ORGAN PREVIEW: “We’re back and bigger than ever” say Upfest. The massive urban art festival returns to Bristol in May 2022 with “a whole new vibe” and a healthy bit of crowdfunding…

The Six Sisters. Photo Credit: Photographer Hannah Judah. Artists Bex Glover, Lucas Antics, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long, Ejits

“We’re back… and bigger than ever! Upfest returns in 2022 with an earlier date and a whole new vibe” say the Upfest team. Upfest returns and they’re crowd funding to make the massive free festival happen again, surely got to be worth a tenner and you do get some goodies for your money, here’s the link to the crowdfunding thing

“Upfest is back! 28th & 29th May 2022. Upfest is renowned for bringing together street arts freshest talents and this summer festival fans can expect to see incredible murals emerging in the streets of Bedminster starting from 5th of May. Following three weeks of street painting, the festival weekend will see hundreds of artists painting live with festival hubs at Tobacco Factory and Ashton Gate Stadium. For the first year the festival will take over Greville Smyth Park as its main venue with music and live painting across the weekend”.

Here’s what they have to say about the Crowdfunding

“This summer, our new format will see street painting from 100 artists between the 5th & 25th of May followed by the main festival taking over Greville Smyth Park from 28th to 29th May for our first ever ‘green field’ festival.

The boards and canvases previously found across a multitude of South Bristol venues will be brought together for a huge weekend-long celebration of street art in the spectacular park, the first time the space has been used for a festival, in addition to Ashton Gate Stadium, and The Tobacco Factory, the original Upfest venue.

The huge walls and murals traditionally painted during the festival weekend, will be created in the three weeks leading up to the festival weekend; giving more people the chance to witness these spectacular creations come to life first-hand. The murals will be complete for viewing while over 300 artists paint live alongside music stages and food and drink experiences.

We need to raise £30,000 from crowd funding, a sixth of our budget, towards this year’s costs to host the free festival for anyone to enjoy…so let’s make it happen people!”

About this project

“The ethos of our festival is inclusion, therefore keeping the festival as a free event has been our goal since 2008. Every year our team spends months gaining appropriate sponsors, traders and local businesses to support our independent festival, but with costs over £180,000 we’re asking those that can afford it to once again help out as they so often have done and see Upfest continue for many years to come.

Our 2022 festival budget breaks down as follows: Security, First Aid, Welfare & Cleaning 31%, Materials & Equipment 28%, Artist Materials & Costs 21%, Insurance & Licences  8%, Marketing 7%, Administration 2%, Other Costs 3%”

The rewards if you help out with the crowd funding – “Not only will you be supporting an incredible event, but many of our artists have given up designs, artwork & clothing in order for you to be further rewarded for your generosity. Whether you pledge a tenner or £1,500, it all goes a long way!”

The team – “Upfest is made up of three staff members, three directors, twenty five year-round key volunteers and another sixty-plus helping out over the festival period… these are some of the most dedicated and hard working people going and we couldn’t do any of this without them”.

“Big UP to everyone that pulls together to make Upfest possible, from the artists who travel under their own steam from across the globe, to our sponsors who massively contribute to hosting our free festival, Colin Moody for the awesome video, and especially our ninja crew of volunteers, we love you all…”

A bit more about the Upfest –

“Talented artists travel from over 50 countries and all over the UK to paint live on 40,000sqM of surfaces including a NY style subway train, skate park, buildings, theatre, camper vans and hundreds of boards with over 50,000 visitors across the weekend.

This FREE festival takes over the whole area for the weekend with hip hop, funk, grime, soul and dance DJs, musicians and bands, a POSCA doodle wall, graffiti workshops, illustration battles and hundreds of pieces of affordable art for sale.

Once again Upfest will help raise money for and awareness of The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) who offer a confidential phone line for children affected by alcoholism with the family unit.

The Upfest gallery is open year round on North Street, Bedminster with exhibitions from leading urban and street artists, spray paint, full range of POSCA pens, clothing and books for sale. Pop in and say hi!”


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