Our guide to Bristol things to do in lockdown is the most popular post ever on Lifestyle District, but as Bristol reopens it’s great to be able to write another one now that we can finally get out and about.
Here are some great Bristol events, exhibitions and festivals to support. We’ll keep this post updated.
‘Welcome To My World’ art exhibition by Big Jeff
Prolific Bristol music fan Big Jeff Johns is running his first solo exhibition at The Island until 21 November. It features 20 new paintings alongside the first 14 pieces from phase one of the collection from the artist, who is well known as one of Bristol’s best known music aficionados. If you’ve been to a gig in the city, the chances are very high that you’ve seen Big Jeff!
The paintings, some of which have a musical influence, were created to surprise and challenge the viewer, instigating conversations about mental health and inspiring people in similar situations to make art themselves.
“I use drawing and painting as a form of self-reflection”, Jeff said. “A lot of my work echoes my struggles around feeling like I don’t fit into this world. Art for me has been about expressing emotions I can’t explain another way. These paintings highlight my issues with hidden anxiety and mental health and the barrier these create. Art for me is about creating space for myself and using my creativity to find my voice. At times this can be intimidating.”
During the exhibition, Big Jeff and some special guests will also be DJing.
Bristol Takeover 2021 at Bristol Beacon
Showcasing the best bands, DJs, musicians and emerging artists Bristol has to offer, this free festival is 12 hours of back-to-back, brilliant live music at Bristol Beacon.
You can attend in person or watch live streams online.
We’re running two stages with 12 hours of back to back music with @SWUFM taking over the Terrace from 6pm.— Bristol Beacon (@Bristol_Beacon) November 20, 2021
Check out today’s lineup and get planning your Takeover. Who’s top of your list? 📝
(all set times are subject to change) pic.twitter.com/qi1lfq3QzN
Light Up Bristol at Ashton Court Estate
Wander around the beautiful grounds of Ashton Court Estate and enjoy a stunning illuminated walking experience while sipping a warm mulled wine or hot chocolate. Find out more here.
We the Curious reopens with a new look
The fabulous We The Curious science museum has opened with a new exhibition. The 68 exhibits and 25 art pieces in Project What If are clustered around seven questions on different themes including rainbows, illness, universe and soul. The questions were sourced from people across the city.
We were lucky to get a preview before it opened its doors to the public. It is absolutely brilliant. You must go!
- 27 November 2021- 5 June 2022: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
- 4 December 2021 – 4 September 2022: Grayson’s Art Club at M Shed
The controversial statue of Edward Colston, which was thrown into Bristol harbour by protestors and made international headlines, is also on display at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
Almost exactly a year on from the moment it was pulled down and thrown into Bristol harbour, here’s the Colston statue at @mshedbristol— Nina🇫🇷 & Dan🇬🇧 in #Bristol (@LStyleDistrict) June 6, 2021
Bristolians are being asked what should happen to it. What do you think?#Colstonstatue #Colston #BlackLivesMatter #Bristol #VisitBristol pic.twitter.com/G0kRJQItW3
SS Great Britain
The fabulous SS Great Britain has fully reopened.
New outdoor bar from Watershed
Upfest, Europe’s largest live urban street art festival, has sadly been cancelled for the second year in a row but you can still see world class street art. Over 75 days, which started on 15 May, 75 walls in South Bristol are being transformed with new murals.
It includes an amazing 3D mural by Greek street artist Insane51.
This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING 🤩— Dan Martin (@Dan_Martin) July 23, 2021
3D (yes, 3D!!) @Upfest mural in #Bristol by Greek street artist Insane51 👓
Bristol, keep on being brilliant! 😍#streetart #3Dartist #3D #LoveBristol @WeArePlaster @VisitBristol @visitwestuk #75Walls pic.twitter.com/bf6ArdyhEk
Theatre, music and comedy at Bristol Old Vic
We loved watching Bristol Old Vic productions at home but it’s so good to be able to return to the amazing building for live theatre.
The theatre has guaranteed that for all long-running shows until March 2022, two performances each week will remain socially distanced to cater for vulnerable people or those who need to keep extra precautions in place. These socially distanced performances will also require mandatory mask-wearing, whatever happens to other rules in the theatre or in society at large.
Wuthering Heights, directed by Emma Rice, ran from 11 October – 6 November and it was brilliant. Read our review here. It was so popular that it’s returning for a 48-hour run as an online stream event from 26 – 28 November.
Students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School perform Macbeth from 11 – 20 November.
This year’s Christmas show is Robin Hood: Legend of the Forgotten Forest. It runs from 25 November to 8 January.
Theatre, music and comedy at Bristol Hippodrome
The Bristol Hippodrome was closed completely from March 2020 until August 2021 so it’s great to see it back open again.
We really missed the pantos last Christmas so great to see a show for this year’s festive season has confirmed for 4 December to 2 January. It’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs starring actress Leslie Joseph and TV’s Rob Rinder.
There is much more happening at the Bristol Hippodrome. The full list is here.
Top image credit: Lorne Kramer