Bristol Harbour Festival reveal full 2022 programme

Bristol Harbour Festival reveal full 2022 programme

Posted on: 27 Jun 2022

Bristol’s flag ‘ship’ event, the Bristol Harbour Festival, returns to the city from 15 to 17 July to celebrate its 50th anniversary.


The event will have nine different performance areas, including the Bristol Music Stage – which will feature local favourites like Dazee, Black Roots and Doreen Doreen – and the Circus Playground in Queen Square hosted by Cirque Bijou.


This year is a mix of familiar favourites and new attractions, filling one and a half miles of the city with music, vessels, food markets, circus acts, live music and performers. This year, Ebb & Flow, an inclusive programme showcasing community collaborations and emerging and established creative voices will also feature throughout the festival.


Bristol Music Stage, Lloyds Amphitheatre

This year will see the Bristol Music Stage showcase long-loved Bristol acts – many of whom are celebrating key anniversaries this year.


Admirably, it will champion the city’s incredible female DJs with Queen Bee taking to the decks throughout the weekend and Dazee headlining Saturday night’s programme.


Bristol Community Big Band will start the proceedings on Saturday with their funk and swing classics, followed by jazz and soul-inspired singer-songwriter Sam Lindo and festival favourite Opa Rosa, who will bring the dazzling instrumental dance music of Eastern Europe to Bristol.


James Morton's Groove Den & bhangra band RSVP will continue the party. Early 80’s post-punk rock legends Blue Aeroplanes will follow, before St Pauls’ very own Black Roots – a crucial part of the emerging British reggae scene in the 1970s – take to the stage.


Closing out Saturday will be one of the UK’s most acclaimed jungle and drum & bass DJs, Dazee. She has remained at the top of UK drum & bass culture for thirty years, with her Ruffneck Ting record label continuing to keep the jungle flame burning as brightly as ever.


On Sunday, the Amphitheatre will come to life with Makala Cheung, a proud Knowle Wester who will open the show with her song Boombox, inspired by stories of Filwood and Knowle West residents.


Closing the event is 1982 flamboyantly theatrical music legends Doreen Doreen, will delight with their reimagining of rock and pop classics in celebration of their 40th anniversary.


Centre Stage, Cascade Steps

Acoustic music will be at the heart of the Floating Harbour as, from Saturday, the stunning backdrop of the harbour showcases Bass Choir, The Mighty Shinkickers, Maaike Siegerist, and Bristol’s very own faux-French trans-Balkan folk band, Frome en Feu, headlining the evening with their pan-European dance tunes.


On Sunday expect afrobeat rhythms from Lebo Montshiwa, old-school reggae from Onika Venus and folk and roots from Barry Walsh.


Taynee Lord & The Crookes and Tony Moore will hit the stage Sunday afternoon before driving drum beats, intricate guitar riffs and soaring vocals are on display from Alesund.


Brunel’s SS Great Britain: Albion Dockyard and Brunel Square

For the first time ever, there will be free entry to the Albion Dockyard at Hanover Place throughout the weekend, where staff and volunteers from the SS Great Britain Trust will welcome guests to the 540ft-long Grade-II listed dock for unique views of the working shipyard and harbour.


Tall Ship Fridtjof Nansen will be in the dry dock with the crew inviting people aboard to hear about the work of youth development charity, Seas Your Future.


On Brunel Square, a new year-long outdoor photography exhibition is set to open for the Festival, showcasing Bristol’s global connections through the Albion Dock and the SS Great Britain. Food and drink, including a summer barbecue, will make the most of the harbour views.


As of Ebb & Flow, on Saturday Caring in Bristol will present an installation on Brunel Square; and on Sunday, Bristol Refugee Festival will provide music and performances.


The Matthew, Underfall Yard

The world premiere of The Hamlet Voyage, a one-of-a-kind theatrical critique of the very beginnings of British colonial ambitions, is coming to the Festival - performed on Bristol's famous ship, The Matthew, which will be docked at Underfall Yard Cafe for this special event.


Limited seats will be available aboard The Matthew with plenty more on the shore of Underfall Yard Cafe. The Matthew will also feature African drumming workshops and an evening music programme.


On The Water, Bristol Harbourside


Showcasing the city’s incredible maritime heritage, the historic floating harbour takes pride of place during the weekend, celebrating its rich history with free, family-friendly activities programmed on the water’s edge. Eight visiting Tall Ships will join a host of vessels for the weekend.


The Young Shipwrights will open the event on Saturday, releasing their boats into the harbour, followed by the legendary Cardboard Boat Race where teams battle it out to bring their handmade vessels home.


Circus Playground, Queen Square

Circus, comedy street theatre and family workshops will be on offer in Queen Square thanks to Bristol’s own Cirque Bijou. The team will transform the Square into a highly accessible and exciting place for families to enjoy a range of performances and activities.


Hosted by hilarious Bristolian comperes Loz Because and Marky Jay, the circus stage programme includes a range of emerging and world-class artists.


The bill includes cabaret acts Khadia and Eden – extraordinary child contortionists who have been training together since lockdown; Threeterboard – a high-flying teeterboard act who have recently performed in Bristol with Revel Pucks Circus; and brothers Bibi and Bichu - a world-class juggling duo who started out as street performers in Ethiopia.


Around the rest of Queen Square, there will be activities including circus workshops from Circomedia, climbing frames, face painting, water play, comedy and much more, all with BSL interpretation throughout.


Dances, Millennium Square

The Bristol Dances Stage, curated by Trinity, have an incredible programme featuring everything from street dance to swing.


Saturday’s line-up will get Bristolians of all ages up on their feet, as it opens with Bristol’s Got Talent – a youth talent development organisation – followed by dance fitness classes set to afrobeats, soca and dancehall music.


Miss Daisy Dance Team, Anna Colette & The Average Men, Bristol Ballroom Presents, samba-inspired drummer and dance troupe, Bristol Samba and so much more will be getting the city dancing Saturday and bringing all the carnival vibes!


Sunday kicks off with a showcase responding to Trinity‘s theme of Art of Resistance: IAM13E, followed by Carnival Fitness by PILOXERCISE, Movema Community Dance - World Fusion, Musicians from Lorraine Ayensu Refugee Arts, Decolonising Memory Digital Bodies in Movement, Sublime Dance Troupe and StreetCred closing the weekend at the Dance Stage.


Spoken Word Stage, Cathedral Walk

Curated by Rebecca Tantony, with input from Malaika Kegode and hosted by them both, The Spoken Word Stage is a platform for expression, where language and music find each other.


This year, Saturday gets started with heart-fizzing poetry inventions from The Poetry Machine, where Beth Claverley will create free typewritten poems while in conversation with festival-goers.


The South West Showcase will then commence - with performances from poets, producers and spoken word artists including Cal Wensley, Millie Wood-Downie, Eve Piper and Tom Sastry. The Next Generation - Fairfield School and Bath Spa University will be leading two poetry and performance workshops with students from the Fairfield School.


This will be followed by House of Figs, a collaboration of two prominent Bristol based-artists, Beth Calverley and Bethany M. Roberts, who conjure soundscapes with layers of banjo, violin and voice for Beth Calverley’s tenderly powerful poetry.


The bill also features Nikita Gill, Saili Katebe, Sally Jenkinson, Liv Torc and multiple slam champion, beatboxer and Birmingham poet Laureate finalist Jasmine Gardosi, who will take guests through her work exploring identity, LGBTQ issues and mental health.


On Sunday the programme will feature performances again from further South West Showcase artists including Tom Denbigh, Edward Tripp, Stanley Iyanu, Kat Lyons.


The showcase will be followed by Chris Remond, Desree, Tongue Fu - Featuring The Tongue Fu Band, Rebecca Tantony, Chris White and Malaika Kegode. Closing the day will be Caleb Parkin, Muneera Pilgrim and Bristol-based rapper, poet and educator, Craft D.


Bristol Harbour Festival runs from 15-17th of July, and you can check out the full programme on their website – or check out their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date.

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at