Bristol graffiti champions Upfest have announced that the first-ever curated exhibition by John Nation will take place in their Bedminster gallery from April 28 to May 12. John is a man whose passionate dedication to Bristol's world-renowned graffiti movement over the last 30 years has earned him the unofficial, but indisputably deserved, title as the 'godfather' of the city's street art scene and culture. One of the art-form's key exponents in the UK during its early years in the 1980s, John worked at the now legendary Barton Hill youth centre, where he encouraged local teens to take up the then fledgling discipline of painting with spray cans that was then exploding out of NYC. These young lads would grow up to become some of street art's biggest and most respected talents - Jody, Inkie, Cheo and, of course, Banksy all honed their talents on the walls at Barton Hill. These days, John leads street art tours for Where The Wall, giving curious locals and Banksy-tourists alike a proper education in the art of graffiti in the city. Of the exhibition, he says: "Bristol is a massive city for arts whether its art, music, theatre or street art. The main purpose of the show is to celebrate and appreciate all the diverse artists that came from Bristol who have helped make the graffiti and street art scene what it is today. This is a collection that highlights the artists who have produced some inspiring and genre pushing art over the years.” To find out more about the full
After successfully proving its worth with a temporary broadcasting license last summer, Bristol's SWU.FM and its star-studded roster of DJs are making plans for a return later this year, kicking off with a huge five-room fundraiser party at Motion on Easter Sunday April 16. In January, with re-developers knocking at the door, the station was forced to leave its lovingly constructed studios above Big Chill and found itself suddenly homeless, just as plans for its return were starting to take shape. This enormous party featuring loads of Bristol's incredible musical talent will, hopefully, help fund a new studio and get the station back on air as soon as possible. The line-up reflects the huge variety of sounds and talent, both old and new, that SWU is dedicated to pushing - from bonafide legends like jungle/D&B veterans Roni Size and Krust and dubstep originator Pinch, to local heroes such as Jakes, Stryda and Laid Blak, to red-hot fresh talent including D&B innovator Sam Binga and grime collective Bandulu Gang. You can grab tickets and check the full line-up for the party on the Motion, SWU and Underground Tickets websites. www.swu.fm
Despite still being in its infancy, Bristol’s Temples Festival is already proving itself a force to be reckoned with on the UK festival circuit and this year promises perhaps the most exciting line-up yet, with three days of challengingly heavy music that’ll see heads banging and chins scratched in roughly equal measure. Taking place from June 2 – 5 at Bristol’s Motion, the event runs the gamut of heavy metal’s various microgenres, covering doom, drone, grindcore and death metal while dolloping in a healthy dose of caustic punk and hardcore for good measure. The connecting thread? It’s all horrible. Really, really horrible. Whether you’re there to witness short, sharp bursts of paint-peeling punk (FUK, The Flex), gruesome death metal murk (Carcass, Dead Congregation), elongated drone-psych workouts (Big Naturals) or soul-flattening sludge (Primitive Man, Esoteric) it promises to be a skull-shattering, mind-expanding weekend offering the very best in envelope-pushing heaviness. Here’s our top five pick from this year’s line-up... Melvins Existing in some form or other for over 30 years, (the) Melvins inspired Nirvana, helped write the book when it comes to modern sludge/doom metal and have ploughed a wayward path that’s won the hearts of everyone from dyed-in-the-wool metallers to punk purists and indie geeks the world over. In many ways they’re a safe choice as headliner, but considering their most recent album eschews any sort of trad band set-up for a six-bass onsl
Bristol's very own Massive Attack have announced that their first concert in the city for 12 years will take place on Saturday September 3 on The Downs, supported by legendary '90s band Primal Scream and grime overlord Skepta, with more to be announced. It will be the first time The Downs has been used for a major music event in more than a decade and a half, and there are hopes that the concert will become an annual event. Promoted by Team Love, responsible for Love Saves The Day among many other things, tickets will go on sale on Friday May 20 at 8am from the Idle Hands record shop on Stokes Croft and Bristol Ticket Shop. Tickets are priced at £37.50, with a limited number of reduced-price admissions available for £25 to anyone unemployed or on income support, with kids' tickets set at £10. Grab yours from the link below for what looks set to be an unforgettable event. tickets.massiveattackbristol.co.uk
We all know that the South West is cider country, but that hasn't stopped Bristolians embracing the craft beer revolution that's swept the UK over recent years. Some of the best small-scale breweries in the country hail from round these parts, and fantastic specialist craft beer bars and pubs continue to pop up all over town (check our recent round-up of the city's best craft beer and best craft beer bars). As such, it's only right that in a city that loves a festival there should be one dedicated to the joys of craft beer and real ale. Taking place at in the high-ceilinged halls of Motion's Skate Park on September 2-3, Bristol Craft Beer Festival comes from the team behind the hugely popular London Craft Beer Festival, and will form the finale for this year's Bristol Beer Week with two days of music, street food and brilliant beer to try, buy and take home. There will be two sessions each day, letting you sample over 250 different beers from local, national and international brewers, with tickets priced at £30.
For four weeks only, Bristol is getting a brand new FM radio station, dedicated to pushing the very best of the city's world-renowned underground music scene. SWU.FM will broadcast live from May 1 to 27, with a huge schedule of shows confirmed from emerging stars like Troy Gunner, Hi5Ghost and Lamont, to bonafide legends like Pinch, Roni Size, Rob Smith and DJ Bunjy. Plus, there'll be slots from the city's biggest club nights and some very special guests from out of town. You can find SWU on 87.7 FM and at www.swu.fm, with an iOS App now available from the App Store. Check out the full list of shows below, and head over to the SWU.FM Facebook page for more info. SWU.FM LINE UP:AFT Records / Amy Becker / Apex / Aphix & Neffa-T / Asa & Sorrow / Bandulu / Bazza / Beezy / Ben Daley / Blazey Bodynod / Bodynod / Boofy / Boomtown Fair / Boston /Boycott / Break / Caski / Crump / D*Minds / Daffy / DEDW8 present Ded Waves /Deli G / Denham Audio / Diskord / Dismantle / Dissident / DJ Die / DJ Mach One / Don't Sleep /Dr Meaker / Durkle Disco / Dutty Girl / Emily Dust / Evermoor Sound / Facta /Feel The Real Soundsystem / Fireman Sam / Foreign Concept / Fred V & Grafix / Freddy Pimms / Futureboogie Recordings / Gemmy / GotSome / Guppy Slim / Gutterfunk / Headhunter / H.E.N.C.H / Hi5ghost / Hold Tight Records / Hot Buttered Soul / Hugh Hardie / Idle Hands / Infidelity Records / Ishan Sound / Ishmael presents Boiling Wells / Jakes / Javeon / Jawjii / Jay L / Jaydrop / Jerome Hill / Joe
From this Friday March 11 until Good Friday March 25, the team behind Taste Chocolate Festival (which takes place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March on the Harbourside) will be hiding chocolate eggs in iconic venues across Bristol and challenging you, the chocolate loving public, to get out there and find them. For two weeks, a different 'artisan' bespoke egg will be stashed away somewhere in town each day, with clues dropped on the Taste Chocolate Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to help you on your quest. Each egg will also include a code rewarding the finder and three friends entry to the festival, with one golden ticket entitling the winner to a special Taste chocolate hamper, too. For more info on the hunt and the festival itself, head over to the Taste website. www.tastechocolate.co.uk
After a break for 2015, Red Bull Culture Clash is back, taking over The Passenger Shed on Friday March 4 before hitting Manchester the following Thursday and then a grand finale at London's ExCel Centre on June 17. The premise of the Clash is simple - get four teams of legendary and emerging bass-music talent and set them against one another in a four-way battle for sound system superiority. Crews are expected to draw for their biggest tracks and, most importantly, plenty of dubplate exclusives and special guests in order to win over the crowd and take the crown as champion sound. The teams for this year's Clash are yet to be announced, but with previous crews including Annie Mac Presents, grime kings Boy Better Know, reggae legends Stone Love and the Rodigan/Shy FX/Chase & Status supergroup Rebel Sound, this is one not to miss for bass-fiends of all persuasions. Tickets are on sale now priced at £12 via the Culture Clash website, and the event is open to anyone aged 16 and over. For an idea of what to expect, check out the video of 2014's London Clash below. www.redbullcultureclash.com
Bristol's not short of brilliant gourmet burger spots, but few would disagree that the best of the bunch has to be The Burger Joint, which not only tops our list of Bristol's best, but has been consistently praised by everyone from Shortlist to The Daily Telegraph as one of the finest in the entire UK. On February 8, the third Burger Joint restaurant will open in Fishponds, joining existing branches in Clifton and Bedminster - and to celebrate is offering free meals for 500 lucky locals in the week before the doors fly open. Running from Monday February 1 to Friday February 5, head over to the Burger Joint website now to enter the ballot for your chance to fill your face with some of the best patties and buns in town - for free. www.theburgerjoint.co.uk Like eating on the cheap? Better check out this list of Bristol's best cheap eats, then.
After previous events in Manchester and Tyneside, Bristol has been chosen as the location for the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in 2016. Taking place over the weekend of February 12-14, the festival will see a packed line-up of artists performing across the city in five of Bristol's most famous venues. Hosting the acts will be Trinity, Motion, the O2 Academy Bristol, Basement 45 and Colston Hall. The full list of acts has yet to be announced, but performances from Primal Scream, Roni Size, DJ Krust and Dynamite MC, Tricky, The Blue Aeroplanes, Beak and Pinch have been revealed. The complete line-up, and the chance to buy tickets, is expected to take place from Tuesday January 19. You can find more details here. BBC BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, 12-14 February 2016, various venues. Can't wait that long? Here are some great ideas for things to get up to in January.