If there’s a time to get up and personal with Bristol, it’s this 2023. With the city welcoming its 650th anniversary, the year promises to be jam-packed with events, festivals, and celebrations of everything that makes Bristol iconic.
Visitors can look forward to a full schedule no matter what type of entertainment they’re looking for. Below are only some of the countless thrills you shouldn’t miss when you visit Bristol this 2023:
Celebrate The Best Of Bristol at The Bristol Harbour Festival
The Bristol Harbour Festival is one of the city’s biggest events. Every year, the quayside celebration attracts around 250,000 people with its eclectic collection of circus performers, musical acts, and daring water stunts. If you’ve never seen people strapped to jetpacks flying over the water, then this is your chance.
There’s a total of seven stages for visitors to enjoy this year, offering over 120 hours of unforgettable and uniquely Bristolian experiences. The Bristol Harbour Festival will run from the 14th until the 16th of July.
Watch The Sky Come Alive at The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
What does a hundred hot air balloons taking flight look like? Head on over to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta this year to find out.
Hundreds of hot air balloons are set to lift off from the idyllic Ashton Court Estate this August 10th to 13th, marking another year of Europe’s largest air ballooning event. Ascents in the morning are only at the beginning; visitors can look forward to mesmerising nighttime shows to close the day.
Party Vibes at Love Saves The Day
Bristol is a city with a rich musical heritage and culture. It stands to reason that it’s home to some of the country’s best music festivals, such as Love Saves The Day.
With a lineup of over 175 artists hosted across 10 stages, Bristol’s award-winning independent music festival is coming back to shake the house down. Or the Ashton Court, where it’ll be held on May 27th and 28th. Headlining the event will be legendary DJ Fatboy Slim and electropop hit maker, Years & Years.
Rock On at Bristol Sounds
Can’t get enough of Bristol’s music festival circuit? Then head out over the summer for a week’s worth of performances from some of the biggest names in the industry at Bristol Sounds.
Bristol Sounds will be setting the rhythm against a backdrop of ships and cranes at the Harbourside. Shows are set to run nightly from 21st to the 25th of June. While the full line-up has yet to be announced, guests can already expect a banging time with acts such as Mika, The Levellers, James, and Jacob Collier headlining the event.
Meet Myths at The UnicornFest
Loads of historic landmarks dot Bristol’s landscape. There’s the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, stretching majestically across the Avon Gorge. Beautiful piers like the Weston-super-Mare extend into the tranquil blue of the Bristol Channel.
What could possibly make these iconic structures better? As it turns out, unicorns. As part of Bristol’s 650th celebration, the city is setting up an art trail that goes through its most famous locations. The artwork will feature–you guessed it–herds of unicorn paintings and structures made by local artists.
Join The Procession at St Pauls Carnival
The St Pauls Carnival has always been a grand and unforgettable celebration of African Caribbean culture and community. However, this year’s event will be one for the books.
After three long years without the Carnival’s spectacle of music, costumes, and artists marching down the streets of St Pauls, the festival is finally coming back in full force on the 1st of July.
Nosh, Drink, and Jam at BOXHALL
From the creators of London’s BOXPARK follows the much anticipated BOXHALL. Set to open its doors sometime this summer, the park is a new haven for folks who like their food and beer with a side of music and cultural events.
But what truly sets BOXHALL apart from other multi-entertainment parks is its focus on local cuisine. To ensure visitors sink their teeth into the best of what Bristol has to offer, the BOXHALL team has partnered up with Michelin-star chef and Bristol’s own, Josh Eggleton.
Grab A Pint at the Bristol Craft Beer Festival
Fancy whetting your palate on artisanal craft beer? Then head on over to Lloyds Amphitheatre on the 9th and 10th of June, where the taps will be flowing all day for the Bristol Craft Beer Festival.
Slake your thirst on over 300 beers, crafted by the country’s premier breweries. You can also get your fill of cider, wine, and gin. There’ll even be non- and low alcohol options for those who wish to imbibe sans the inebriation.
Massive music festivals, carnival processions, and fantasy creatures trotting around the city–Bristol has a smorgasbord of experiences to offer this year. Visitors and residents will find their days filled with the best of Bristolian art, music, grub, and drink.