Europe’s largest street art festival Upfest returns to Bristol in 2020

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The main event will now be held on 30th and 31st of May.

Upfest is back next year and this time it has added a brand new location to the lineup in South Bristol.

In addition, the organisers of Europe’s largest street art festival have moved the dates forward for 2020.

The street artwork will be painted between the 16th and 27th of May before the main event itself takes place on 30th and 31st of May.

The final day of public viewing will be on June 1st.

Upfest will also take over a new huge venue, Greville Smyth Park

Upfest will now also take over the entirety of Greville Smyth Park in addition to its original, neighbouring venue, The Tobacco Factory.

The festival took a break in 2019 after celebrating its 10th anniversary the previous year with a Simpsons theme.

The event attracts 400 artists from around the world and draws more than 50,000 visitors to Bedminster.

Organisers say it costs £125,000 to run Upfest and fundraising is often needed to help cover costs like artists’ materials, insurance, first aid and cleaning.

Artist registration opens on December 1st.

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Bristol becomes first UK city to ban diesel cars

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Bristol could become the UK city to ban diesel cars from entering the city centre in a dramatic bid to cut air pollution. The local authority approved plans to impose a clean air zone at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night. It means privately owned diesel cars won’t be allowed in certain central areas between 7am and 3pm, every day of the week. The scheme, which needs government approval, is due to start in 2021. Commercial diesel vehicles such as buses and delivery trucks will be charged £9 to enter the exclusion zone, but this won’t be an option for ordinary drivers. Under the plans, even newer, cleaner diesels would be prohibited, despite the fact many are more environmentally-friendly than older petrol cars.

As well as banning diesels, the clean air plans include introducing a vehicle scrappage scheme to help drivers replace diesels with petrol or hybrid and electric cars.

Bristol has long suffered from poor air quality, particularly from high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It is under a legal obligation to reduce air pollution but has twice missed government deadlines for providing details of a clean air zone. Bristol mayor Marvis Rees said the proposed ‘Clean Air Zone’ would help the city meet its emissions targets by 2025 and ‘protect vulnerable residents’ from pollution. The ban will be enforced using a number plate recognition system, similar to the one used to police London’s congestion charge. Pete Simson, BBC Radio Bristol politics reporter, said: “It’s hard to overstate how significant a policy intervention this is.

“This is a first, no other UK city is introducing an outright diesel ban, and it will require the government to introduce new legislation.’ Although some local residents welcomed the idea, motoring groups have warned the plan could increase congestion outside the city centre and put unfair financial pressures on people who can’t afford to switch from diesel. Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: ‘Major routes into, out of, and even around the city would become out of bounds, with diesel vehicles forced onto other roads, which risks causing congestion problems where they don’t exist at the moment. ‘Many drivers are faced with having to use their car for journeys in and around the city simply because there is no affordable, reliable alternatives. This would become more difficult under these plans. ‘Then there are other practical considerations. Some drivers of diesel cars who are locked into finance packages may face a significant penalty to exit their contract early.

‘There will also be drivers of older vehicles who are faced with having to give up their vehicles and switch to something different – which could be extremely costly.’ Millions were encouraged to buy diesels by Tony Blair’s government because they are more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon dioxide than But scientists and governments around the world have since changed their tune as diesels emit more nitrogen oxides, which can harm health. The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal in 2015 has also led to accusations that car-makers have been cheating tests and downplaying the damaging effects of toxic emissions.

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Athlete Nick Butter runs a marathon in every country

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A British man has become the first person to run a marathon in every country in the world.

Nick Butter, 30, from Bristol, has run 196 marathons in 196 countries after starting in Canada in January 2018 and finishing in Greece on Sunday.

He was inspired to do it to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK after a friend was diagnosed with the disease.

Mr Butter said he was “overwhelmed” to have finished, after he crossed the finishing line of the Athens marathon.

He said he was “very tired” after completing the challenge, which took 674 days and involved visiting an average of just over two countries a week.

“In one sense it was just another finishing line, but in a bigger sense I’ve been visualising it, and finishing in that stadium in Athens was so special,” he said.

He chose Athens for his final run due to it being “the home of the marathon”.

Mr Butter, originally from Dorset, crossed the line with his friend Kevin Webber, who has prostate cancer and who inspired him to take up the challenge.

So far, he has raised more than £65,000 of his £250,000 target for Prostate Cancer UK.

During his epic feat, Mr Butter said he got through 10 passports, took 455 flights, ran through 15 war zones and was mugged twice.

He said he was now planning to continue running “one or two marathons a week” because he “loves to run”.

The former banker said the number of 196 countries was based on 193 identified as sovereign states by the United Nations plus three others not officially recognised.

But he explained he had actually run 211 marathons, in order to “future proof” the record, by visiting places that might be classed as separate countries in the future.

“For example I ran a marathon in Hong Kong as well as in China,” he said.

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Stunning new timelapse video of Bristol created from 200 hours of footage

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Adie White describes it as a “little project”, but this little project has taken him a year of work in his spare time.

The 41-year-old from Whitchurch, also known as The Bristol Nomad, has condensed 200 hours of photography – more than 12,000 individual photos – into a new stunning timelapse video.

“I wanted to create a homage to the city that I love that would hopefully entice others to visit or evoke great memories for Bristolians that have left or people that have already spent time here.

Adie’s film – called Bristol 247•365 – takes in scenes such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Temple Meads, Cabot Tower, Cabot Circus, the Balloon Fiesta, Ashton Gate and many more.

Adie added: “I like to use both mediums, photography and video. And plan a similar project in the near future looking deeper into Bristol and the many areas that make the city tick. From Stapleton to Sea Mills, from Bedminster to Brentry.

“I like the format of a ‘day in the life of Bristol’ as I think it shows a great vibe to the city and that there is always something going on.”

Watch the full film here:



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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to visit Bristol

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to visit Bristol.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle will tour the city on Friday, February 1, with at least two stops listed on the itinerary.

Kensington Palace said the royal couple will visit Bristol Old Vic and the Empire Boxing Gym as they “learn more about the city’s rich cultural history”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace added the couple, who are expecting their first child in the spring, were coming to Bristol to “meet members of the public”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Bristol on Friday, February 1, to meet members of the public, learn more about the city’s rich cultural history, and visit organisations supporting communities most in need.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit the Bristol Old Vic, where they will tour the recently renovated theatre.

Their Royal Highnesses will also visit Empire Fighting Chance, which aims to fight the impact of deprivation on young people’s lives through boxing.

– Kensington Palace spokesperson
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These are the 21 people who made Bristol a better, happier place in 2018

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These are the 21 people who made Bristol a better, happier place in 2018

These are the wonderful unsung heroes in our midst who make our city a more welcoming place

These 21 people make Bristol a better place
These 21 people make Bristol a better place

Not all heroes wear capes, but all of them make Bristol a better place for you and me.

This is the sixth annual Happy List for Bristol, recognising the wonderful people who make Bristol a happier place to live, work and flourish.

The list, which is not ranked in any order, is put together by the team at Happy City, which receives nominations from members of the public.

These wonderful heroes don’t seek the limelight, and their work is not always recognised, but they make Bristol the open and welcoming city it is today.

So to all those on this list, we salute you. Thank you.

Mark Lawrence

Conductor and composer, St George’s Bristol

Well done Mark!

Mark is known for his ability to inspire confidence in all those he works with. Through the Cosmos Children’s Community Choir of South Bristol at St George’s Bristol, he helps children to discover their talents and to believe in themselves.

Mark also conducts the Big Friendly Choir of Bedminster, which began as a ‘singing for health’ group. The choirs often perform together in joyous inter-generational concerts and specially-written community operas.

Stacey Fordham and Lidia Rueda Losada

Founders of Zero Green Shop

Stacey Fordham and Lidia Rueda Losada

Stacey and Lidia brought a lot of happiness to people in Bristol by opening the first zero waste shop in the city.

Having shared ideas and personalities complementing each other, both women wanted to address the issue of waste, especially single-use packaging and its harmful effects on the environment. Their combined enthusiasm and bravery with a pinch of personal touch brought something quite unique.

Pat Ellingham

Avon Wildlife Trust/St George’s

Pat Ellingham

Pat is best known around Bristol as a committed conservationist following both a 30-year career with Avon Wildlife Trust.

Over the past 25 years she has volunteered for and researched material for telling the fascinating story of St George’s Bristol, the independent music venue and registered charity.

Pat is simply a wonderful person, valued for her warm and genuine smile, as well as her bright intelligence and love for the environment and the arts.

Jasper Thompson

Founder, Help Bristol’s Homeless

Jasper Thompson has been helping those living on the streets

Jasper is an amazing and compassionate person and social entrepreneur. He’s always tried to help those less fortunate than him by digging deep into local issues and trying to solve them creatively.

His latest project Help Bristol’s Homeless (CIC) is about converting shipping containers into small flats where people in need can have a safe space to stay whilst waiting for permanent accommodation.

Megan Baker

Activist and co-creator of Safe Space

Megan Baker

An inspiring young woman supporting survivors of sexual violence. Megan co-created Safe Space, a survivor-led support group in Bristol, where survivors can speak freely and safely in an understanding environment whilst giving and receiving support. Megan is also a passionate activist for the rights of those who need support.

Svetlana Ovsyannikova

Founder, OvDa dance company

Svetlana Ovsyannikova

Through her Dance Mums classes, she inspires new mums to socialise, exercise, stay positive about their new bodies and lives, and bond with their babies.

Svetlana also organises family-friendly professional level performances, where Bristol parents can bring their babies and children to enjoy their first dance and theatre experiences.

Nina Boswell Brown

Founder, Sitting Fit Yoga

Nina Boswell Brown

After becoming paraplegic 30 years ago, Nina was determined to maintain her active lifestyle and mobility.

She discovered how beneficial gentle stretches and exercises can be for someone who is less mobile so she went on to complete her Advanced Chair Yoga Teacher Training.

Nina’s will alone is enough to inspire, but through exercise she truly is empowering people to feel healthier and happier in their bodies.

Layla Ismail

Development manager, Refugee Women of Bristol

Layla Ismail

Layla is the manager of Refugee Women of Bristol which supports 300 refugee and asylum-seeking women and their pre-school children every year.

She is is also an activist for the rights and wellbeing of women and girls affected by female genital mutilation.

Michele Curtis

Artist and Graphic Designer

Michele Curtis

Michele is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer whose numerous projects tackle prejudice and celebrate the contributions and achievements of British African Caribbeans.

Her project, The Seven Saints of St Paul’s commemorates influential African Caribbean Bristolians who have had a positive impact on Black civil rights in Bristol.

Carol and David Laslett

Community food heroes

Carol and David Laslett

Carol and David are dedicated volunteers at Sims Hill Shared Harvest. They are committed members of the milking collective at Street Goat and are leading the way at Incredible Edible on Straits Parade.

Always there when you need them, these two are warm, hardworking and definitely not afraid of getting their hands dirty.

Amir Cheema

UK Commissioner at the Scout Association

Amir Cheema

He’s spent the past 16 years dedicating his spare time to The Scout Association as a way of helping develop a peaceful and productive society.

A founding member of the UK Muslim Scout Fellowship, he delights in helping thousands of children and young people around the UK to get involved in purposeful activities to develop their skills.

Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose

Founders of Playing Out

Alice Ferguson and Amy Rose

Frustrated with the lack of safe space for their children to play out, Alice and Amy decided to take matters into their own hands.

By closing their street off to cars for just a few hours they found that children gained the freedom to play together, neighbours could get to know each other and a new ‘sense of place’ emerged.

They got Bristol City Council behind their idea, which then brought about a change in policy to allow streets to regularly open for play.

Playing Out was formed in 2011 to spread the idea and grow a parent-led movement across the UK. 56 other councils have now copied Bristol’s street play policy and over 800 street and estate communities have ‘played out’, including 178 all over Bristol.

Gavyn Emery

Keep Bristol Warm

Gavyn Emery

Gavyn actively demonstrates kindness and solidarity with Bristol’s homeless and makes it easy for others to do the same through his initiative Keep Bristol Warm.

Not only do Gavyn and his team provide warm clothes and hot drinks to some of the city’s most vulnerable people, they are also striving to transform the way we, as a community, care for and interact with our homeless residents.

Chanté Joseph

Founder of Bristol Is The New Black

Chanté Joseph

As a student, Chanté used her platform, Bristol Is The New Black to support and promote black and minority ethnic students at Bristol University. BITNB is a media and culture hub that connects black minority and ethnic (BME) students with each other, and to a wider network of inspiring black people, in order to build a community that encourages individuals’ development and happiness.

She also put together the city’s first BME Powerlist 2018

Dr Paul Stephenson

Civil Rights campaigner

Dr Paul Stephenson

Moving to Bristol in 1962 as a social worker Paul quickly began and won a campaign, alongside Owen Henry, Roy Hackett and Guy Bailey, to overturn the colour bar used by Bristol Omnibus Company and the TGWU to stop people of colour working on their buses.

A year later he was arrested and tried because he refused to leave a pub until he was served, in the face of their ‘no blacks’ policy. These acts helped pave the way for the Race Relations Acts of 1965 and 1968.

Samantha Payne and Joel Gibbard

Co-founders of Open Bionics

Samantha Payne and Joel Gibbard

Samantha and Joel share a passion for technology and social entrepreneurship. They co-founded Open Bionics, a Bristol-based startup developing low-cost bionic arms for those without them.

They are not just changing lives by offering an affordable solution that looks and feels good, their Hero Arm is also changing the way we look at limb differences and celebrating people’s uniqueness.

La Toyah McAllister-Jones

Chief Operations Officer at Ujima Radio

La Toyah McAllister-Jones

La Toyah is a tenacious individual who works across sectors, supporting organisations to develop healthy practices that invest in people and encourage reflective spaces.

As a trained action learning facilitator, she works with many different groups-from social leaders to senior executives in corporations – to develop personal capacity and resilience.

She has a hands-on approach to problem-solving and strives to establish positive work structures.

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Local divers involved in Thai cave rescue among Pride of Britain winners

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Local divers involved in Thai cave rescue among Pride of Britain winners

Divers who risked their lives to help rescue 12 young Thai footballers who were trapped in a flooded cave have said they feel “honoured” to be recognised at the Pride Of Britain Awards.

The group were presented with an Outstanding Bravery Award after they took food and supplies through the caves to the boys before bringing every child out to safety.

Diver John Volanthen from Bristol said the award was “unexpected” and stressed that many other people were involved in the rescue.

“We are the tip of a very large iceberg,” he said. “We’re the visible part but we are supported by the British Cave Rescue Council and everyone underneath.

“It wasn’t just us, we were part of an international team. We played our part but it was bigger than us.”

Fellow diver Connor Roe from Somerset said his main memory of the rescue was “when everybody was out of the cave, all the rescue team, everybody involved was out of the cave safe”.

“It was as a job done,” he said. “It was an unfortunate incident and we were able to assist in a large team.”


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Banksy posts video of £1m painting shredding stunt at Sotheby’s

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Banksy has released a video showing how he secretly built a shredder into one of his paintings that self-destructed after it was sold for more than £1m.

The framed Girl With Balloon, one of the artist’s best known works, was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London.

Moments after the piece was sold, the canvas of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped balloon shredded itself.

Quoting Picasso on his Instagram, Banksy wrote: “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge – Picasso.”

The clip starts with a caption, saying: “A few years ago, I secretly built a shredder into a painting.”

The video then shows someone in a hoodie installing the device, before another caption, saying: “In case it was ever put up for auction.”

The video then shows the moment the painting shredded itself at the auction house on Friday, captured on a mobile phone.

It is unclear how the shredder was activated.

‘We just got Banksy-ed’

Moments before, the 2006 stencilled spray-painting had sold for £1.042m.

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s senior director and head of contemporary art in Europe.

Earlier, Banksy posted a picture of the moment it happened on his Instagram, with the words: “Going, going, gone…”

John Brandler, director of Brandler Art Galleries, described Banksy as “the ultimate publicity artist” and said the stunt was “absolutely brilliant”.

“He has made Damien Hirst look like an amateur,” Mr Brandler said.

Banksy rose to prominence through a series of graffiti pieces across the country.

The enigmatic artist is thought to have grown up in Bristol, but his identity has remained a secret despite much speculation over the years.

Among his recent works was the 2015 opening of Dismaland, a Disneyland-esque attraction at a lido in Weston-super-Mare, which he described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”.

In 2017, Girl With Balloon, which originally appeared on a wall in Great Eastern Street, London, was voted the nation’s favourite artwork.

The gallery version featured spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on a board.

Does the buyer still have to pay?

Sotheby’s has not revealed who bought the piece before it was shredded.

At the moment it is unclear whether their contract still stands.

Mr Branczik told the Financial Times the auction house was trying to “figure out” what the stunt means.

He said: “We have not experienced this situation in the past …where a painting spontaneously shredded, upon achieving a [near-]record for the artist.

“We are busily figuring out what this means in an auction context.”

In a statement on its website, Sotheby’s described the incident as “unexpected” and said it had become “instant art world history”.

Will it be worth more now, or is it ruined?

Opinion is split.

Some social media posters have speculated that the prank could have actually caused the artwork to increase in value.

However, others have questioned whether the buyer would still have to pay for it – or would even want to.

Mr Brandler said the more publicity works of art get, the pricier they tend to become.

“It was the best publicity stunt he [Banksy] could think of,” he said.


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