2020 Guide to Bristol - Let Ready

2020 Guide to Bristol

Bristol is is a busy thriving place, with plenty to see and do such as museums, the docks, bars and restaurants, and if that wasn't enough, each year the city also attracts some brilliant festivals.

You don't have to bring us a pint, but if you feel obliged...

The diversity in festivals matches the city’s colourful alternative demographic, there is something to satisfy most tastes, here are a few suggestions for 2020, the line ups often change and are released nearer to the festival date but you can get a good idea of what is to come by checking the official websites and seeing what has gone before.


UPFEST crafted with POSCA is back! And this edition of Europe’s largest live street art and graffiti festival is going to be a bit special. An earlier date of 16 May – June 2020 isn’t the only change - for 2020, UPFEST will take over a new huge venue, Greville Smyth Park, for the event’s first ever ‘green field’ festival, in addition to The Tobacco Factory, the original Upfest venue. The boards and canvases previously found across a multitude of South Bristol venues will be brought together for a final weekend-long celebration of street art in the spectacular park, the first time the space has been used for a festival. The street work traditionally painted during the festival weekend, will be created in the fortnight leading up to the festival weekend; giving more people the chance to witness these spectacular creations come to life first hand. The murals will be complete for viewing while over 250 artists paint live alongside music stages and food and drink experiences. The affordable art sale, music stages and art workshops round off a visually spectacular weekend!

Bristol’s Whisky and Spirits Festival

Whisky Lounge are putting together will be a truly mind-blowing selection of the world’s best whisky, rum, brandy, gin and mezcal for Bristol’s Whisky and Spirits Festival. Let the tried and trusted Whisky Lounge team enlighten and enthrall you with amazing spirits from around the globe. On 18 April meet the people who make them, get up close and personal with our experts and even create your own. Learn how to be a cocktail-making pro from our award-winning and world-class bartenders and much, much more.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the globe. The Fiesta truly is a sight that can only be seen in Bristol. Held over 6 - 9 August at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free with charges made for parking on the event site. Alongside the fantastic site of hot air balloons filling the skies, there are a large number of great trade stands, fairground rides and much more entertainment.


Come along to the world’s festival for a feast for all the senses! Hear the best music you’ve never heard before, join in with workshops led by musicians from around the world, taste delicious and exotic food cooked by the artists, listen to talks, experience the art, relax in the arboretum, and generally soak up the atmosphere of the joy of discovery. Bring your kids along for free and let them run free, for free. WOMAD is their playground. All teenagers must be registered prior to arriving on site. One ticket holding parent or guardian over the age of 22 can only accompany up to four people under the age of 18. A 3 or 4 day ticket price includes entry to the festival with a melting pot of talented artists from around the world, with around 200 performances across 4 days, from more than 100 artists, across 7 stages, Three or four nights camping, Free parking, Free wifi, Free app, Free access to the World of Children which includes free workshops, Free workshops with artists from around the world, Free Taste the World workshops where you get to experience food from around the world made by the artists, Poetry, talks and lively debate from an array of fascinating people. Coming July 2020.

British Dal Festival

The British Dal Festival is a nationwide celebration of the magic of dal and pulses, encompassing an exciting grand launch in Bristol’s Colston Hall, a Dal Trail of pulse dishes in eateries across the UK, and culminating in thousands enjoying dal and raising funds for Action Against Hunger through the Big Dal Feast, 21 - 31 March.

Lyra: Bristol Poetry Festival

LYRA: Bristol Poetry Festival is returning to the city 13 - 22 March 2020 for the second edition of this new annual festival. After last year's roaring success, 2020 promises to be a an even bigger festival featuring an array of local, national and international poets, performing in venues around the city.

Bristol Harbour Festival

This annual free dance, music and arts extravaganza returns to the Harbourside from 17-19 July 2020 for a weekend of family activities, music, circus, food markets and visiting vessels. Showcasing the city’s incredible maritime heritage, the historic floating harbour takes pride of place during the weekend, celebrating its rich history with free, family-friendly activities programmed on the water’s edge. Stretching from Underfall Yard on Cumberland Road to the city centre and Queen Square, there will be something for everyone from dance, food markets, live bands, demonstrations, family entertainment and daredevil stunts. Bristol Harbour Festival attracts 250,000 visitors each year, bringing the city together as one community to celebrate Bristol’s rich and diverse maritime heritage and culture, as well artistic talents and local businesses.

Dot To Dot Festival

The UK’s Premier Festival for unearthing the best new talent, Dot To Dot Festival, returns to Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham from the 24 - 26 May for its 15th edition. After the record attendance was smashed last year, more of the same is expected for 2019 with a huge line-up of stellar established performers and scorchingly hot newcomers. Previous line-ups have also included The xx, Ed Sheeran, Sundara Karma, Mumford and Sons, The 1975, Frank Turner, Caribou, Wolf Alice, Jake Bugg, SBTKRT, Florence + The Machine, Peace, Courtney Barnett and many, many more. Bringing thousands of music fans an eclectic mix of innovative, exciting and ground-breaking acts in intimate settings we feel compliment the artists.

Bristol Craft Beer Festival

Bristol Craft Beer Festival will return for two days of world class beer, great food and live music on Bristol's buzzing harbourside. The event will be a carnival of craft beer, with international and national brewing icons pouring special and one-off brews, DJs and food stalls. A choice of 250 beers. The line up of beers will also be joined by all kinds of artisanal drinks, including ciders, whiskey, wine and gin too for the non-beer lovers. Bristol Craft Beer Festival will once again operate our unique ‘all in’ ticket, meaning that festival goers get the opportunity to explore, experience and discover over 250 beers from the 35 specially selected breweries in attendance, 12 - 13 June.

Bristol Sounds

Rock the night away with cider in hand at a series of open-air, Harbourside gigs at Bristol Sounds, back from 24-28 June 2020. Wednesday 24 June - Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Supporting Noel are the Australian indie electro-pop outfit Confidence Man, whose debut album Confident Music for Confident People was named the best independent dance album in the Australian Independent Record Label Music Awards. Thursday 25 June - Supergrass Friday 26 June - Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott. Saturday 27 June - A Beautiful Day Out. The all-day bill will feature local Pilton legends Reef, perennial festival favourites Goldie Lookin Chain, Scottish three-piece Peat & Diesel and a rare performance from Gaz Brookfield & The Company of Thieves, with many more acts still to be announced. Sunday 28 June - Jack Savoretti His recent, and sixth, album Singing to Strangers entered at number one in the album charts earlier this year and this is his biggest Bristol show to date.

Bristol New Music 2020

Returning for its fourth edition, from 23-26 April Bristol New Music 2020 proposes an adventurous exploration of the city through sound, with artists from across the radius of contemporary music gathering for four days of newly commissioned works, sonic responses to rarely used spaces, landmark concert hall programmes, club nights, gallery exhibitions and film programmes. Among the first names announced for the 2020 festival are the legendary Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada; a rare UK performance by Norwegian electronic musician Deathprod.

Stokes Croft Block Party

Stokes Croft Block Party kickstart the summer with a huge Bristol block party on May 16th. Set across a range of venues in the heart of Stokes Croft! Day: Special Guest DJ's will be in attendance across the day & night! Joined by the finest Southwest brands, bringing a plethora of musical talent covering Drum & Bass, Jungle, House, Disco, Garage, Dubstep, Grime, Afrobeats, Bashment and much more. A donation from the profits will be given to local charities St Mungos, One25 and Caring in Bristol.