The annual urban paint festival, Upfest, now in it’s ninth year, is Europe’s largest graffiti and street art festival. Attracting over 40 000 visitors in 2016, the festival will showcase the work of 300 artists across 35 venues throughout Bedminster and Southville between the 29th – 31st July. Artists from all over the world are expected to attend this colourful event, paid only in inspiration and admiration.
Each year Upfest receives over 700 applications for the 300 live painting spots, with 100 of those spots reserved for local Bristol artists. Although the festival only lasts three days, the artwork left behind, stays with the city and becomes an integral, talked about part of the community. North Street is transformed into a bustling, creative centre for the festival, with its quirky bars and cafe’s opening up to host different music and art events.
The infamous Tobacco Factory is Upfest’s original and largest indoor venue, offering painting and music spaces, art sales, urban clothing and a food market. Other venues that will open their doors for the festival include The Old Bookshop, The Hare, The Spotted Cow and Red Point Climbing Centre which has some of the biggest wall spaces of the event. Painters can also be seen embracing the outdoors at South Street Park where huge boards are erected to display the street art and, if you’ve ever wanted to give graffiti a go, you could attend one of Miss C’s Graffiti Academy, which aims to give both young and old the chance to pick up some spray skills.
To apply to be part of this truly different festival, you can register online here. If successful, international applications will be informed my 21st March, whilst artists from the UK will find out on 31st March.