The photos in this gallery were taken by professional freelance photographer Stephen John Cook.
Redfest is a free community festival that aims to to provide arts and entertainment to the people of Redfield and nearby BS5 areas. We welcome all feedback on the festival and would love to know what you thought was good and what could be improved for future years!
If you’d like to offer your feedback please complete the form below, which should take about 5 minutes. Before you complete the form we would like to say that we know a lot of people would prefer to have the event in St George’s park as it was for the last few years. We completely understand that feeling but there were a number of reasons we were unable to do a big park event this year which we have explained in this blog post. Please feel free to tell us you’d like the event in the park again, but we’d also welcome suggestions about how we could improve the format that ran this year if we were to do it again, or other suggestions of how you could see Redfest being put on in the future.
Redfest weekend is here and we’re excited for all of the great events that are about to happen! Here’s your handy guide of everything you need to know for the weekend ahead.
Please remember that there is no big event in St George Park this year, although the park itself will be open as a public park as usual.
Redfest is taking place at 17 venues across the weekend. View the map and line up on the programme. Or check out our Facebook event. You can also pick up printed programmes for free from the venues themselves!
We are expecting there to be queues at peak times for several of the venues. We’ll be updating the Redfest social media channels regularly highlighting which venues are experiencing long queues and which have capacity – as well as letting you know all the great stuff going on through the weekend! Follow us through your social media of choice. We’ll be using the hashtags #redfestbristol and #redfest2017 (although that last one can get a bit cluttered!)
As well as loads of great music and arts we also have several market stalls selling great local wares. You can find those at the following locations:
St George Community Centre
Easton Community Centre
St George Community Centre
Gladstone St Park
Church Road will be open as normal during the course of the festival and there is no car parking provision beyond usual on street parking. If you can, please leave the car at home! There will be additional cycling racks provided for parking up your bike – a small amount available on the opposite side of Church Road to the Hindu Temple and a larger amount in the concrete area within St George Park (on the left after you go through the gate at the main entrance on the corner of Church Road)
As the festival is running over the whole weekend there are some events on the Sunday including a family fun day at Gladstone Street Park that will run from 12-5pm and features the APE Project interactive building of a cardboard city, rides, market stalls and loads of family friendly activities. Check out the Facebook event here
Finally – if you are coming to the festival this weekend please be respectful of the area and the local community, as well as the Redfest volunteers who are donating their time for free to help the festival run smoothly. Please queue in an orderly fashion if the venue is at capacity and a queue is required, take litter home with you or dispose of it correctly, and if possible bring your own refillable water bottle as loads of the Redfest venues are signed up to Refill Bristol and will top you up for free.
If you have any issues across the weekend such as needing to report an incident or a lost child, please speak with the nearest Redfest steward or venue manager – they’ll be wearing a Redfest Crew t-shirt.
Have a great weekend all!
Please remember Redfest will not be in St. George park this year. Instead, we’re putting on a much smaller, low-key set of events for our community along Church Road. If you’re looking for a big park festival, this year’s Redfest is not for you.
Redfest 2017 will be based in various small venues on and around Church Road, over the weekend of 4th – 6th August with DJs, live bands, cabaret, family activities and more.
We’ve got an exciting line up including The Kut, Joe Peng, Peter D Rose, Alfresco Disco as well as dance performances, film showings and a family fun day.
We’re also looking for volunteers to help out with stewarding, production, set up and generally helping out on the day. If you’re up for getting involved you can fill out the form here.
During National Volunteers’ Week we’ve been asking people who volunteer for Redfest to tell us a bit about what they do and why they enjoy volunteering for the festival. Volunteering for a community festival is a really rewarding experience and we’re looking for loads more volunteers to help out with running the festival on 5th and 6th August. Find out more and apply here.
“I’m Steve from Jelli Records and I lived in St George for many years spending a lot of my childhood and youth in St George Park playing football. I wanted to give something back to a great community so I got involved with Redfest about five years ago, running a music stage in the park and this year in Bethesda Church. It’s a really great community festival and long may it continue.”
“I’m part of the Sustainability Team. I’m currently studying for a Masters degree at UWE in Event Management, so this is great hands on experience for me! On the day I’ll be working really closely with the venues, local community and event team to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
“This is my second year working with the Redfest team. Being part of the team really made me feel part of the community and getting involved was a joy and really rewarding. Last year I ran the kids village which was a lot of fun. Over the weekend this year I’ll be managing the St George Community Centre and also Gladstone Street Park.”
“I’m the marketing manager for Redfest. I love living in Redfield and have always enjoyed attending Redfest so I wanted to get involved. This is my first year volunteering and on the day I’ll mostly be searching out the most interesting events and sharing them through social media.”
“I’m the dance manager for Redfest – I got involved because I wanted to see great dance showcased at the festival. On the day I’ll be getting the artists ready, helping attendees get involved and running a workshop and performance with my own group South West Dance Theatre. This is my second year organising the dance program – last year was fantastic with a really infectious buzz from the crowd and artists.”
If you’d like to get involved in Redfest this year let us know – we’ve got loads of shifts across the weekend for a variety of different roles! Fill out this form to register your interest!
Get involved and volunteer for Redfest!
We’re looking for volunteers to help out across the weekend of the festival. Redfest is a completely free community festival and we rely on people like you giving your time and effort to make the festival a fun and safe experience for all the attendees. The new multi-venue format for Redfest means there will be plenty of work to do – we’ll need help with stewarding, setting up and packing down equipment, and all the other little jobs that come with keeping a festival like this running!
By volunteering you’ll be helping Redfest continue to provide a platform for local artists and musicians via our free community festival. Complete this form to submit your details.
Redfest is delighted to announce that it’s headlines sponsors for 2017 will once again be Cafe Grounded and The Old Stillage.
Both of these staples of the Church Road social scene have been huge supporters of Redfest since its inception in 2008, and this year they will be the anchor points of the festival at either end of the high street.
Cafe Grounded opened in Redfield in 2008 and has since grown into having multiple cafes across Bristol. Each has its own welcoming and homely charm and is firmly embedded in the local community.
Redfest Creative Director Simon Webb says, “We were always welcome at Grounded from the get go. I remember being really excited about a proper coffee shop on Church Rd opening. (They didn’t serve alcohol for the first few months) A mutual friend Adam introduced me to Tobie and that’s where the first Redfest’s happened, along with The Stillage. We even had 8 channel experimental sound artists in Grounded one evening. ”
Katie Taylor, Marketing Manager at Cafe Grounded adds, “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring Redfest again this year – it’s such a lovely, community-centred festival that showcases Bristol’s independent and creative spirit.”
The Old Stillage is a renown pub in Redfield with its own personal character, and is easily identified with its Bristol street art decorated front. The pub is home to a selection of award winning beers and quality entertainment, where one can spend many a night at partying with their DJ’s and local band performances.
Nemo from The Old Stillage says. ‘What is Redfest,… it was a beginning, of a beginning. One that the ‘Stillage’ is very proud of being part of, and sponsoring. To watch the growth of the festival through the years and the development of the area. Makes you realise that with effort and creation, by people, anything can be achieved. Well done ‘Redfest Crew’ and management,… you know who you are!’
Redfest Creative Director Simon Webb adds, “I spent many good nights in there since, with The Big Lebowski night and Redfest after partied being highlights. I have hazy recollections of doing turtle cartwheels on my back on the dancefloor…..”
Details of the line up at each venue, and indeed the whole festival are currently under wraps, but keep your eyes peeled for announcements later in the year.
Instead of being a day event in St George Park this year, Redfest will be a multi-venue event taking place across 5th and 6th August. When we’ve been telling people about the plans for this year we’ve received some positive feedback about the new format and some negative feedback about the lack of a day event in the park. It means a lot to us that people have such strong feelings about Redfest and so we wanted to take the time to explain some of the reasons we’re taking a break from the usual format.
- The festival is getting too big
Last year’s Redfest attendance was estimated at 20,000. That’s grown from 1,000 5 years ago when we first had an event in the park, and is double the 2015 attendance of 10,000. With the reputation of the festival growing there’s no reason to believe that the attendance wouldn’t increase again this year if we have the event in the park again.
- We’re worried its becoming less of a community festival
We’re seeing an increasing number of attendees from outside the local community. We’re happy to host people from everywhere, but ultimately we are here for our local community and the growth in numbers from elsewhere is putting pressure on the festival’s viability.
- The cost is too high
The cost of last year’s festival, without any fencing or ticketing, was over £31,000. We were just able to cover this cost in 2016 but we estimate the cost this year could be as high as £45,000 if we continue with the park format.
- Our funds are being cut
Community and arts based grants are under attack at the moment. In 2015, we had over £10,000 in grants for Redfest. That was down nearly 30% to £7,113 last year. This coming year Neighbourhood Partnership Wellbeing Funds have been paused and may be discontinued and we anticipate cuts to council arts funding as well.
- The volunteer team are under too much pressure
Aside from the funding required to pay for the festival, the other equally important resource that Redfest runs on is volunteer time. The team who run the festival are entirely made up of volunteers who work on supporting the festival in their spare time – often around a full time job and family commitments. We estimate that over 2,250 hours were worked by the Redfest team in 2016, which is more than someone working full time on the festival all year long!
- We think the 2017 format will be an exciting experience
We’re genuinely excited about the format of a multi-venue weekend festival and the opportunity it provides to support our aims of increasing the profile of arts in Redfield and the surrounding area, providing a platform for local artists to showcase their talents and encouraging the local community to see and take part in something new. We want to highlight the best of what the area’s commercial and community spaces have to offer and we’ll be working with local venues and event organisers to try and ensure that Redfest 2017 provides a diverse range of events and activities for everyone in our community.
We’re glad so many people enjoy Redfest and want to see it continue in the park, but we hope you’ll get involved and enjoy the new format as well! If you want to keep supporting Redfest then please make a donation or consider volunteering your time for one of the positions we’re currently recruiting for.
Exciting new format for 2017
This year Redfest will be taking a break from the day event in St George Park to curate a weekend long, multi-venue festival on and around Church Road. We’re looking to work with local venues, community organisations, businesses, traders and artists of all disciplines from Redfield and the surrounding areas. We’ll have a wider variety of platforms to showcase local artists and a curated trail will challenge people to explore their neighbourhood and discover venues they may not have known before. We want to highlight Church Road and the surrounding area in its best possible light, introduce people to everything that’s great about our area and increase community cohesion and pride.
In the Community:
Since Redfest first launched in 2008 it has evolved from a small, week-long event showcasing local artistic talent into a huge event in St George Park. Since the first Redfest in St George Park in 2012, we have seen unprecedented growth in visitor numbers with an estimated 20,000 people attending in 2016. In 2017, Redfest will be taking a break from running a one day event in the park and going back to its roots as a multi-venue, community festival and we’re really excited about the event!
By the Community:
We’ll be curating a weekend long series of events at a range of venues on Church Road and we want to work with local venues, community organisations, businesses, traders and artists of all disciplines from Redfield and the surrounding areas. Redfest is a festival which is put on by and for the people of East Bristol and we encourage all local businesses and artists to get involved in the new look Redfest!
For the Community:
The mission of Redfest is to enrich the local community through the arts and the new format for Redfest will re-focus the festival on the local community. We’ll have a wider variety of platforms to showcase local artists and the curated trail will challenge people to explore their neighbourhood and discover venues they may not have known before. We want to highlight Church Road and the surrounding area in its best possible light, introduce people to everything that’s great about our area and increase community cohesion and pride.
We’re calling out to all local artists and venues to get involved in Redfest 2017. We’ll have two open application processes running in parallel:
- Artists – https://redfest.typeform.com/to/Bhq3DL – we’ll be open to artists of all disciplines showcasing their work. Musicians, DJs, visual artists, performing artists, entertainers and performers of all kinds.
- Venues – https://redfest.typeform.com/to/fRA1IK – whether it’s a pub, cafe, shop, hall or anything else, we want to hear from anyone with a space who is interested in hosting festival content. Whether it’s art, photography, film, music, theatre, dance, or an installation, we want to show art in all its forms in new places to give it a new context.
We’ll then sprinkle a bit of Redfest magic by pairing venues with content, carefully curating a trail along Church Road. This year’s Redfest will enable the community to see the road in its best possible light, and maybe even explore some spaces they haven’t visited before. If a venue has a specific idea of what they want to do, we’d be happy to work with them to help them make the most of this opportunity too.
- Stalls – https://redfest.typeform.com/to/bxjNtg – We’ll also be looking to provide space within Redfest for a number of stalls for local artisans and traders to sell their wares to the local community.
Redfest will take place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017. Applications are now open!