The Best Festivals in and Around Bristol

We’ve been teased with a taste of summer recently and it’s got everyone at the Bristol City Centre BID all excited for festival season! In Bristol there’s a festival almost every weekend over summer so planning ahead is vital, here’s our top pick of ones not to be missed this year…

Dot to Dot

When: Friday 24th to Sunday 26th May

Where: Various locations

What to expect: The UK’s premier festival for unearthing the best new talent, Dot to Dot festival returns to Bristol for its 15th edition this year. 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.

Love Saves the Day

When: Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May

Where: Eastville Park

What to expect: Back for its 8th year, Love Saves the Day combines the best of Bristol’s thriving underground scene with pioneering artists from across the globe. Lily Allen and Chase & Status are headlining and other artists on the bill include Congo Natty, Ocean Wisdom, Bonobo and Children of Zeus.

Bristol Craft Beer Festival

When: Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June

Where: Lloyd’s Amphitheatre

What to expect: Returning for two days of world class brews, delicious food and live music on the harbourside, Bristol’s Craft Beer Festival is a carnival of craft beer. The line-up of brewing icons will be joined by all kinds of artisanal drinks including ciders, whiskeys, wines and gins and they will once again be operating their “all in” ticket, meaning all your drinks are included in the price!

Food Connections

When: Wednesday 12th – Sunday 23rd June

Where: Various locations

What to expect: For ten days in June Bristol shines a light on what makes its unique food culture that Bristol nurtures so proudly. Food Connections 2019 brings together producers, artisans, consumers, businesses, families, chefs, charities, schools, brewers and everyone else for talks, tours, workshops and feasts in a way that can only be described as a complete celebration of all things food.

Bristol Sounds

When: Wednesday 26th to Sunday 30th June

Where: Lloyd’s Amphitheatre

What to expect: Rock the night away with a cider in hand at this series of open air gigs. Headliners for this years events are Tom Misch, The Cat Empire, Bloc Party, Elbow and The Cinematic Orchestra and all accompanied by a number of support acts.

Pride

When: Saturday 13th July

Where: Clifton Downs

What to expect: Start the day with the Pride Parade through the city centre then head up to The Downs for the largest free Pride Festival in the UK! This years event hosts the likes of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Boney  M and Sink the Pink alongside some of the best drag and cabaret acts in the country and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Harbour Fest

When: Friday 19th – Sunday 21st July

Where: The Floating Harbour

What to expect: Tall ships, music stages, dance areas, food markets, water displays and circus acts combine to ensure that everywhere you turn there’s something to delight and entertain. Over 250,000 people flock to the Harbour Fest each year to celebrate Bristol’s rich maritime history and enjoy some of the city’s best music and entertainment.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

When: Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th August

Where: Ashton Court

What to expect: Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons takes place over four days at Ashton Court and attracts over 130 hot air balloons from around the world. Alongside the amazing sight of balloons filling the skies there’s a whole host of great stands, fairground rides and more. The morning lift, taking off at 6am, is one of the most spectacular views you’ll see in Bristol all summer!

The Downs Festival

When: Saturday 31st August

Where: Clifton Downs

What to expect: Now in its fourth year, The Downs is a one day event that combines music, performance, art, food and information sharing. With performances from artists including Idles, Grace Jones and Ms Lauryn Hill alongside talks and discussion, culinary offerings from independent traders and a lively kids area, The Downs offers a myriad of opportunities for positivity, building awareness and musical discovery.

Tokyo World

When: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September

Where: Eastville Park

What to expect: Having moved from Castle Park to Eastville Park in 2016, Tokyo World returns in 2019 with five fields of music featuring over 100 artists from the worlds of drum and bass, dub, jungle, hip hop and more. Previous headliners have included Roots Manuva, Action Bronson and Sister Sledge.