First Friday - December
Image by Jon Aitken

First Friday

Event + Interactive Event

Please note: This event took place in Dec 2021

First Friday is a monthly social event open to anyone. These events are somewhere between the last meeting of the week and the first event of your weekend. You might meet an artist or an engineer, a school teacher or a city leader. It is a place to connect with someone you might not otherwise meet, and hear about stuff you didn’t already know. All are welcome - from inside and outside the city, online or in the Watershed building.


First Friday began over 10 years ago in the Watershed bar, as a place for people who shared an interest in innovation and creativity, no matter their sector or background. It has happened every month for over a decade – creating new collaborations, businesses, friendships and ideas. During lockdown we took the conversation online, enabling people to join who otherwise would not have been able to. It helped us realise that Watershed isn’t only a physical space; we are a network that reaches out across the world.

First Fridays Now

We are currently trialing First Friday as a hybrid event. This means that as well as welcoming people back to the building, we will also continue to offer the opportunity to join in online.

December's Event

The next First Friday will take place both in Pervasive Media Studio and online. Fri 3 Dec 17:00 - 18:00.

People joining online can participate in short conversations, facilitated by our chat roulette style software. You will be paired up at random for a series of five minute conversations, one to one with other guests. There is an option to take a break between each chat and you are welcome to pop in and out whenever you like. It's fine to join the event late and leave the event early. Between conversations, you may also want to have a visit to The Greenverse (see below for more information).

People joining us in person will have the opportunity to have a look around Pervasive Media Studio and to find out more about some of the work that happens here. There will also be some equipment set up to chat with people joining the event remotely and to explore some of the work that has been made in the Studio over the last 13 years including Beasts of Balance and Gathering Moss.

The hosted element of the event will finish at 18:00. After that, in person attendees are welcome to continue conversations in the main Café Bar area.

COVID Safety
If you are joining us in person, here is some useful information on what we expect from you and what you can expect from us.

We ask you to please do the following:

  • Take a lateral flow test before attending the event.
  • Wear a mask when moving around the building, unless you are exempt. You are welcome to take it off when seated and if you are eating or drinking.
  • Wash your hands regularly and/or use the hand sanitiser provided.
  • Not shake-hands with other attendees.
  • Socially distance at the event, wherever possible.
  • Not attend in person if you have any Covid symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate.

To help keep staff and visitors safe, Watershed staff will do the following:

  • Make sure that the venue is well-ventilated.
  • Clean equipment between uses.
  • Manage the capacity to make sure spaces do not get too crowded.
  • Remind people to socially distance and wear masks.

About Pervasive Media Studio

The Pervasive Media Studio hosts an international community of over 100 artists, companies, technologists, and academics exploring experience design and creative technology. We are a space for risk taking and early ideas; for the kind of projects and questions that inhabit the meeting points of art, technology, and society.

Our projects span play, robotics, location-based media, food, connected objects, interactive documentary, new forms of performance and more.

We have an open plan studio with a culture of generosity, curiosity, and interpretability. We believe that by clustering people together from a broad range of backgrounds, with differing skills, experience, and opinions, all of our ideas become better.

About Gathering Moss

In early October seven young people from across continents were invited to participate in a 5-day Creative Camp hosted by Art Centre Nabi and Watershed in collaboration with The Studio at Palace Yard Mews and Bristol+Bath Creative R+D. It was an invitation to collectively consider the climate crisis and generate artistic ideas. Through online meet ups, activities in each location and inspiration sessions with artists and activists such as Play: Disrupt, Climate Citizens 3.5, Aidan Moesby, Zoe Rasbash and GEYK (Green Environment Youth Korea), participants explored topics ranging from global inequalities to responsibilities, to playful action and individual well-being. See the results here.