Ready for dancing to live music, tucking into delicious street food and sipping pints of cider in the sunshine? Bristol’s festival calendar is especially jam-packed in 2022, with some of the city’s best-loved shindigs making a return alongside exciting new events.

In fact, there’s a festival for everything in Bristol, from ballooning to street art, cider to cinema. Avoid any inkling of Glastonbury FOMO with our festival picks for the coming months…

Jump to April | May | June | July | August | September | November

April

Hopyard (14 & 15 April)

There’ll be 12 Bristol breweries to discover at new beer festival Hopyard, including Moor Beer Co, Wiper & True and Left Handed Giant. Based at former torpedo hangar turned event venue Propyard, Maxxi Soundsystem will be curating the music and Pizzarova, Loki Poke and Jafra Kitchen will be providing incredible eats to go with your pints.

If the sound of this floats your boat, check out the East Bristol Brewery Trail the following weekend too.

Propyard Bristol

Image - Propyard

Bristol Folk Festival (29 April – 1 May)

There’s an exceptional bill of artists for this year’s Bristol Folk Festival, topped by headliners Kate Rusby, O’Hooley & Tidow, Jon Boden and Kitty Macfarlane. Opening at Clifton Cathedral, St George’s Bristol forms the heart of the festival over the rest of the weekend, with ceilidhs and upbeat sets at nearby Bristol Folk House.

May

Bristol Walk Fest (1 – 31 May)

From heritage and nature walks to woodland story times, Bristol Walk Fest offers tons of ways to explore the city and surrounding area on foot. Most events are free and there’s something in the programme for all ages, interests, backgrounds and fitness levels.

Walkfest - Bristol festival summer line-up

Image - Bristol Walkfest, credit Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust

Bristol New Music (5 – 8 May)

Bristol New Music is a city-wide festival of contemporary music and sound. Enjoy four days of newly commissioned works, sonic responses to rarely used spaces, landmark concert hall programmes, club nights, gallery exhibitions and film programmes.

Mayfest (13 – 29 May)

Bristol’s boundary-blurring festival of contemporary theatre is back for 2022. Expect unusual, playful and ambitious live performance from artists all over the world, with shows priced on a pay-what-you-can basis.

Foodies Festival Bristol (20 – 22 May)

The UK’s biggest touring food festival takes place on The Downs in May. Watch top chefs cooking live and sharing culinary tips, feast in Street Food Avenue, buy goodies from local artisan producers and boogie along to live music from disco queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Lee Ryan & Simon Webbe from boy band Blue.

Prosecco van at Foodies Festival

Image - Foodies Festival

Dot To Dot Festival (28 May) 

Spend a day discovering new favourite bands on stages across the city at Dot To Dot Festival. Acts announced so far include Squid, Ghetts and Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn.

Upfest (28 & 29 May)

Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival is taking over Greville Smyth Park for the first time in 2022. Head there for live painting and music, with more painting at festival hubs Tobacco Factory and Ashton Gate Stadium. Look out for murals emerging across Bedminster in the lead up too.

Upfest sessions - bristol festival summer lineup

Image - Jody Upfest 2018, photo by Feral Things

June

Love Saves The Day (3 & 4 June)

Get down to Ashton Court Estate for a boogey at the biggest Love Saves The Day yet – the first in its new home as the festival turns 10. There are 10 stages to bounce between and over 175 acts, including huge names like Chase & Status, Bicep, Andy C, Shy FX, Caroline Polachek and Arlo Parks.

Woman dancing at Love Saves The Day festival

Image - Love Saves The Day, credit Plaster

Forest Live at Westonbirt (9 – 12 June)

For a memorable live music experience, book a ticket to one of the Forest Live gigs in the enchanting setting of Westonbirt Arboretum. Rag’n’Bone Man and Madness are sold out but there’s still a chance to catch Keane on Friday 10 June and Texas on Sunday 12 June.

Bristol Craft Beer Festival (10 & 11 June)

An epic variety of beers from local breweries, alongside national and international big hitters, will be on offer at this year’s Craft Beer Festival. Spend two days comparing brews on the Harbourside to the sound of DJ Spoony, Beardyman and Bristol's Saffron Records, topped off with local food including festival-exclusive dishes in the new-for-2022 firepit area.

Beers on Bristol harbour

Image - Bristol Craft Beer Festival

Bristol Comedy Garden (15 – 19 June)

Get ready to laugh yourselves silly over a cider or two on The Downs for the tenth anniversary of Bristol Comedy Garden. Bursting with bars, gourmet street food and a whole lot of good times, the comedy wonderland has an outrageously good line-up featuring Aisling Bea, Nish Kumar, James Acaster, Sindhu Vee and more.

Bristol Sounds (22 – 27 June)

Dance on the dockside during Bristol Sounds’ series of al fresco Harbourside gigs in the Lloyds Amphitheatre. The glittering line-up features Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Confidence Man (22 June), Paolo Nutini (sold out for 23 June), Elbow (24 June), Jungle (25 June), First Aid Kit & Katy J Pearson (26 June) and The War on Drugs (27 June).  

Bristol Sounds - Bristol's summer festival line-up

Image - Bristol Sounds, credit Paul Box

Bristol Pride (25 June – 10 July)

Prepare for an action-packed Bristol Pride fortnight, with exciting events ranging from the ever-popular dog show to comedy, circus, theatre and the Queer Vision Film Festival. The main Pride Day festival on Saturday 9 July will kick off with a rainbow-coloured march through the city, culminating with a spectacular party on The Downs with live music and entertainment including Priyanka, Katrina of the Waves and Abba Inferno.  

Weston Air Festival (25 – 26 June)

Be wowed by aerobatic talent at the Weston Air Festival, where world-class air displays meet good old fashioned seaside fun and activities. 

Cider Salon Bristol (28 June – 3 July)

Where better to drink down thy cider and sample a few more than in the city of cider itself? The Cider Salon will host six days of talks, tastings and dinners at spaces across Bristol. Alongside the main tasting event, there will also be a city-wide programme of fringe activities.

July

Americana Fest at the American Museum (1 – 3 July)

Just in time for Independence Day celebrations, the American Museum near Bath has lined up an amazing bill of US comedians and Americana music encompassing folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll.

St Pauls Carnival (2 – 10 July)

While St Pauls Carnival won’t fully return to its usual shimmering, spirited form until 2023, this year there will be summer activities and community events bringing people together in celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture. Look out for programme announcements soon.

St Pauls Carnival

Image - St Pauls Carnival, credit David Tidman Photography

NASS Festival (7 – 10 July)

This adrenaline-fuelled action sports and music festival takes place at Royal Bath & West Showground. Heavyweight music legends play alongside up-and-coming British talent in drum and bass, dance, hip hop and grime, while global BMX riders and skaters battle it out against a street art-covered backdrop.

Smoked & Uncut Festival at THE PIG-near Bath (9 July)

Venture to the Mendip Hills to party at idyllic country hotel THE PIG-near Bath. They’ve got Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra headlining the show, with homemade festi-food, local ales and plenty of cocktails on offer too.

Bristol Harbour Festival (15 – 17 July)

Spanning from Underfall Yard all the way to Cascade Steps, Thekla and Queen Square, head to the Harbourside for the 50th anniversary edition of this family-friendly dance, music and arts extravaganza.

This year’s nautical knees-up will be themed around ‘Ebb and Flow’, looking at the changing face of the city in line with the transformation of the harbour over the last half a century. The full programme is yet to be revealed but expect live music, comedy, aerial acts, circus performers, markets and general maritime fun. Plus, there are three Bristol Beacon Presents gigs to get you in the spirit in the lead up – Nile Rodgers & CHIC on 13 and 14 July, Belle and Sebastian on 15 July. 

Boats with bunting on at Bristol Harbour Festival

Image - Bristol Harbour Festival, credit Paul Box

Cinema Rediscovered (20 – 24 July)

Organised by Watershed, Cinema Rediscovered brings digital restorations, contemporary classics and some rarities from the archive and presents them to audiences in their full film glory on the big screen.

Siren Bristol (29 & 30 July)

Dance music fans will want to be in town for new two-day event Siren. On the Friday, Groove Armada will play a 25th anniversary show against the enigmatic backdrop of Bristol’s harbour. Hospitality on the Harbour take over on the Saturday, bringing Hybrid Minds (+ Tempza), Kings of the Rollers, High Contrast and more drum and bass heavyweights to the stage.

Fields of Fantasy Festival (29 – 31 July)

A weekend of music and magic awaits at Fields of Fantasy. Discover a woodland maze, walkabout theatre, a floating restaurant, wood-fired hot tubs and wellbeing experiences on top of a line-up of electronic acts.

August

Valley Fest (4 – 7 August)

Pull on your sparkly dancing wellies for this family-friendly foodie festival in the Mendip Hills, overlooking Chew Valley Lake. This year’s headliners are Travis, Clean Bandit, Faithless, Kosheen and The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club. As well as the music, expect chef demos, a Sunday feast, lots of kid-friendly activities, a new Arcadia experience and a Dolly Parton fancy dress code.

Group of friends sitting on grass at Valley Fest

Image - Valley Fest, credit Louis Smith

Weston-super-Mare Shanty and Folk Festival (5 – 7 August) 

Folk music and shanty singing will be filling venues in Weston-super-Mare at this three-day festival, with pirate fancy dress heartily encouraged. 

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (11 – 14 August)

One of the highlights of the summer calendar, this free four-day family-friendly event is the largest of its kind in Europe, with mass ascents of over 100 hot air balloons scheduled for early morning and teatime each day, plus Night Glow shows and fireworks. Visitors can look forward to fairground rides, entertainment, live music and awe-inspiring aerial displays, all set in the beautiful grounds of Ashton Court Estate.

Bristol balloon fiesta - bristol summer festival line-up

Image - Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, credit Paul Box

September

FORWARDS (3 & 4 September)

Jamie XX and The Chemical Brothers headline this new festival on The Downs. They’ll be joined by big names like Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Khruangbin and Caribou, as well as exciting emerging artists.

Alongside incredible musical moments, FORWARDS plans to inspire positive change with space for discussion and debate. Charlie XCX is the latest act to be announced, a star who embodies the festival's essence of urgent conversations side by side with music. 

Bristol Sea Shanty Festival (17 September)

Watch sea shanty bands perform in the fittingly nautical setting of Bristol Harbourside, at venues like Brunel's SS Great Britain and Underfall Yard.  

Encounters Film Festival (27 September – 2 October)

The UK’s leading short film, animation and virtual reality festival will be made up of screenings, features, special guests, Q&As and headline events, alongside an intensive industry event programme with masterclasses and workshops.

November

Afrika Eye Festival (9 – 17 November)

Afrika Eye Festival is the biggest celebration of African cinema and culture in the South West. This year’s theme is Untold Stories and the programme will feature screenings with guest speakers and panel discussions at Watershed, plus live music, dance, a photographic exhibition and a Taste of Afrika event with food in venues across the city. 

Woman flicking hair - Afrika Eye Festival

Image - Afrika Eye Festival

Cary Grant Comes Home Festival (18 – 20 November)  

Cary Grant started life as Archie Leach in Horfield, Bristol and this biennial festival celebrates his roots in the city. The theme for 2022 will be Class, exploring Grant’s incredible journey from working class poverty to the epitome of Hollywood elegance and style.

Discover even more Bristol festivals.

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