There’s a funky and free four-day bank holiday festival happening at a local indie pub

There’s a funky and free four-day bank holiday festival happening at a local indie pub

Posted on: 27 Mar 2024

The Volunteer Tavern, a local independent pub in Central Bristol, are hosting a miniature festival across all four days of the bank holiday weekend.


The Volunteer Tavern is a beloved community pub tucked away on New Street, in-between Cabot Circus and Old Market. It was the first Living Wage pub in Bristol, and is loved by locals for its vibrant atmosphere, great selection of beers – and its excellent programme of regular events.


Now, the Volly (as it’s often referred to) is kicking things back up a notch with their annual four-day extravaganza of theatre, music, parties, food, and quizzes – the Volly Beer Fest.

As the name suggests, the Beer Fest will play host to over 40 ales and ciders, with a special tap takeover by Bath craft brewers Electric Bear. With that many beers and ciders on offer, the Volly have also thought to offer the perfect food pairing – fried chicken.


As for the events on offer, it’s a smorgasbord of fun and worth mentioning it’s all free entry. Kicking off the festivities on Thursday 28 March will be the immersive fantasy stylings of the Carnifolk – a walkabout theatre mini-festival full of joy, whimsy, and good vibes.

Friday sees the Volly play host to a small army of talented musicians from all corners of the musical world – from the “blues-inspired fingerstyle guitarist” Willy, to the “bright, melodic pop rock with melancholic undertones” of Shy Pilot. In total, the music spans from 14:30 to 19:00, with six acts total – before breaking out into the headline acts of the Gwendolines, Catflap and Spinclass.


Saturday is, of course, the party night (and day), with a massive all day garden party from 12:00 til 22:00. Set in the Volunteer’s gorgeous, festival-ready garden space, and with DJs including the groovy Carlito’s Sessions, and Gallimaufry favourites More Soup – plus plenty of friends – ,this is crazy value for a free all-dayer party.

Sunday sees one of the Volly’s classic roasts all day until 20:00 – with records to accompany. A great day to start sampling those beers! Finally, the Monday will cap things off with a wild and westy hip-shakin’ hoedown through the day – and a classic Questionable Quizzes pub quiz to end the day with a bang.


It’s a staggering programme of events, food and drink, all with free entry – so you’ve got nothing to lose heading down. If you’re ever stuck for a good scene this weekend, head on to down to New Street and have a look in. For more info on the Volly, head to their Facebook.

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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