Brisfest | Interview

“We’re all about showcasing the best of the South West with 90% of the line up from the local region, as we feel it’s really important to have an array of the top talent that’s on our doorstep”

It’s that time of year again, the tail end of festival season, but as always it goes out with a bang, and this year, that bang is the triumphant move to Ashton Court by Brisfest.

1. So guys, most may already know, but what’s different about Brisfest this year?

We feel that Brisfest is truly coming of age this year as we make the leap to the beautiful Ashton Court estate, our spiritual home, as it was the old community festival that inspired us to re-start a non-commercial, affordable festival for the people, by the people. It’ll be twice the size of previous years, and in gorgeous green surroundings which allow us to do so many more things than before. We’re going completely over the top with a site that’ll blow people away! One difference is that it’s weekend tickets only, which have to be bought in advance. At £31 (+bf) that’s roughly the same as Ashton Court Festival was in its last year, so we’re doing everything we can to keep prices as low as possible. Kids 12 and under go free, and if you’ve got teenagers we’ve introduced a cheap family ticket at £41. There won’t be any tickets sold on the day, in aid of site safety. Be warned that tickets are selling really quickly, so we may sell out anyway – don’t be disappointed!

2. Looking at the line-up there’s genuinely something for everyone, what’s juggling so much stuff as organisers?

It’s a mammoth task to co-ordinate eleven stages, kids areas, local food and market traders, walkabouts, workshops, site art, infrastructure and more, but with a team of over 100 volunteers we’ve just about got there. We’re really proud of the variety on offer from stand up comedy to healing fields, graffiti to full blown lighting shows and Arcadia fire. We feel we’ve got some brilliant headliners and are so excited about De La Soul, Beardyman, Hawkwind and Roni Size, in particular.

3. You decided not to go with Rave On Avon this year, what kind of afterparty can people expect?

We decided it was best to put all our efforts into the main event this year so Rave on Avon took over Stokes Croft in May instead. This year’s Brisfest afterparty will take place in one amazing venue; the Ashton Court Mansion. It’ll be a night to remember, celebrating our first year at the estate. There will be hot tubs, bouncy castles, outdoor bar, chill out areas, and three rooms of music from Alfresco Disco (stars of secret venues), Unity (bringing together the best of Bristol’s clubnights) and Luke Vibert, DJ Cheeba (AV), Run Tingz and Limbic Cinema in the main room. Tickets are sold separately priced at £25 (+bf).

4. As you know, FOF hearts local music – what are your Bristol / Bath artist highlights for the festival?

We’re all about showcasing the best of the South West with 90% of the line up from the local region as we feel it’s really important to have a large array of the top talent that’s on our doorstep. Our highlights include rising stars like The Naturals and Idles, urban reggae heavyweights Laid Blak and the chilled electronic productions of Phaeleh, as well as Bristol favourites such as Babyhead, Dr Meaker, Dub Mafia, Smerins and talented folk band Sheelanagig. We really recommend that everyone have a good read of the programme or stage by stage line up online, and check out lots of new acts they may not have previously heard of. Discovering new music is one of the big pleasures of a festival like this.

5. Being a non-profit, you rely in part on a host of volunteers and helpers, for those wondering, how can people get involved in Brisfest?

We aim to make the festival as inclusive as possible, open to everyone, so if you can’t afford a ticket you can come and volunteer. Everyone that helps out can come for free and we’re still looking for help promoting the event with flyering and postering, building the site, stewarding over the festival (six hour shift) and packing down again afterwards. We find a role for everyone and it’s a great way to meet new people, get experience on your CV or just have fun and be a part of it. To get involved just visit our website at brisfest.co.uk/get-involved and follow the links to sign up, all volunteers get a limited edition T-shirt and backstage access all weekend. Come and join the crew!

Brisfest is held at Ashton Court on Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of September. For more info and the full line-up, as well as tickets visit: www.brisfest.co.uk

Tickets are also available for the mansion afterparty and alternative afterparty in Timbuk2 in the centre for just £5 with top local DJs.