July is always one of the busiest months of the year in Bristol and 2019 is no different! From annual festivals to one-off must-see exhibitions, plan your month with our guide to things to do.

Festivals | Family Friendly | Exhibitions | Theatre | Comedy | Live Music | Food & Drink | Sport

Festivals

Bristol Pride (1 – 14 July)

An array of events are sweeping Bristol for this year’s Pride celebrations. The main Pride Day festival is on Saturday 13 July but the whole two weeks is just as jam-packed with unmissable theatre shows, comedy, music and more. 

Bristol Pride march through the city

St Pauls Carnival (6 July)

The carnival comes to town once again on Saturday 6 July, showcasing the city’s Caribbean culture with music, food, performance and the iconic procession. 

Bristol Harbour Festival (19 – 21 July)

The biggest event in Bristol’s calendar! As always, this year’s nautical extravaganza is bursting with exciting acts and family-friendly things to do, kicking off with gigs at the Lloyds Amphitheatre by New Order and The Specials.

Cinema Rediscovered (25 – 28 July)

One for film fanatics, Cinema Rediscovered at Watershed brings together digital restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities for a four-day long celebration of cinema.

Audience at Cinema Rediscovered Bristol

Image credit: Cinema Rediscovered

River Town (11 June – 28 July)

If you love roots, Americana and country music, grab yourself a ticket to one of the River Town gigs organised by Colston Hall and St George’s Bristol. Names like Keifer Sutherland, The Shires and Lucinda Williams are on the bill for July.

Bristol Shakespeare Festival (1 – 31 July)

All through July you can catch special performances of Shakespeare-inspired theatre, circus and spoken word in unique locations, such as Shakespeare Undone on Brunel’s SS Great Britain. 

NASS Festival (11 – 14 July)

Headlined by Giggs, Rudimental and Cypress Hill, NASS Festival is about more than just the music, with street art, skate and BMX also taking centre stage.

Family Friendly

Summer Rays (20 July – 1 September)

Get to know everything there is to know about rays with Bristol Aquarium’s summer line-up of themed workshops, feeds and talks, all of which are included in the standard ticket price. 

Summer Spectacular with The Invisible Circus (20 July – 1 September)

See stories of real life passengers who travelled on Brunel’s SS Great Britain brought to life in exhilarating style by The Invisible Circus throughout summer. There will be multiple performances each day and it's also included in the admission price. 

Invisible Circus performer on the rigging at SS Great Britain

Image credit: Brunel's SS Great Britain 

Sleepy Ship at Brunel's SS Great Britain (16 July)

Settle in for a memorable sleep on board Bristol's most famous ship. The evening includes a captain's tour, activities for budding ship mates, and storytelling with hot cocoa. 

A Grand Day Out at Bristol Zoo with Wallace and Gromit (20 July - 13 October)

Join Wallace and Gromit in training to be a zookeeper. Follow the trail and complete tasks in the trainee zookeeper's handbook to collect a 'Qualified Keeper' sticker at the end. There is also a model making workshop on 29 July run by Aardman's expert team, where kids can make their own Gromit, Feathers McGraw or Shaun the Sheep. 

Friday Twilights at Bristol Zoo Gardens (5, 19 & 26 July)

Go along to a Friday Twilights night and be treated to live music, a BBQ, exclusive talks and a peek at your favourite animals outside usual opening hours.

People on lawn at Friday Twilights at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Image credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Summer holidays at We The Curious (24 July - 31 August)

This summer at We The Curious there is a special focus on climate change. A groundbreaking augmented reality experience about rewilding and the chance to create your own renewable energy machines are just a few of the experiences on offer.

Fly Through History at Aerospace Bristol (25 & 27 July)

Join one of Aerospace Bristol's expert team on a journey through the city's aerospace history, including the opportunity to step aboard a Concorde in what is the supersonic jet's 50th anniversary year. 

#BearsGoToTown Trail at Bristol Shopping Quarter (22 July - 31 August)

Some bears have escaped from the Wild Place Project's new Bear Wood and taken a trip into the city centre. Follow the free trail around Bristol Shopping Quarter to find the beautifully decorated sculptures and even give a 'bare bear' a makeover yourself.  

An Australian Summer at Longleat (20 July – 2 September)  

Meet Longleat’s new residents all the way from the land down under - koala bears! The safari park has a summer of activities and entertainment dedicated to these marvellous marsupials planned.

Exhibitions

Natural Selection at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (1 June – 1 September)

Admire a remarkable collection of objects and film related to nest-building and egg-collecting thanks to ornithology aficionados Andy and Peter Holden.

Natural Selection Exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Image credit: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Aardman: Animating Early Man at M Shed (6 July – 3 November)

Get a behind the scenes look at the making of the 2018 movie Early Man, created by Academy Award winning animation studio Aardman.

International Cricket and the SS Great Britain (25 May - 21 July)

Did you know the first All England cricket team travelled to play in Australia aboard Brunel's SS Great Britain? Retrace their voyage and learn all about the ship's role in international cricket. 

50th Moon Landing Anniversary (20 July)

There are a host of events and exhibitions marking the first lunar landing, taking place in the lead up, on the anniversary and through the rest of 2019. See them all here.

Fire: Flashes to Ashes in British Art 1692-2019 (15 June - 1 September)

Explore the symbolism of fire in British art and how it's inspired artists throughout the ages. Featuring significant artists such as J.M.W. Turner, William Blake and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, the exhibition is on show at the Royal West of England Academy

Theatre

Limina + Bristol Pride present Virtually Queer (6 & 13 July)

One of many Bristol Pride theatre highlights this year, question your notions of ‘normal’ and celebrate different ways of being at one of these virtual reality shows in collaboration with Limina - the UK's first dedicated arts VR venue. 

People wearing headsets at Limina Virtual Reality Theatre

Image credit: Jon Aitken 

Ferment Fortnight at Bristol Old Vic (8 – 20 July)

Engage with theatre that’s still a work-in-progress, lending your feedback to the local theatre-makers that take part.  

  • See what else is on at Bristol Old Vic in July.

Calendar Girls at Bristol Hippodrome (9 - 20 July)

Based on a true story, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s award-winning musical has arrived from London’s West End to Bristol Hippodrome.

An Evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes (22 July)

A chance to hear from one of the world’s greatest explorers about his pioneering adventures and record-breaking achievements.

  • See what else is on at Bristol Hippodrome in July.  

Comedy

Bristol Comedy Garden (3 – 7 July)

Gourmet street food, bars and a feel-good atmosphere complement a line-up sparkling with the brightest talent in comedy at this year’s Bristol Comedy Garden. Just a few shows have tickets left, so get yours quick!

Bar and crowds at Bristol Comedy Garden in Queen Square

Edinburgh Previews at Tobacco Factory Theatres (10 – 13 July)

Take your pick from four nights of warm up gigs for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as top comedians test out their sets on a Bristol audience: MARVELus & Gary Tro, Jayde Adams & John Hastings, Sarah Keyworth & Lorna Shaw or Glenn Moore & Adam Hess.    

Live music

Tom Jones at Bristol County Ground (13 July)

Sing along to hits like Delilah and It’s Not Unusual as Bristol County Ground gets filled with the distinctive voice of living legend Tom Jones. 

Cosmo Sheldrake + Murmuration Choir at Trinity Centre (4 July)

Esteemed multi-instrumentalist and producer Cosmo Sheldrake joins forces with the 64 member strong Murmuration Choir, one of Bristol’s most exciting vocal projects.

  • See what else is on at The Trinity Centre in July.

The Wurzels at the Grand Pier (5 July)

Enjoy a true West Country night out, dancing to Somerset’s best-known ‘scrumpy and western’ band and sipping on a variety of ciders.

Jazz on the Lower Lawns at Berkeley Castle (28 July)

Relax to the sounds of live jazz on the scenic lawns of Berkeley Castle.

The grounds and castle at Berkeley Castle

Image credit: Berkeley Castle 

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Tour: Billy Bragg (10, 11 & 12 July)

Billy Bragg is playing three nights in a row at the Fiddlers Club, with a different set list of his politically charged punk-folk for each show.

Food and drink

Aromatics Cellar Tasting at Averys Wine Merchants (24 July)

Both amateur enthusiasts and those with a cellar full of wine are invited to try eight varieties as well as specially selected cheeses at this tasting. The focus is mainly on white wine, so don't miss out if that's your go-to tipple.

Bristol Hoppers "Breweries, Brunel & Brigstow" beer tour (28 July)

The Bristol Hoppers crew have a walk through some of the oldest parts of Bristol, four stops and at least seven different locally produced beers lined up for this tour.

Beer samples on Bristol Hoppers tour

Image credit: Bristol Hoppers

Sundown Sailings with Bristol Ferry (3, 17 & 31 July)

Hop on a cruise around the Harbour with Bristol Ferry and watch the sun go down as you tuck into delicious tapas and cheeses, plus drinks. 

Sport

England vs Australia WIT20 at The Bristol County Ground (31 July)

The final match of the 2019 Ashes series is happening at The Bristol County Ground. Get tickets now to see what could be the deciding game for who takes away the trophy.  

The things to do in Bristol in July don’t stop there – for full event listings, delve into our What's On pages.

How are you spending summer in Bristol?

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