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Meet the Bristol people behind The Housewarming

A group of people sit in a concert hall, with lights on the ceiling

The Housewarming is our opening celebration, a free day-to-night party welcoming everyone back to Bristol Beacon, which will showcase the full spectrum of Bristol’s creative community. 

Our aims for the event are to be collaborative and reflective of Bristol. Following our public call out to Bristol creatives to take part, we knew we needed to involve voices from all parts of Bristol’s creative and local communities in our planning. So, we formed an advisory group to influence decision making, act as a sounding board for our plans and advise on how we encourage different audiences to attend.

Together they’ve advised us on programming decisions, and had their choice of act included in the line-up; consulted on our marketing plans, especially around those who may not have come to the venue before.

Meet the members of the group and hear about their musical picks for The Housewarming.

Image above: The Housewarming Advisory Group. From left: Ian Quaife, Giulia Bianchini (Creative Producer at Bristol Beacon), Jeff Johns, Hannah Beasley-Garrigan, Olamiposi (Posi) Ayorinde and Natalie Thomas-Gayle. Credit: Colin Moody

Olamiposi (Posi) Ayorinde

Posi is a Bristol-based multidisciplinary artist of Nigerian Descent, raised in rural Ireland. His main goals are to explore & create sustainability in fields that deal with the accessibility and diversity of digital interaction and creative spaces. Primarily through music, film and design, “with a keen interest in human nature, philosophy and absurdism.”

“Growing up in rural Ireland in a low economic background has given me a deep understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented communities, not only in Bristol but also around the world. These experiences have shaped my perspective and fuelled my commitment to addressing the disparities that hinder the opportunities for these communities to have a voice in places like Bristol Beacon and the broader arts community.

I firmly believe that collaboration is the key to collective growth and progress. By working together with a shared vision and purpose, we can achieve remarkable outcomes and create a sense of awe in our collective journey. This approach is essential for building a more inclusive and equitable arts scene in Bristol and beyond. It’s crucial to acknowledge the historical injustices and disparities that persist in our modern society, hindering equitable support and access for underrepresented communities in the arts.

My experiences have given me a strong drive to be part of the solution, fostering a sense of unity and empowering these communities to have their voices heard and their talents recognized. I am dedicated to challenging the status quo, dismantling barriers, and working toward a future where everyone, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the arts in Bristol and beyond.”

Posi’s pick for The Housewarming: Solomon O.B & Deems Experiment

“Solomon O.B and Deems Experiment form an eclectic collaboration in the realm of music and spoken word. Deems Experiment, known for their free improvisation and cross-genre influences, creates a rich sonic tapestry that draws inspiration from jazz, art rock, classical, and electronic music.

Their performances are marked by intricate rhythmic interplay and evocative progressions, backed by Solomon O.B’s unique blend of spoken word. In this collective, music becomes a profound form of communication.”

Hannah Beasley-Garrigan

Hannah is a queer, working-class, emerging artist manager. Hannah is particularly passionate about fair representation in the electronic music industry and hopes “to inspire and equip others to pursue their dreams despite the boundaries they may face.”

“As a Bristolian that grew up in Lawrence Weston, Bristol Beacon was never really an option for me to attend. I had always believed it was only for the rich and middle class.”

For Hannah, they said the “opportunity to be heard and be part of the reopening was a no brainer. I don’t speak for everyone, but the name change and the reopening are the start of something fresh. There’s still work to do before Bristol Beacon becomes fully inclusive and welcoming to all. But I’m really proud to have been part of this process, and honoured to have met some truly inspiring people in the process.”

Hannah’s pick for The Housewarming: SPICYIVY

“SPICYIVY co-runs a Disco-centric event called Paradisco. She’s been blessing Bristol with those sweet disco sounds for nearly 9 years, so it felt necessary to get her onto the Housewarming line up.”

Alongside running club nights, Bristol based DJ has been festivals across the country, including Love Saves The Day – sharing their soul, funk and disco beats.

Natalie Thomas-Gayle / @Dua.Doula

Natalie is a doula and Hypnobirthing instructor. Natalie told us “I have a passion for supporting and uplifting women during their pregnancy and after birth and feel it’s my universal calling to help women have positive birth experiences.”

“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.”

Natalie’s pick for The Housewarming: Whiske XMP

“Whiske XMP – better still, Andrew as I call him – is somebody I’ve known for ever. Our families have been connected since long before either of us were born, and it’s been a privilege to play my part in this experience for him. I say play my part because it’s his hard work, his lyrical content in his music, the visual experiences of his videos, and overall passion for his craft. That’s the reason he’s not only been given this opportunity, but why he deserves it too.”

Ian Quaife

Ian has been the development manager of the Bristol Older People’s Forum for the last five years.

Ian told us, “our main aim is to challenge all forms of ageism and ensure older people are ‘around the table’. I took early retirement from Bristol Council in 2014,  where I managed the community development, community cohesion grants and equalities teams. Outside of that, I’m the lead singer of an Indie band and draw satirical sketches for a national socialist newspaper. I’m married with three children and three grand-kids. I support Bristol City FC, which means I’m an optimist… sometimes.”

Ian’s pick for The Housewarming: John Stapleton

Ian suggested programming Northern Soul for The Housewarming, and we found DJ John Stapleton for this.  Ian said “I’m keen to make sure that Bristol Beacon appeals to a wider audience than the usual white middle classes. Bristol is a diverse city to live in, and that should be reflected in this beautiful and inspiring place.”

John Stapleton has been DJing and promoting gigs and club nights in his home town of Bristol for over three decades – from mod nights in the 1980s to hip hop and rare groove, acid house, acid jazz, breakbeat, funk, and Northern Soul. Since 2009, he’s also co-run Bristol’s finest vintage record shop Wanted Records, and currently presents a monthly show on Totally Wired Radio.

Jeff Johns

Jeff is known locally as ‘Big Jeff’, and is an artist, musician and avid gig goer. Jeff’s latest exhibition, STARE, will also be on display during The Housewarming.

STARE will feature a collection of self portraits “created to express difficult emotions and challenge perceptions” and will be on display throughout our reopening period until Fri 8 Dec, aiming to surprise and challenge the viewer and instigate conversations about mental health and disability.

Jeff’s pick for The Housewarming: BUFFEE

Jeff’s choice for The Housewarming is Bristol born, Manchester based producer & performer Beth McDermott (AKA BUFFEE).

BUFFEE recently signed to Bristol label, Spinny Nights and released her debut EP ‘Victory Lap’ on Wed 15 Nov. The multi-track release comes after two self-released singles ‘play nice.’ and ‘SICK’ – exploring “the desire to fictionalise your experiences when on an emotional downturn, and how addictive it can be to do so.”

 

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