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Events and festivals

Bristol is a lively place with festivals and parties happening every week throughout the city. We thought it'd be a good idea to speak to Jo Bailey of Bailey Balloons, about her favourite bits of Bristol.

Read the interview here

Bristol is proud to host a packed programme of events with an exciting mix of music, literature, entertainment and outdoor fun. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll be guaranteed to find an event that suits every taste and age group.

See below for details on forthcoming events. For a full catalogue of what’s on in Bristol, use the Search events tool on the right.

This Month

Bridge150 at the Architecture Centre

Bridge150 at the Architecture Centre

Openings

Date

19th Jul 2014-9th Dec 2014

Inspired by this anniversary, Bridge150! presents 150 days of exciting activities to inspire, inform and involve everyone in...

Exhibition: The Promise at The Arnolfini

Exhibition: The Promise at The Arnolfini

Openings

Date

19th Jul 2014-9th Nov 2014

The Promise is an exhibition project about the relationship between a city and its residents that takes place in the...

Shadowing - Making the City Playable

Shadowing - Making the City Playable

Openings

Date

11th Sep 2014-31st Oct 2014

'Shadowing' invites you to unleash your shadow in eight spots around Bristol this Autumn

Black History Month 2014

Black History Month 2014

Openings

Date

1st Oct 2014-31st Oct 2014

A month of events in October which celebrate the culture, history and achievement of Britain’s African and Caribbean...

Exhibition: Anna Franceschini - Laws of Attraction at Spike Island

Exhibition: Anna Franceschini - Laws of Attraction at Spike Island

Openings

Date

4th Oct 2014-14th Dec 2014

New exhibition at Spike Island with the Italian filmmaker Anna Franceschini harnesses the illusionist potential of ‘motion...

Dead Dog In A Suitcase at Bristol Old Vic

Dead Dog In A Suitcase at Bristol Old Vic

Openings

Date

8th Oct 2014-25th Oct 2014

The ever-inventive Kneehigh return to Bristol with their blazing new show. Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be one...

Puccini's Madame Butterfly at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Puccini's Madame Butterfly at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Openings

Date

8th Oct 2014-25th Oct 2014

One of the most popular and best-loved operas in the repertoire, in Madame Butterfly Puccini took a seemingly simple story...

'24 Hours in Bristol 2014' photographic exhibition at the Harbourside Arts Centre

'24 Hours in Bristol 2014' photographic exhibition at the Harbourside Arts Centre

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-31st Oct 2014

24 Hours in Bristol 2014 photographic exhibition opens at the Harbourside Arts Centre

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-1st Mar 2015

In commemoration of the start of World War I, M Shed presents this major exhibition examining the impact of global conflicts...

162 Annual Open Exhibition at the RWA

162 Annual Open Exhibition at the RWA

Openings

Date

12th Oct 2014-7th Dec 2014

The RWA ends the year in a celebratory fashion with its Annual Open Exhibition

Bristol Family Arts Festival

Bristol Family Arts Festival

Openings

Date

17th Oct 2014-2nd Nov 2014

Bristol joins the national 2014 Family Arts Festival, bringing the arts alive for families with many FREE EVENTS across the...

Wildscreen Festival

Wildscreen Festival

Internationally acknowledged as the most prestigious and influential wildlife film festival in the world.

Calamity Jane at Bristol Hippodrome

Calamity Jane at Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

21st Oct 2014-25th Oct 2014

The Bristol Hippodrome is delighted to announce the forthcoming new production of the musical Calamity Jane

Extra-Terrestrial Family Arts Festival: E.T screening at the Watershed

Extra-Terrestrial Family Arts Festival: E.T screening at the Watershed

Openings

Date

24th Oct 2014-31st Oct 2014

Fly away with Steven Spielberg's E.T. at the Watershed for Half-Term

Love Food Autumn Festival at Paintworks

Love Food Autumn Festival at Paintworks

Openings

Date

26th Oct 2014-26th Oct 2014

Love Food Festival will go back to where it all began once again to welcome one of our favourite times of the year.

The Gruffalo at Bristol Old Vic

The Gruffalo at Bristol Old Vic

Openings

Date

27th Oct 2014-29th Oct 2014

Don’t miss Tall Stories’ hit musical stage adaptation of the award winning picture book, The Gruffalo at Bristol Old Vic

Sister Act at Bristol Hippodrome

Sister Act at Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

28th Oct 2014-1st Nov 2014

From producers Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment (Hairspray, High School Musical) the smash hit musical comedy...

Simon Callow in The Man Jesus at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Simon Callow in The Man Jesus at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Openings

Date

28th Oct 2014-28th Oct 2014

Simon Callow, one of Britain’s best-loved actors, performs this fresh and moving account of biblical stories including the...

The Spooky Ship

The Spooky Ship

Openings

Date

31st Oct 2014-31st Oct 2014

Step on board the ss Great Britain after-dark and settle in for a family-friendly, Victorian fright-fest.

Fright Night at Bristol Zoo

Fright Night at Bristol Zoo

Openings

Date

31st Oct 2014-31st Oct 2014

This Halloween prepare to be terrified at Bristol Zoo’s Fright Night.

Next Month

Bridge150 at the Architecture Centre

Bridge150 at the Architecture Centre

Openings

Date

19th Jul 2014-9th Dec 2014

Inspired by this anniversary, Bridge150! presents 150 days of exciting activities to inspire, inform and involve everyone in...

Exhibition: The Promise at The Arnolfini

Exhibition: The Promise at The Arnolfini

Openings

Date

19th Jul 2014-9th Nov 2014

The Promise is an exhibition project about the relationship between a city and its residents that takes place in the...

Exhibition: Anna Franceschini - Laws of Attraction at Spike Island

Exhibition: Anna Franceschini - Laws of Attraction at Spike Island

Openings

Date

4th Oct 2014-14th Dec 2014

New exhibition at Spike Island with the Italian filmmaker Anna Franceschini harnesses the illusionist potential of ‘motion...

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-1st Mar 2015

In commemoration of the start of World War I, M Shed presents this major exhibition examining the impact of global conflicts...

162 Annual Open Exhibition at the RWA

162 Annual Open Exhibition at the RWA

Openings

Date

12th Oct 2014-7th Dec 2014

The RWA ends the year in a celebratory fashion with its Annual Open Exhibition

Bristol Family Arts Festival

Bristol Family Arts Festival

Openings

Date

17th Oct 2014-2nd Nov 2014

Bristol joins the national 2014 Family Arts Festival, bringing the arts alive for families with many FREE EVENTS across the...

Sister Act at Bristol Hippodrome

Sister Act at Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

28th Oct 2014-1st Nov 2014

From producers Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment (Hairspray, High School Musical) the smash hit musical comedy...

Bonfire Night Fireworks Displays in Bristol

Bonfire Night Fireworks Displays in Bristol

Openings

Displays

1st Nov 2014-15th Nov 2014

A roundup of all the firework displays and events taking place in Bristol across the Bonfire week 2014. Puxton Park -...

Comedy: An Evening With Noel Fielding at Colston Hall

Comedy: An Evening With Noel Fielding at Colston Hall

Openings

Date

1st Nov 2014-1st Nov 2014

Enjoy an 'Evening With Noel Fielding' at Colston Hall

The Big Draw: Brunel’s amazing inventions at Brunel's ss Great Britain

The Big Draw: Brunel’s amazing inventions at Brunel's ss Great Britain

Openings

Date

1st Nov 2014-1st Nov 2014

View Brunel’s original sketches from the ss Great Britain Trust archive!

Ballet: Coppelia at the Bristol Hippodrome

Ballet: Coppelia at the Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

4th Nov 2014-8th Nov 2014

The comic family tale of an eccentric toymaker and his mechanical doll.

An Elephant In The Garden at Tobacco Factory Theatres

An Elephant In The Garden at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Openings

Date

4th Nov 2014-15th Nov 2014

An Elephant in the Garden is Simon Reade’s new adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel

Santa's Grotto at The Galleries

Santa's Grotto at The Galleries

Openings

Date

7th Nov 2014-9th Nov 2014

Date

15th Nov 2014-16th Nov 2014

Date

22nd Nov 2014-23rd Nov 2014

Date

29th Nov 2014-30th Nov 2014

Visit Santa in his magical Grotto at the Mall Galleries.

Let The Bells Ring Out For Christmas

Let The Bells Ring Out For Christmas

Openings

Date

7th Nov 2014-7th Nov 2014

A free, family event to celebrate the switch-on of the new Park Street Christmas lights, the arrival of the Christmas tree...

Afrika Eye Film Festival

Afrika Eye Film Festival

Openings

Date

7th Nov 2014-9th Nov 2014

Afrika Eye returns in 2014 to commemorate 20 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa.

Bristol Christmas Light Switch-On

Bristol Christmas Light Switch-On

Openings

Date

7th Nov 2014-7th Nov 2014

Start Christmas off with a bang with the Switch-On of Bristol city centre's Christmas lights at Cabot Circus

Bristol's German Christmas Market

Bristol's German Christmas Market

Openings

Date

7th Nov 2014-22nd Dec 2014

Soak up the Christmas atmosphere at the fabulous German market, find unique gifts and treat yourself to waffles, crepes and...

Winter Ice Rink at At-Bristol

Winter Ice Rink at At-Bristol

Openings

Date

8th Nov 2014-7th Jan 2015

Give skating a whirl on real ice under the giant bauble that is the At-Bristol Planetarium

War Game at Bristol Old Vic Studio

War Game at Bristol Old Vic Studio

Openings

Date

11th Nov 2014-22nd Nov 2014

This devised adaptation is timed to be part of the centenary memorials of the start of World War 1 at Bristol Old Vic

Clifton Village Light Switch-On

Clifton Village Light Switch-On

Openings

Date

12th Nov 2014-12th Nov 2014

Come and watch the Clifton Village Light Switch-On including Christmas Street decoration Lights and 50ft Christmas Tree with...

December

Bridge150 at the Architecture Centre

Bridge150 at the Architecture Centre

Openings

Date

19th Jul 2014-9th Dec 2014

Inspired by this anniversary, Bridge150! presents 150 days of exciting activities to inspire, inform and involve everyone in...

Exhibition: Anna Franceschini - Laws of Attraction at Spike Island

Exhibition: Anna Franceschini - Laws of Attraction at Spike Island

Openings

Date

4th Oct 2014-14th Dec 2014

New exhibition at Spike Island with the Italian filmmaker Anna Franceschini harnesses the illusionist potential of ‘motion...

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-1st Mar 2015

In commemoration of the start of World War I, M Shed presents this major exhibition examining the impact of global conflicts...

162 Annual Open Exhibition at the RWA

162 Annual Open Exhibition at the RWA

Openings

Date

12th Oct 2014-7th Dec 2014

The RWA ends the year in a celebratory fashion with its Annual Open Exhibition

Bristol's German Christmas Market

Bristol's German Christmas Market

Openings

Date

7th Nov 2014-22nd Dec 2014

Soak up the Christmas atmosphere at the fabulous German market, find unique gifts and treat yourself to waffles, crepes and...

Winter Ice Rink at At-Bristol

Winter Ice Rink at At-Bristol

Openings

Date

8th Nov 2014-7th Jan 2015

Give skating a whirl on real ice under the giant bauble that is the At-Bristol Planetarium

Winter Wonderland at The Mall Cribbs Causeway

Winter Wonderland at The Mall Cribbs Causeway

Openings

Date

13th Nov 2014-11th Jan 2015

Experience the magic of Christmas at The Mall Cribbs Causeway’s Winter Wonderland this year.

Magic Elves at Bristol Old Vic Studio

Magic Elves at Bristol Old Vic Studio

Openings

Date

26th Nov 2014-4th Jan 2015

After the success of last year’s Antarctica, the Bristol Old Vic Studio is once again transformed into a magical winter...

101 Dalmatians at Tobacco Factory Theatres

101 Dalmatians at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Openings

Date

26th Nov 2014-11th Jan 2015

Some dogs look like their owners, or is it that some owners look like their dogs? And who really owns who – do dogs secretly...

Swallows & Amazons at Bristol Old Vic

Swallows & Amazons at Bristol Old Vic

Openings

Date

27th Nov 2014-17th Jan 2015

This winter go all aboard The Swallow! at Bristol Old Vic

Alice in Wonderland and What She Found There...at the Redgrave Theatre

Alice in Wonderland and What She Found There...at the Redgrave Theatre

Openings

Date

28th Nov 2014-18th Dec 2014

This family Christmas show tells the ever-popular story of Alice’s encounters with the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the...

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Openings

Date

28th Nov 2014-21st Dec 2014

Westonbirt Arboretum's Enchanted Christmas features a spectacular one mile illuminated trail, highlighting the striking...

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Openings

Date

29th Nov 2014-22nd Feb 2015

Encounter the rich array of wildlife on our planet in this world-renowned photography exhibition from the Natural History...

Santa's Grotto at The Galleries

Santa's Grotto at The Galleries

Openings

Date

1st Dec 2014-24th Dec 2014

Visit Santa in his magical Grotto at the Mall Galleries.

Christmas at the Spiegeltent

Christmas at the Spiegeltent

Openings

Date

4th Dec 2014-21st Dec 2014

2014 will be Christmas at the Spiegeltent’s 3rd year in Waterfront Square on Bristol Harbourside and the line-up of live...

Christmas Local Market

Christmas Local Market

Openings

Date

4th Dec 2014-22nd Dec 2014

Bristol Local Christmas Market consists of 20 chalet-style stalls in Broadmead West, next to Bristol's German Christmas...

Comedy: Alan Davies - Little Victories at Colston Hall

Comedy: Alan Davies - Little Victories at Colston Hall

Openings

Date

5th Dec 2014-5th Dec 2014

One of the best stand-up comics out there is back with its follow-up, Little Victories

Twilight and Illuminations Tour with City Sightseeing

Twilight and Illuminations Tour with City Sightseeing

Openings

Date

6th Dec 2014-6th Dec 2014

Date

13th Dec 2014-13th Dec 2014

Date

20th Dec 2014-20th Dec 2014

Experience the thrill of a twilight bus journey through Bristol's vivid and eclectic landscape.

Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade

Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade

Openings

Date

6th Dec 2014-6th Dec 2014

The annual Winter Lantern Parade will light up the streets of Bedminster on Saturday 6th December at 4.30pm starting from...

The Harbourside Christmas Market

The Harbourside Christmas Market

Openings

Date

6th Dec 2014-7th Dec 2014

Date

13th Dec 2014-14th Dec 2014

Date

20th Dec 2014-21st Dec 2014

Something magical is happening down at the Harbourside this Christmas…

January

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-1st Mar 2015

In commemoration of the start of World War I, M Shed presents this major exhibition examining the impact of global conflicts...

Winter Ice Rink at At-Bristol

Winter Ice Rink at At-Bristol

Openings

Date

8th Nov 2014-7th Jan 2015

Give skating a whirl on real ice under the giant bauble that is the At-Bristol Planetarium

Winter Wonderland at The Mall Cribbs Causeway

Winter Wonderland at The Mall Cribbs Causeway

Openings

Date

13th Nov 2014-11th Jan 2015

Experience the magic of Christmas at The Mall Cribbs Causeway’s Winter Wonderland this year.

Magic Elves at Bristol Old Vic Studio

Magic Elves at Bristol Old Vic Studio

Openings

Date

26th Nov 2014-4th Jan 2015

After the success of last year’s Antarctica, the Bristol Old Vic Studio is once again transformed into a magical winter...

101 Dalmatians at Tobacco Factory Theatres

101 Dalmatians at Tobacco Factory Theatres

Openings

Date

26th Nov 2014-11th Jan 2015

Some dogs look like their owners, or is it that some owners look like their dogs? And who really owns who – do dogs secretly...

Swallows & Amazons at Bristol Old Vic

Swallows & Amazons at Bristol Old Vic

Openings

Date

27th Nov 2014-17th Jan 2015

This winter go all aboard The Swallow! at Bristol Old Vic

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Openings

Date

29th Nov 2014-22nd Feb 2015

Encounter the rich array of wildlife on our planet in this world-renowned photography exhibition from the Natural History...

Pantomime: Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome

Pantomime: Dick Whittington at the Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

6th Dec 2014-5th Jan 2015

The countdown is on to the ultimate tail of wags to riches, Dick Whittington - this year’s award winning spectacular family...

Santa's Little Trolls at the Brewery Theatre

Santa's Little Trolls at the Brewery Theatre

Openings

Date

10th Dec 2014-4th Jan 2015

A magical extravaganza from Pickled Image, especially for the festive season

War Horse at The Bristol Hippodrome

War Horse at The Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

14th Jan 2015-14th Feb 2015

The National Theatre brings its sell-out production of War Horse, co-directed by Bristol’s Tom Morris and Marianne Elliot to...

February

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-1st Mar 2015

In commemoration of the start of World War I, M Shed presents this major exhibition examining the impact of global conflicts...

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Openings

Date

29th Nov 2014-22nd Feb 2015

Encounter the rich array of wildlife on our planet in this world-renowned photography exhibition from the Natural History...

War Horse at The Bristol Hippodrome

War Horse at The Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

14th Jan 2015-14th Feb 2015

The National Theatre brings its sell-out production of War Horse, co-directed by Bristol’s Tom Morris and Marianne Elliot to...

Comedy: Ross Noble - Tangentleman at Colston Hall

Comedy: Ross Noble - Tangentleman at Colston Hall

Openings

Date

6th Feb 2015-6th Feb 2015

Following 14 sell-out tours, the king of improvisational comedy Ross Noble is back with another mind-blowing UK tour

Wicked at the Bristol Hippodrome

Wicked at the Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

18th Feb 2015-21st Mar 2015

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their...

March

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Exhibition: Moved by Conflict - Bristol and the First World War: lives changed forever at M Shed

Openings

Date

11th Oct 2014-1st Mar 2015

In commemoration of the start of World War I, M Shed presents this major exhibition examining the impact of global conflicts...

Wicked at the Bristol Hippodrome

Wicked at the Bristol Hippodrome

Openings

Date

18th Feb 2015-21st Mar 2015

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their...