Usually at this time of year we’d be blogging about the biggest art event in the Bristol calendar but this year Upfest have decided to take a year off. The urban art festival is a spectacle that takes over the streets of South Bristol for the last week of July – huge walls are painted by the world’s very best street artists and visited by an international crowd. The street art extravaganza caters to over 400 artists – of all levels from beginners to professionals and everyone in between. The event is visited by over 50,000 people making Upfest Europe’s largest live street art and graffiti festival hosted across multiple venues.
Whilst you might be thinking “why blog about something that isn’t happening this year?!” – there are still projects happening as part of Upfest this year albeit in a different format to the usual events. Upfest Summer Editions offers the city’s street art fans and visitors the opportunity to experience new artwork being created in Southville & Bedminster.
Renowned artists have been invited to paint several locations over the summer months – the first started in April and rolling through until October. One of the new creations is 1600 sq ft painted by My Dog Sighs and Curtis Hylton on the side of the Rising Sun pub in Windmill Hill and other work is expected from the likes of Bex Glover, Zoe Power, Kindose87, Dale Grimshaw, Cheo and others.
The feature wall of the festival on the side of the Tobacco Factory has also had a make-over by Bristol based artist and designer Jody which hit the headlines worldwide. The piece took more than two weeks to complete and covers the entire side of the building with an epic image of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Such a timely and thought provoking image caught the eyes of people across the globe, taking social media by storm and going viral.
We salute Jody for his contribution to Bristol – he told Huffington Post-
“She’s very much in the limelight, very current, very contemporary and she’s obviously leading a very, very important issue which affects all of us on the planet.”
We’re excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store which includes more murals, limited print editions from each artist involved and more from the likes of Andy Council, Inkie, Irony and more. Whilst we keep an eye out for the new work we’ve compiled some of our favourite pieces from previous Upfests – Enjoy!