Unicorns are running wild across Bristol!

With lovingly painted unicorns going out around Bristol as we speak, everyone is getting ready for unicorn-spotting season – here’s all the info you need.

Unicornfest 2023 is a brand-new arts trail coming to Bristol this weekend; featuring 60 hand-painted unicorns with designs picked from among over 200 entries by local artists.

The trail celebrates Bristol’s 650th anniversary – and is also an effort to raise money for Leukaemia Care, the UK’s leading leukaemia charity. The trail starts this Saturday, so unicorn-spotters should start getting ready – here’s all the information you need to track down all 60.

1. The Map

The map of the trail, which will show you which unicorns are located where, will be going on sale between the end of this week and the start of next week. The maps will cost £1, but all the money raised by the sale of the maps will be going straight to Leukaemia Care.

There will also be an online web version of the map on the Unicornfest website – as well as...

2. The App

Alongside the trail, Unicornfest will release a custom-made app built in partnership with local software development and design agency Rocketmakers.

The app will be completely free to download – speaking on this, Leukaemia Care’s Director of Fundraising said: “to make this trail as inclusive as possible, the app is free to download. If people enjoy the trail, please think about making a donation to Leukaemia Care.”

The app will be releasing just after, if not alongside, the maps in the week to come – and will include special features, like a collectable 3D “stickerbook” that trail-followers can collect by scanning QR codes position with each unicorn.

3. The Party

This is a big event for Bristol, and for Leukaemia Care, so it’s no surprise that there are celebrations involved!

IKEA, who are partnered with Unicornfest to provide a space for the ‘foals’ – smaller unicorns designed by schools across Bristol – will be hosting a party to kick off the trail between 10am and 5pm.

Alongisde the foals, they’ll be debuting their own two unicorns, Attic Treasure (designed by IKEA staff member Natasha Tallon) & Lunarcorn – and the festivities will include a carousel, a coconut shy, face painting, candy floss, a DJ and more!

4. The Auction

Unfortunately, the unicorns can’t rest in Bristol’s garden forever, and the time will eventually come for them to move on. When they do, a Farewell Party will take place at Propyard across the 23rd and 24th of September.

That’ll be your last chance to get a proper look at all the Unicorns before the final big event – the auction. This is a great chance to raise some serious money for Leukaemia Care, so keep an eye out for your favourite unicorn – you could go home with it!

The Unicornfest auction will also take place at Propyard, Thursday October 5th.