Bristol Arts Channel logo.

Bristol Arts Channel Launches

Posted on Thu 28 May 2020

A collection of Bristol's cultural organisations have teamed up to launch Bristol Arts Channel, presenting content "Together Online"

A collection of Bristol's cultural organisations today announced the launch of The Bristol Arts Channel which will present a programme of online arts experiences for audiences missing the buzz and community of Bristol's vibrant arts scene. Bristol Arts Channel launches with a pilot season from 29 May until 30 June, in collaboration with The Space and Bristol & Bath Creative R&D.

We've been working with partners Bristol Old Vic, Colston Hall, St Pauls Carnival, Trinity, Spike Island, St George's Bristol, MAYK, Arnolfini, Paraorchestra & Friends and Bristol Museums, to present a pilot programme of work. This will feature streamed performances, live and on demand, interactive events, carnivalesque experiments, virtual tours, playful zoom experiences, lockdown lullabies, online exhibitions and mini-festivals, all curated by Bristol's cultural organisations to give audiences moments of togetherness from the comfort of their own homes.

Clare Reddington, Watershed CEO says:

"I am really proud to work alongside such an incredible range of cultural organisations to deliver this collaborative celebration of Bristol. We have been working with limited time and resources to get this pilot together and the response from people across the city volunteering time to help others get their work online has been incredible. I am also particularly grateful to the Watershed team who have created the website where the programme info will be held. We can't wait to share it with audiences and get them involved."

Upcoming highlights include:

  • Bristol Old Vic's streamed season of plays, including Messiah (Fri 29 May), A Monster Calls (Fri 5 June) and The Grinning Man (Fri 26 June).
  • Come the Revolution Watch Party - Come the Revolution are hosting Sunday evening watching parties featuring some of the best Black Film & TV Netflix has to offer.
  • Colston Hall and Simple Things Festival will be broadcasting archive recordings of some of their most memorable gigs including Omar Souleyman from 2017 plus more to be announced.
  • Trinity Centre will be working with their Associate Artist Roxana Vilk to collect Lullabies from across Bristol in this time of quarantine for a digital exhibition later in the year.
  • St George's Bristol will present a Lunchtime Concert Series, where you can listen to some of the most beautiful concerts recorded in this former Georgian church. They also invite you to join Julian, their Philosopher in Residence, in his regular monthly exploration into the philosophy behind the headlines. Taking his cue from the weekend papers, he unpacks the often under-explored philosophical issues tied up with the big issues of the day and leads their discussion.
  • Watershed will be hosting Nacho Problem, Cocktails and canapes at home with Watershed - join Watershed Head Chef Chris Warren for a cook in of Watershed's famous Nachos - with details of how to recreate them in the comfort of your own home. Plus a cooking Q&A and some ideas for film themed cocktails.
  • St Paul's Carnival will be reimagining their festival online, with an at-home celebration of African Caribbean culture in Bristol.
  • Colston Hall presents a broadcast of previously unreleased concert footage of John Grant performing with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, filmed in 2014.
  • Deaf Conversations about Cinema will move online - Watershed's monthly film discussion event for Deaf and hearing audience members moves online for the first time. Join an online watching party of a specially selected film, and then come together to share your thoughts and questions. Hosted by David Ellington.
  • Bristol Museums will be coming together to present The World in Bristol, a Joyful celebration of Bristol as a global city, exploring the diverse cultures that enrich and shape the city we live in, as well as museum collections originating from different parts of the world or from migrant communities within Bristol.
  • Colston Hall presents Bristol Takeover Online part 2. Live streaming a line-up of fresh new talent alongside established names, from their homes to yours, in partnership with Bristol venues including The Louisiana, Thekla, The Fleece, Exchange, St George's Bristol, Trinity and more.

Plus much much more. The opening schedule of Bristol Arts Channel's programme will be published on Monday 1 June.

Katherine Jewkes, Bristol Arts Channel Curator said today:

"Bristol Arts Channel feels wholeheartedly in line with the spirit of the city, with arts organisations coming together to support each other as they showcase and champion the vibrant creative scene in Bristol, offering new ways for our communities to engage with us online during lockdown. It is a joy to be curating this pilot programme from the rich and diverse offering of our cultural sector, there should be something for everyone - from experimental digital initiatives through to day long music festivals, some of the best theatre offering to live cinema watch parties, living room raves to more intimate conversations. We're excited to be presenting Bristol Arts Online."

Call for artists and cultural organisations to get involved
The pilot schedule has been put together by a range of organisations from across Bristol, exploring what is possible on a tight turnaround with very limited resources. If you have a clear idea for an online experience and understand how to make it, please get in touch by emailing There is some space later in the schedule (the final week of the prototype season: Mon 29 June - Sun 5 July) for more organisations and artists to get involved. We will prioritise using our limited resources to ensure demographics and arts forms who are not already represented, are included. At the end of the first season we will seek to share learning as widely as possible and open up again to ideas and suggestions for a possible follow up.

Support from Bristol & Bath Creative R&D and The Space will help participants to make their selected content online as accessible as possible, through captioning and interpretation.

Tom Morris, Artistic Director at Bristol Old Vic said today,

"Bristol Arts Channel is a testament to the collaborative spirit of Bristol. Arts Organisation across the city are celebrating the strength, range and diversity of Bristol's cultural life in a way that taps into the spirit of collectivity and collaboration which has characterised Bristol under lockdown. The strength of this spirit, across the city's many communities, is one thing we in the cultural sector are determined to learn from and hang to in the future as we collectively pledge to inspire and entertain Bristol with the work of our greatest artists, now and in the future too."

The opening schedule of Bristol Arts Channel's programme will be published on Monday 1 June.