We are hugely missing our regular visits to Bristol’s theatres, art galleries and museums and can’t wait to absorb ourselves in the awesome art and culture that our city has to offer once again.
Most venues receive limited funding and rely on ticket sales and donations to survive so a long period of closure is a massive worry.
So until the coronavirus pandemic is over, here’s our guide to how you can go online to enjoy Bristol’s cultural venues and support them in these very challenging times.
Bristol Takeover Online
Some of Bristol’s best music artists and venues are coming together for an online festival at 3pm on Saturday 23 May.
Colston Hall’s Bristol Takeover Online is in partnership with venues including The Louisiana, Thekla, The Fleece, Exchange, St George’s Bristol, Trinity, Crofters Rights, The Old England and Rough Trade.
Artists performing include Adrian Utley from Portishead, The Allergies, Ishmael Ensemble, Melt Yourself Down, No Go Stop, Pictish Trail, Rachael Dadd, Run Logan Run and Three Cane Whale.
The festival will be live-streamed for free on YouTube but organisers are asking viewers to donate what they would normally spend on a gig ticket via the event’s CrowdFunder page. All donations will be split 50/50 to support participating artists and Bristol music venues in collaboration with Music Venue Trust.
Bristol Old Vic at home
Bristol Old Vic has launched a family arts hub full of theatre-inspired creative projects for kids big and small.
In May, it will launch the Bristol Arts Channel with other venues. It will showcase productions online every Friday which will be available to watch for a week.
Open Stage Online is looking for anyone that wants to perform to create an online theatre.
To help Bristol Old Vic re-open after lockdown, you can make a donation.
Secret Postcard Auction and more from RWA Bristol
The popular Secret Postcard Auction is in an online format from 15-25 June. It’s your chance to purchase unique works of art by leading figures from the art and cultural world from just £40. By taking part in the auction you are also supporting the RWA.
Enjoy live streams from Bristol Improv Theatre
Virtual tours, exhibitions and more from Bristol Museums
All the brilliant Bristol museums might be closed but you can still visit them online by viewing exhibitions, reading Bristol stories throughout history, exploring collections, taking a virtual tour and accessing thousands of photographs in the Bristol Archives.
On YouTube, watch a 10-minute film about the history of Blaise Castle House built in the 1700s and the park designed by famous landscape architect Humphry Repton.
Download the Google Expeditions app and search for ‘Living as a Georgian’, ‘Blaise Castle House Museum’ and ‘Elizabethan life in Bristol’ for tours of Georgian House Museum, Red Lodge Museum and Blaise Castle House Museum.
You can support the museums by making a donation.
Activities to do at home from SS Great Britain
The SS Great Britain has loads of great activities themed around the ship to enjoy at home including fact sheets, creative writing challenges, videos about life onboard and a virtual tour.
You can also make a donation and buy a ticket to visit the ship when lockdown is over.
Virtual tour of St George’s Bristol
A virtual tour of We The Curious
Take an online journey around the interactive exhibits at the brilliant science centre.
Absorb yourself in the history of Bristol Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral is one of England’s great medieval churches which originated as an Augustinian Abbey in the 1100s. Take a virtual tour and delve into the history of the cathedral on its website. The cathedral is also broadcasting services on Facebook and YouTube.
Laughter in Lockdown from Slapstick Festival
Bristol’s annual silent, classic and visual comedy festival is releasing a recording of one event each week on YouTube. The initiative is all the more poignant given the sad death from coronavirus of actor and festival patron Tim Brooke-Taylor. Once you’ve watched one of the videos, why not donate to the festival.
Get your independent movie fix from Watershed and MUBI
The Watershed cinema might be closed but you still enjoy some of the world’s best independent films thanks to a three months for free deal with streaming website MUBI. You can also support the cinema in its reopening by making a donation.
The music goes on with Colston Hall
Colston Hall is sharing lots of videos of great musical performances on its Twitter account and curating a Unity and Joy playlist on Spotify.
You can also donate and be entered into a competition to win some great prizes including two free tickets per month for shows of your choice for one year when Colston Hall re-opens.
Take a river cruise with Bristol Ferry
A trip on a Bristol Ferry is one of the best ways to see the city and you can do it from the comfort of your own home with an hour-long video of a cruise around the harbour in this video on Facebook. You can also make a donation to the not-for-profit community-owned, business here.
An online tour of The New Room
Behind the scenes at Wild Place and Bristol Zoo Gardens
They might be closed to the public but the animals at Bristol’s two zoos still need to be cared for. The keepers are posting images and videos on Twitter. The Bristol Zoological Society has also launched a fundraising appeal to ensure the future of its work saving wildlife.
At Home with Aerospace Bristol
You can also make a donation.