The Bristol Harbour Festival starts today. Here are some highlights:
1. In the Dance Village this year there will be two special performances; We Set Sail, by the Original Spinners, and Independence, to celebrate the anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago’s independence.
2. Belgian double act Bert and Fred will be in Castle Park presenting a ‘Washington trapeze act’, balancing on their heads while swinging on a trapeze.
3. The Friday night kicks off with a concert in Queen Square featuring acts including Bristol legend DJ Derek and international bhangra star Jassi Sidhu.
4. Queen Square will also host performances over the weekend by British reggae icons Black Roots, Emily Wright – fresh from her sell-out show at Brecon Festival, swingabilly, Balkan beats and much more.
5. Down at the Cascade Steps you will find local singer-songwriters trying out everything from folk-rock to pop, a TV-starring gospel/ Motown choir, a rock choir, jazz, latin and funk, Dave Betts Quintet, and live drum and bass from Vibatronic.
6. At the ss Great Britain from 10am-6pm on Saturday there will be storytelling, rocket building and launching workshops, as well as dressing-up sessions from Flash, Bang Wallop. The live music will be presented with BBC Radio Bristol, with headliners Nick Harper and Jane Taylor.
7. There will be a selection of bustling markets from the Continental Markets on Queen Square and Hannover Quay, to the local producers market in the Lloyds Amphitheatre.
8. The Circus Stage will see Cirque Bijou’s new Battle for the Winds performance set on a moving hotchpotch of inventions on Saturday and Sunday; last seen in Bristol as we welcomed the Olympic torch last month.
9. The Desperate Men’s Balloon Toss will be on at Castle Park on Saturday and Sunday. Watch some champion tossers in action as they compete to throw and catch water balloons over the longest distance.
10. Head to the Grain Barge for one of the festival’s longest-running fringe venues, serving up a folk, blues, soul and jazz, plus a quayside bar and food, and children’s activities.
To get you in the mood, here are some of last year’s highlights:
For the full lineup, visit www.bristolharbourfestival.co.uk. To help support the festival, you can also buy a programme for £2.