We turned 30 last Thursday and celebrated in true Bristol fashion, throwing open our doors and sharing films, food, art, music and magic with our lovely customers - all for free.
Like all birthday hosts, we were a little nervous that the Jubilee weekend, half term and the dreary weather might prevent people from coming but goodness, were we wrong...
Over 3,000 of you came to our little bash and we couldn't have been happier. You saw over thirty hours of creative content in the cinemas, played with the brilliant work in the Pervasive Media Studio, pulled some shapes in front of danceroom Spectroscopy and partied into the wee hours at our evening mash up of music and image.
It was such a pleasure to see you all, have a chat, hand out samples from our new Summer menu (it's out on Thursday!) and generally see you join in the festivities.
From the youngest birthday guests - loads of children took part in our Aardman Pirates! Animation Workshop and crafted their own plasticine creatures - to the slightly older - some of you were reminiscing about our opening back in 1982, or sharing memories of the boat sheds that preceded us - you turned out in droves, and we are so grateful.
The amount of well wishes sent to us meant the bubble machine on the balcony (which blew bubbles every time it received a birthday message!) was in overdrive, blowing streams of bubbles over the Harbourside, even in the near constant rain! Here are just a few of the really humbling messages from the day:
@philgibby Heading for @wshed to join the 30th birthday celebrations of one of the UK's cultural and creative flagships
@BristolOldVic Hey! @wshed! Happy blessed birthday! 30 years of saying "yes we can" - well done and long may you reign as lords of the waterfront x
Dylan Dawes Happy Birthday Watershed. Rocking up at your place for the first time as a student in '95 was, literally, a watershed moment.
@HillTribeTV Wishing you a very happy 30th birthday! Thanks for being there and doing what you do. It's great to have a champion like you guys...
@AdamRobertBurns Happy bday! I remember the glorious discovery of films like Pixote, and Wil-e-Coyote's artist in the café with half a beard
@RemixBristol Happy birthday to @wshed who've delighted audiences and led the way in digital technology for over 30 yrs! You guys are amazing
@bmitchellwrites Happy 30th birthday to @wshed. One of the best things about Bristol. Leading the way for arthouse cinemas everywhere. To another 30 yrs!
@ofcircumstance Happy birthday @wshed you've been a life changer through and through!
Our Managing Director Dick Penny said:
"Our birthday was an amazing event with an extraordinary range of people packing Watershed all day - thank you to the thousands who shared the day with us and made our birthday such a memorable one, it's a real vote of confidence in the creativity of our city and a great way to step into the future."
Clare Reddington, Director of iShed and the Pervasive Media Studio, said:
"Throwing open the doors to the Pervasive Media Studio was a huge treat - hundreds of people, many of whom had previously only known Watershed as a cinema or bar, experienced the installations, apps and products that have been designed here. We were especially delighted with how much family groups enjoyed playing with Guerilla Dance Project's Rolling Stones and nu desine's AlphaSphere and the day gave us a great opportunity to try out new projects and get audience feedback. As the newest part of the Watershed Group, the birthday party felt like a coming of age, with all of the studio residents and team getting involved, and it was great to be able to show such a breadth of work side by side."
So thank you: thank you to everyone who came on the day, to people who couldn't be here but sent such kind messages, and to everyone who has helped us reach this landmark birthday. It's been a joy - we couldn't have started our 31st year in much more style, and we're looking forward to beginning another journey of discovery with you all, old customers, new customers, and customers we haven't met yet. Thank you!