Old City Sounds

BID Lead

Free-to-attend one-day music event in Bristol's Old City.

Project Type
26 August 2023

New for summer 2023, family-friendly music event took over Bristol’s Old City with an epic lineup to celebrate the city’s songful soul on the last Saturday of the school holidays and the late August Bank Holiday Weekend.

Old City Sounds was delivered by Bristol City Centre BID, supported by Bristol’s City Centre & High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, which is funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England’s Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project, with the aim of supporting the recovery of Bristol’s priority high streets.


To entertain the children in their last homework-free days, St Stephen’s Church garden hosted the enchanting ‘Old City Kids’ zone. Here, youngsters enjoyed storytelling from StanfordsThe School of Drag and mermaid Lindsey Cole along with bubble artistface painting, wooden games from Play Wooden and more.


St Nicholas Street also played host to musicians and vocalists from the city and beyond – in the ‘Old City Eclectic’ area. This diverse space welcomed artists from classical to nu-wave backgrounds, spanning various music genres. Among the performers were the virtuoso flamenco guitarist Flamenco ThiefThe 45s rock band and the captivating soulful vocals of China Bowles. Nine foot cake ladies also roamed the street.


St Nicholas Market also saw a bumper edition of its summer busking series take place as the ‘Old City Acoustics’ zone welcomed local musicians from the Bristol Institute of Music Management (BIMM). Here, a series of talented buskers performed for visitors as they ate and shopped. The skilled acousticians filled the market with cherished covers and their own original compositions. Just a stone’s throw away on Corn Street, the Bristol Indies’ Market set up shop and offered an assortment of locally-crafted gifts, vintage attire, and other hidden gems.


The renowned Old Duke Jazz Festival led the way for the ‘Old City Jazz’ zone on King Street. This vibrant zone showcased live jazz talents from both near and far, uniting in a symphonic celebration of everything folk, funk, and swing had to offer. Jump Street served up a brass heavy mix of funk, soul, pop and New Orleans tunes,  Vocal Works Gospel Choir showcased a crossover of gospel with pop, soul, rock and Motown whilst Cheeky Monkeys roamed the street to showcase their acrobats and juggling skills.


Catch up on Old City Sounds news.

Visit Bristol

What's on at Old City Sounds.

Read more

BBC News

Free live music event to take over Bristol city centre.

Read more


A brand new free-to-attend, one day festival is coming to Bristol’s Old City in August.

Read more

The Bristol Gig Guide

Old City Sounds: From soul to swing, folk to funk and busking to blues, new family-friendly event set to jazz up Bristol’s August Bank Holiday weekend.

Read more

Bristol 24/7

Brand new family friendly music festival to take place on August Bank Holiday.

Read more

The Bristol Mayor

Our line-up of free events across Bristol continues throughout the summer.

Read more

Bristol Parent

New music, old city: Old City Sounds full line-up announced for Bristol.

Read more