out to enjoy our night time culture.’’

Bristol Harbour Festival is expected to return in July 2022 for its 50th anniversary edition. For more updates follow Twitter and Facebook