Bristol Beacon x Grove: a one-off tour of our venue's transformation
We have joined forces with Bristol vocalist and producer Grove to create a captivating tour of the Beacon with new behind-the-scenes footage capturing the venue mid-transformation.
The video comes after a busy period for the construction team and sees the site transformed into a unique and raw backdrop for Grove’s bass-heavy, adrenaline-fuelled track ‘Sticky’.
Filmed in September by Bristol-based TV production company Plimsoll Productions, the video features Grove strutting through the scaffolding and dancing on a forklift, whilst offering tantalising glimpses of key spaces currently under development in the venue including the Cellars, the main Beacon Hall, and the smaller Lantern Hall. Grove’s explosive sound, which combines energetic dance-infused punk with hints of jungle and garage, provides the perfect soundtrack to a tour of the spaces in their current state.
Todd Wills, artistic director, Bristol Beacon, says: “Music is at the heart of everything we do as a music charity. The transformation of our venue will create new and greater opportunities to make space for everyone to enjoy and participate in music – from live performance to education programmes to spaces for communities to connect. In the meantime, we wanted to take the opportunity to collaborate with Grove, an incredible artist we’ve worked with a number of times now, and see how they could bring our evolving spaces to life.”
We wanted to inject some of the energy and vibrancy that we will play host to every day as a venue to celebrate what we’re all working so hard to make a reality.
Todd Wills, Artistic Director
Grove says: “The eclectic, bass-heavy and high-quality music communities are what drew me to living in Bristol in 2019.”
I hope that this renovation will contribute and give space to that eclecticism that I love the city for. I wish for it to cultivate cross-cultural connections in meaningful ways.
“More than ever now, opportunities for developing artists are vital, and I hope for the well-funded cultural institutions to rise to the challenge of uplifting those most vulnerable during this tough socio-political time. Experiencing the work-in-progress building for this video was good fun, but the real life will be brought by the communities that have access to and inhabit the space.”
Watch: Bristol Beacon x Grove
See our transformation project like never before and step on site with Grove.
Marsden Murison, from Plimsoll Productions, who directed the video, says: “The reopening of Bristol Beacon is a big cultural moment for Bristol, so it was an honour to have the opportunity to direct this video. We wanted to give an exclusive peek into what people can expect from this incredible transformation, whilst also showcasing some of Bristol’s finest talent in Grove.”
Jonathan Jackson, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Plimsoll Productions, says: “The Plimsoll team feel privileged and honoured to have played a small part in shining a light on the new and improved Bristol Beacon.”
This transformation means that Bristol will have a state of the art venue, fit for generations to come, and as a born and bred Bristolian, it makes me feel proud of the city I love.
Jonathan Jackson, COO Plimsoll Productions
The reopening of Bristol Beacon is anticipated for Autumn 2023, with three performance spaces at the heart of the transformation, along with a new education centre, new restaurant and bars, improved backstage facilities and a whole-building focus on inclusion and accessibility.
The brand-new cellar spaces will provide a home for Bristol creative talent to develop, and builds on the music charity’s work through its Bristol Takeover one-day festival and in-depth talent development programmes such as Home Grown Heat and Future Proof.
This isn’t the first time Bristol Beacon and Grove have collaborated. In 2020 and 2021 Grove performed as part of the Bristol Takeover event, the 2020 version of which attracted over 15,000 viewers online during the first COVID lockdown. They have also been involved in projects such as Bristol Youth Studios, which teaches DJing, production and MCing skills to 13–17-year-olds, and undertaken commissions including creating the track ‘Lockdown Riddim’ for Bristol Beacon’s A New Song for Bristol project, working with young people in care to create a song inspired by their experiences of lockdown.
As we look ahead to 2023, we are keen to collaborate with more people in the city on the once-in-a-generation reopening of the historic venue. A survey and expression of interest form to take part in the reopening are now live on the Bristol Beacon website, and we have announced their free Inside Out Day taking place at Bristol Beacon on Saturday 15 April 2023, at which all are welcome to discover more about the reopening plans.