Bristol Harbour Festival launch 50th Anniversary community events programme

Bristol Harbour Festival launch 50th Anniversary community events programme

Posted on: 15 Jun 2022

This year's theme, 'Ebb and Flow', will explore the changing face of Bristol and its iconic Harbourside.


Organisers behind Bristol Harbour Festival have revealed the details of an extensive community programme taking place this summer, in celebration of the event's milestone 50th Anniversary.


As part of the festival itself, taking place from 15-17 July, a lineup of community collaborations and emerging creative voices will feature as part of a broad celebration of Bristol history and the development of the city over the last half-century.


Under this year's theme, 'Ebb and Flow', the Harbour Festival aims to further its engagement with the diverse range of communities that call Bristol home, and champion them throughout the event.



Working in collaboration with a range of people and organisations, this year's Harbour Festival will see striking installations put up around the Harbourside, creative a performative and interactive trail reflecting Bristol in its entirety.


Bristol homelessness and housing support charities Caring in Bristol and CHAS will be working alongside local artist Rachael Clerke to shine a light on thousands of Bristolians who live in precarious housing situations.


Their interactive space will invite locals to take part in a unique awards ceremony, taking place close to the SS Great Britain during the festival, which will celebrate stories of housing achievements, big and small, from communities across the city.


Elsewhere, Bristol Older People's Forum will be collaborating with poet Malaika Kewgode to create a collaborative poem for display around the Harbour, and Bristol Refugee Festival will work with visual artists to create their own interpretations of the 'Ebb and Flow' festival theme.


A group of young people from the West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL) will link up with renowned sound designer and composer Dom Coyote to create a dedicated break/rest area as part of the festival.


Bristol School of Acting and A Banner for Bristol will also be taking part, with the latter set to host a workshop on the theme of activism in Bristol, curated in partnership with Trinity Centre's Art of Resistance programme.

Bristol Harbour Festival's 50th Anniversary celebrations are set to attract thousands of visitors to central Bristol this summer. Photo: Paul BoxBristol Harbour Festival's 50th Anniversary celebrations are set to attract thousands of visitors to central Bristol this summer. Photo: Paul Box


Speaking ahead of this year's festival, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “This is a very special year for Bristol Harbour Festival - not only are we celebrating its 50th anniversary, but it is also the first to take place since the start of the pandemic.


“Since 1971, communities from across Bristol have celebrated the special setting of the harbour and docks. Five decades on, our city’s diverse and creative talent comes together for one of the biggest outdoor family events of the year.


“Free to enjoy for all, the festival brings together some of the best of our city’s exceptional culture, as we share in our sense of community and place.”


Liz Counsell, Project Manager for Ebb and Flow, added: “Bristol Harbour has massive historical importance in the city, and has a role as an iconic cultural hub.


“We have developed a programme to welcome and invite everyone in the city to add their unique perspectives on life in Bristol, and we are excited to showcase work by emerging and established artists as they create interventions across the festival.


“The Ebb and Flow project reflects the festival’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity and will be a great addition to the programme in the festival’s 50th year.”


More information on Bristol Harbour Festival's 2022 Ebb and Flow programme can be found via the festival's website.


Alternatively, to find out more or to follow updates during the buildup to July's 50th Anniversary celebrations, find Bristol Harbour Festival on Instagram.


Main Image: Paul Box

Read more:



Article by:

Matt Robson


Editor - & LOUD Magazine

Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at