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Bristol Beacon is closed for essential maintenance from Fri 27 Jan – Wed 1 Feb. Bristol Loaf is closed on Wed 1 Feb. View opening times.

Read, Watch & Listen

A look back at 2022

A wide shot of a crowd watching a band perform at a festival

In our second year as Bristol Beacon, and the last one before we fully reopen, we experienced hundreds of unforgettable moments.

This year we’ve been all around Bristol bringing the joy of live music to stages, schools, a few churches and hospitals and more. We finally returned to the Harbourside with two nights of Nile Rodgers and CHIC alongside Belle & Sebastian, welcomed artists of all different sounds and styles to venues across Bristol and continued to deliver our educational and health programmes to Bristol’s communities.

We’d like to especially thank the freelance photographers who consistently capture these incredible moments showcased below.

Next year, in autumn 2023, we’re reopening our venue. And we can’t wait to welcome you back and celebrate live music in our place again! We’re hoping to make announcements about our opening programme in the new year. But before then, find out how you can get involved with our reopening and more about our transformation.

We’d love to hear about your favourite live music moments of 2022. Show us what your highlights are on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

A room filled with people watch a band performing on stage, perspective from above and behind the band looking out to the audience.
Make Space For Rising, Bristol Beacon, 2022, photography by Stephanie | SEPH Group

Make Space For Rising

February 2022

On 10 February we collaborated with Rising Arts Agency to create a night that brought together visual art, poetry, dance and live music to showcase and celebrate young local creatives.

Following our collaboration with the agency on the rebrand of Bristol Beacon in 2021, at it’s heart the event provided a welcoming space for the young creatives of Bristol to connect, perform and share. Exploring how live performance can create spaces to interact, Make Space For Rising exhibited work throughout our foyer and also offered opportunities for audience members to leave their creative mark themselves.

 

Person conducting in front of a violin section
London Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle, Bath Form, 2022, photography by Giulia Spadafora | Soul Media

London Symphony Orchestra

March 2022

We were delighted to welcome London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle once again to the South West in anticipation of their return to the Beacon when we reopen.

Following a successful national broadcast of our concert with the Orchestra from Bath Forum in October 2021, we once again collaborated to live stream our LSO performance at Bath Forum to care homes across the country.

This meant that care home residents and staff were able to enjoy live music in their care homes across Bristol and beyond. We also announced recently that the upcoming London Symphony Orchestra show in 2023, this time with Barbara Hannigan, will again be live streamed.

A small group of people sit in a wide circle listening and playing music on a sunny floor at Bristol Beacon.
Duke of Kent Visit, Bristol Beacon, 2022, photography by Chris Cooper | Shotaway

Royal visit and award nomination for ‘Our Music Club’

March 2022

In March, His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent paid a visit to Bristol Beacon, sharing a collaborative live music experience with participants of Our Music Club, our music group for people living with dementia and their supporters. Later in the year, acknowledging the enriching power of music, the project was shortlisted for Best Age-Friendly Outreach in the 2022 Fantastic for Families Awards.

Launch of new contemporary music programme for Bristol teens

April 2022

Its only been two terms since we launched Bristol Youth Studios, a new modern music programme offering music production, DJ skills, rap and vocals – and our young musicians are proving that’s more than enough time to learn new skills, experiment, collaborate and perform.

Find out more about Bristol Youth Studios.

Young people play clarinets
Earthsong, St George's Bristol, 2022, photography by Giulia Spadafora | Soul Media

Earthsong students celebrate their first steps into music

June 2022

To celebrate the third year of the Earthsong Programme, our Earthsong students came together for fun workshops to explore singing and playing instruments together. 100 children from 13 schools joined together on stage at St George’s Bristol to have their first taste of performing as a symphony orchestra.

Flagship festivals

A band performing to a large crowd on a stage in next to a harbour
Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Bristol Harbourside, 2022, photography by Giulia Spadafora | Soul Media UK

Bristol Harbourside

July 2022

This year large gatherings got back into full swing with all our flagship events including shows at the Bristol Harbourside. Having been rescheduled during COVID, crowds finally got to witness two nights of Nile Rodgers & CHIC with support from Amahla, and closing the festival a night with Belle & Sebastian and support from Django Django.

Relive Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Belle & Sebastien.

A crowd of people in a street and a person with a cap playing a piano on top of a dustbin
Bristol New Music: Song Of Place, Easton, 2022, photography by Giulia Spadafora | Soul Media UK

Bristol New Music

May 2022

This year saw the return of a city-wide celebration of experimental music, sound and space. Featuring performers across all disciplines, sounds and styles.

Audiences joined us across four days of commissioned works which took place at venues across the city including Arnolfini and St George’s Bristol, and rarely used spaces such as the vaults underneath Clifton Suspension Bridge.

View the full gallery here.

 

A Black male musician wearing a yellow beany hat plays keyboard on stage next to a Black woman vocalist with three musicians playing guitar, bass and drums at the back of the stage.
River Town: The War And Treaty, Thekla, 2022, photography Giulia Spadafora | Soul Media

River Town 2022

July 2022

This year marked the last River Town event in its current format across the city. To mark the celebration of all things Americana we took the opportunity to commission Letterpress Collective. to produce a limited run of hand-crafted letterpress posters and postcards which helped promote the event in the most authentic way possible.

With a lineup spanning over ten venues and including the likes of Amy Helm, Hiss Golden Messenger, The War And Treaty, Yasmin Williams & Gwenifer Raymond and Lee Fields, this was an unforgettable moment for fans of the genre and music lovers in general.

Read how Tanya Blount and Sister Act 2 changed the life of our Creative Producer Sophia.

A family sat on the floor taking part in a drawing activity
Hoo-Ha! Festival, Bristol Beacon, 2022, photography by Chris Cooper | ShotAway

Hoo-Ha!

August 2022

Our free family-friendly festival Hoo-Ha returned with crowd-pleasing musical performances and the returning host of arts, crafts and discovery activities.

Across all three days of the Festival the Foyer was a hubbub of music, dance and storytelling. We also had our first Hoo-Ha! Relaxed Day: a more gentle atmosphere for disabled and neurodivergent people or families who benefit from a more relaxed environment. 

Relive the Hullabaloo of Hoo-Ha!

Two people are enthusiastically dancing as they perform with their band
Bristol Takeover: Kutamba, Bristol Beacon, 2022, Photography by LJB Photography

Bristol Takeover 2022

November 2022

On Sat 19 November, we welcomed an incredible roster of established and upcoming local talent into our Foyer for the fifth instalment of Bristol Takeover.

Following the return to a ‘real life’ event with 2021’s Takeover, this year’s lineup featured an even more varied collection of Bristol artists from a multitude of different genres. Plus, the whole event was live-streamed again and is available to watch on demand!

BLOOM mums and babies compose moving lullaby ‘You and The Stars’

This summer, mums and babies at BLOOM – our weekly music group supporting perinatal mental health and wellbeing – composed and recorded their own lullaby. Supported by professional musicians, participants are encouraged to develop their own personal song and lullabies, reflecting on their relationship and experiences with their child.

Young musicians develop a love for music

Music has the power to change lives and this year we’ve loved hearing how the joy of music impacts our community of young musicians, even after just a few lessons!

I want to learn all the instruments in the world and make music that sounds like a rainbow bursting in the sky!”

Student learning music as part of our ‘Musical Schools Programme’

After the music session yesterday, it was the first time I have heard our foster child sing. Sounds like a little thing but it is massive.”

Foster carer with a child attending our Hope Creative music sessions

Two musicians play percussion and guitar. A medical professional walks into shot

Mail A Musician delivers surprise concerts to nominees

December 2022

After its success safely sharing musical joy throughout the pandemic, Mail a Musician returned to connect and uplift people across the city. This year Afro-Funk band Hélélé surprised staff at Montpelier Health Centre, nominated by a colleague in thanks for their hard work throughout the pandemic. Mail A Musician also visited Bridge Learning Campus Primary School and most recently, Artuba performed at Bristol Royal Infirmary, with a festive performance for staff, patients and visitors.