Iconic Bristol Beacon re-opens

Following a spectacular opening night with ‘Trip The Light Fantastic’, Bristol Beacon will continue the celebrations with a free, whole venue takeover on Saturday 2nd December. From 11am – 2am, this will be a jam-packed welcome party for everyone and anyone in Bristol: whether long-time patrons of the Beacon or newcomers that have never stepped inside before, The Housewarming has been created by Bristol, for Bristol. 

From well-known names and festival favourites to emerging talents and members of Bristol Beacon’s schools and community programmes, the all-Bristol line-up also includes a huge selection who answered a public call-out to take part. Taking you from day to night across all four spaces (Beacon Hall, Lantern Hall, Cellars and Bridgehouse), expect back-to-back beats from the likes of Bristol Reggae Orchestra and Windrush Choir, Elles Bailey, Up, Bustle & Out, Vilk Collective and more during the day. Taking Bristol through the night are B3nji, BUFFEE, John Stapelton, Kray-Z-Legz, Melissa Fear, RSVP Bhangra and more. 

The event has been planned in collaboration with a community advisory group sourced from across Bristol’s wards and creative scenes, to ensure the very best representation of Bristol on stage. Artist, gig-goer and music fan Big Jeff Johns, family inclusion worker and doula Natalie Thomas-Gayle, Bristol Older People Forum’s Ian Quaife, artist manager Hannah Beasley-Garrigan and poet and artist, Olamiposi Ayorinde worked with Bristol Beacon’s programming team to bring their favourite artists to the event. 

Advisory board member, Natalie Thomas-Gayle explains more: “It has been a huge honour to be part of the advisory board with the other members. Bristol is a diverse city, not only regarding race and culture, but for wealth and opportunity. For me, a girl born and raised in St Pauls, the Colston Hall never really had the vibe of being a place for me. But being welcomed into the space, with the new name Bristol Beacon, and my suggestions and opinions being valued and heard, has been a thought-changing experience.

The bonus of being able to put my artist suggestions forward for the event was not even a thought when I took the opportunity, but when we were asked I saw it as an opportunity to give back, show support and acknowledge musicians that I personally know and respect, and want to see reach higher heights.”

Todd Wills, Artistic Director at Bristol Beacon, said: “With the reopening of Bristol Beacon getting closer and closer, we can’t wait to showcase the amazing talents we have right here on our doorstep at The Housewarming. This is the first time the public will be able to explore all of our incredible new performance spaces. From the initial call out for artists and the selection from our advisory board, we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that every corner of Bristol’s brilliant creative scene will be celebrated.”

Beacon Hall, the largest performance space, will be buzzing throughout the day with pop, jazz, funk, orchestral, mass singing and DJs (and a few surprises thrown in too). Lantern Hall will be the space to be to dance the night away to Bristol’s alternative scene with local legends and community voices. A brand new space which will open to the public, The Weston Stage, will have guests heading underground into Bristol Beacon’s cellars to the intimate space for a daytime youth takeover and a night of emerging acts, grime, rap, pop and R&B. Filling all five floors of the foyer space, Bridgehouse will host kids activities, poetry, dances, DJs and music of all genres around every corner. Taking over the Kennedy Room on the lower ground floor of Bristol Beacon, Big Big Jeff Johns will also be showcasing his artistic talents with his latest exhibition. STARE: An exhibition by Big Jeff Johns will feature a collection of self-portraits painted during and after lockdown along with some newer works painted after his accident. The new exhibition encourages people to look beyond disability to see the person. 

The Housewarming is a free-to-attend celebration for Bristol with no ticket required. To receive the schedule and all essential information, RSVP at bristolbeacon.org. Follow Bristol Beacon on Facebook, Instagram and X to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements. 

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