Upfest – A Bristol Festival of Street Art

This weekend saw our first ‘Upfest‘ – an urban street art festival based just around the corner from us in Southville, Bristol.  I got a little bit snap happy with all the colour surrounding us, and thought I’d share some of the pictures here.

Upfest is an annual festival, which has taken place every year on the first weekend of June since 2008.  Boards are erected especially for the paint jam, which also takes place on shop shutters and the sides of buildings, and attracts hundreds of graffiti artists from all over.

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012

Upfest Bristol 2012
After working our way down North Street we ended up at the Tobacco Factory, which hosted DJ’s, beatboxers, bands and market stalls.

However as much as we all appreciated the paintings, the party atmosphere was a tad on the loud side for us and we retreated to The Hare, where we could sit and chat quietly, and relax!

16 thoughts on “Upfest – A Bristol Festival of Street Art

  1. We ventured home for an hour or two this week and saw the signs, unfortunately we didn’t realise how amazing it was otherwise we would have looked further.

    Lovely blog

    1. Thanks Shani 🙂

      There was a lot of good stuff, though I think the ones I was most impressed with were on the buildings and shutters – so at least they will be there for a while!

  2. It seems like there was a lot of action going on. It also feels a bit angry from the pictures. It’s interesting that the event is called “Upfest” which feels well, happy. I’ve always thought of street art as a kind of commentary on the world as the artist sees it. From this small sample of pics it seems quite negative. Just curious if you saw any art that felt more “rainbows and puppies?” Your post gave me a little something to think about. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    1. I wouldn’t call them angry, as such, but I see what you mean. I didn’t see any rainbows and puppies, but I guess that image doesn’t really go with graffiti normally does it? Or maybe it does! There are a few more cartoony pictures around, however these I thought looked more photogenic – some of the others were covered in scaffold while they were being painted, so maybe I’ll pop back later 🙂

  3. Wow these are incredible. I would have loved to see these in person!! I especially like your photo with the dinosaur – It looks like it’s about to bite the artist’s head.

    1. I would’ve even gone back for more photos the next day if it weren’t raining so much!

  4. I love graffiti and I can certainly appreciate a celebration of street art.
    Coming from New York I grew up surrounded by it. It was great to see public art forms of expressions. Now most of the streets have been cleared of it, but have seen a recent comeback in a political way. I love this and hope to see more of it. Thanks for sharing, this looks like a great event.

    1. Thanks Alma! I think when it’s done well it can look really good, it’s nice to live in an area where it’s celebrated and appreciated 🙂

  5. Wow, what a fantastic event and such great artwork. Love the sneer on the face in that last photo and the angle you used to make the dinosaur appear to be biting the artist!

    1. Thanks! I saved those two until the end as I like those two best too. I couldn’t believe the scale of some of them and how the artists managed to keep the perspective!

  6. WOW! Thanks for the photos. This is a really great concept and a fun way to showcase the talents of your street artists!

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