It’s not easy being green. Or so sang a certain influential frog. Redfest – the free arts festival for East Bristol – begs to differ. It has grabbed the sustainability bull by its horns this year, with a Green theme that encompasses solar powered stages, reusable drinks cups and alternative fuel.
On Saturday 1 August the beauty spot of St George Park will dance to a greener beat with two stages of great music, jaw-dropping cabaret, tons of kids’ activities, a market with 40-plus traders, topped off with art installations and street theatre. With bands spanning reggae, funk and ska, to rock, soul and afrobeat, Redfest punches well above its weight as a community festival.
Music director Sol Curry said, “We are lucky to have such great talent here in Bristol, and this year we are thrilled to announce our headliners Laid Blak. They have great energy live and their positive message, their blend of reggae, R&B dance will get everyone dancing.”
With a dozen bands over two stages, this year’s line-up continues the emphasis on quality local acts. Makala Cheung headlines the Market Stage, blending RnB, soul, electronica with Oriental influences. Blak Flamez bring uptempo ska to the table; Mankala take inspiration from the joyous sounds of Soukous and Township, and there’s also soulful southern fried rock from Temple Kings.
International contemporary artist Kathy Hinde will be unveiling a specially commissioned bike-powered sound sculpture funded by the Arts Council, and there will be laughter with Bramble FM – the spoof local radio outdoor broadcast perform from a caravan and walkabout street theatre .
“Sustainability is a continued theme for everyone in Bristol, particularly with Bristol being the European Green Capital,” explains Redfest’s organiser Dominik Ljubic, “so we wanted to use it to springboard the future of Redfest. We have worked hard on our sustainability policies and actions to make the Festival as ‘green’ as possible, in the hope that we inspire others to do the same.”
Russ Spollin, sustainability manager, continues, “We are really excited about our solar powered stages at this year’s Redfest. We are pioneering the use of reusable cups which will reduce our plastic waste and we hope it will soon become the norm for all Bristol festivals. We want the local community to join in with our green theme by walking or cycling to Redfest.”
Originally created as a week-long festival for the arts in local cafe Grounded, as a way to help put Redfield on the cultural map, Redfest is now a well-attended and respected event over a one day, with a few extra fringe events. It’s organised entirely voluntarily by local residents with a passion for the area, while businesses such as Grounded and The Old Stillage help fund it.
This year, fringe events include a Buster Keaton silent film with a live piano soundtrack -now a tradition to open the festival – and an after-party at The Old Stillage with DJ Bunjy from Laid Blak.
“It’s come a long way from where we started,” explains creative director and founder Simon Webb, “from events attended by 20 or 30 people to this artistic smorgasbord which attracted around 5,000 people last year.”
Redfest’s new website goes live on 21 May at www.redfestbristol.co.uk.
Join the festival fun on Sat 1 August 11-9pm St George Park.
To arrange an interview or request more information or hi-res images please email email@example.com
Redfest takes place 11am – 9pm, 1 August, St George Park, Redfield, Bristol.
Redfest is a not for profit event, organised entirely by volunteers.
Redfest relies on donations and sponsorship and is always looking for donations. The public can donate directly online at www.redfestbristol.co.uk.
Our key funders are
- Bristol City Council
- The Arts Council
- St George Neighbourhood Partnership
- Bristol 2015 Green Capital.
There is a full list of funders, partners and sponsors on our Friends of Redfest 2015 page.