It blew me away

To be honest, I am in awe of Redfest.

True that I started it, nurtured it along its journey and put a lot of work into it. But so many people work really hard on now and it really, really shows.

This year was exceptional. Surely the best yet?

Beyond the great music and activities and food and markets, it’s amazing to see so many people having a great time. For me, putting on a good party is as good a social policy as anything else!

When I look back on the Redfest journey, it’s really come so far. From 30 people in Grounded for nightly events to 5,000 people in a park!

Back in the mists of time it was a week long series of arts events – in Cafe Grounded mainly, as well as Bethesda.

We had Studio Ghibli film screenings, short animation night (aided by then local resident Dance Borthwick from The Bolex Brothers), experimental music night (I Am The Mighty Jungulator), as well as music and kids’ events. It all culminated in a music all-dayer at Grounded in the garden with acts like My Two Toms and Katie Brooks as well as local trumpeter  David Mowat. And now it’s grown to include big names like Laid Blak.

One of the big things I’ve learnt is having the right people on board. That personalities that are different complement each other often, and need each other. It’s a collaboration of ideas and skills.

Here’s to more collaboration and creation, and to different skills!

Awesome, Just AWESOME.

A crowd of people sit on the grass and watch the show. There are many families. Behind are trees and tennis courts.
What Redfest looked like in 2011
What Redfest looked like in 2015
What Redfest looked like in 2015

Redfest 2015 by Black Iris

All photos in this gallery are by Redfest partner Black Iris Photography, a family-run company based in St George, Bristol.

Two little girls in the skate park. One faces towards the camera and has a rainbow painted on her face. The other looks away from the camera towards a row of parked bicycles

Keeping your little ones safe at Redfest

Redfest is a family festival and a great place to bring kids of all ages for a fun day out. But, as every parents knows, it is easy – and terrifying – to suddenly realise you can’t see them anywhere nearby. We don’t want that to spoil your family’s day, so we’ve worked really hard to improve the way we reunite parents and lost kids.

A big part of this is that we’ll be handing out free white wristbands that you can write your phone number on, and attach to your child’s wrist, or to a strap of their clothing if they don’t like having it on their arm. So if they do happen to wander off, our Lost Kids Officers or security team can easily get in touch with you to reunite your family.

You can pick up a wristband from the Lost Kids Tent (near the main stage) or from any crew member working in the Kids’ Village and we really encourage you to do so for our peace of mind as much as yours.

Just so you know, we’ve also completely reviewed our process for dealing with searching for missing children or finding the parents of unaccompanied children. We’ve improved the training we give to stewards, and this year for the first time we will have a dedicated Lost Kids Tent staffed by experienced, DBS-certified crew members. Of course, they will make sure that they properly identify any adult who comes to claim a lost child. And (because we know that some kids can be repeat offenders at that running-away malarkey…) we’ll be insisting that any child who is lost once wears a phone number wristband for the rest of the festival.

Have a great day on Saturday, and let’s work together to make it safe and happy for Redfesters of all ages!

Kids learn about recycling at puppet workshop

As part of the run-up to the festival, Redfester Kirsty has been leading art workshops in local schools. Sticking with the environmental theme of Redfest we devised a workshop turning household items into puppets. Working with the year threes and fours in Bannerman Road Academy, we created some weird and wonderful characters from kitchen sponges and then created small performances. We wanted to show how easy it is to transform normal everyday objects into something new – encouraging the idea of recycling and the endless possibilities of the mundane.

Here are Sonia, Zainab and Ellouise with their funny puppets!

Three young girls proudly hold puppets made of recycled household items up to the camera. The puppets are furry and have wiggly legs.

JollyTots! Music and singing workshop fundraiser

Under 5’s are invited to bring along their grown up’s for a special workshop at The Faraway Tree Cafe in Church Road, BS5, with Redfest partner JollyTots! Come along for some music and singing fun on 19 May 2015.

A donation of £3 or more will be asked for. All the money taken will go towards this year’s Redfest festival.

Stick around and enjoy a great cup of coffee and some delicious home-made delights in Church Road’s newest addition: The Faraway Tree.