Valentine’s weekend saw BBC 6Music pitch up in the bright lights of Bristol for their 3rd annual 6Music Festival, and we were more than happy to join in the festivities.
From a passionately opposed near closure in 2010, 6Music has grown to become the BBC’s most listened to digital radio station, with an average week attracting an audience of around 2.2 million. The eclectic mix of music and culture was reflected in the lineup of events at this year’s festival, and the audience attending.
Bristol legends like Roni Size and Tricky were joined by the likes of Foals, Primal Scream, Underworld, Suede, Laura Marling, Everything Everything, Mount Kimbie, Floating Points John Grant, !!!, Roots Manuva and plenty more on the live music side of things. Minus instruments though, we were treated to live comedy from Mark Watson, Cerys Nelms (the most Bristolian woman I’ve ever seen, also hilarious), and Alice Matthews, hosted by my personal favourite morning miserablist, Shaun Keaveny. There were also interviews with John Grant, Steve Lamacq, Julian Cope and a preview of a new film about DJ Derek currently in development by Den Lett’s and Massive Attack’s Daddy G. All in all, a fat ol’ feast for the eyes and ears.
Outside of the official events there was an entire Fringe programme set up by the smaller venues in the city which (at the risk of simply listing names all post) included the likes of The Watershed, The Fleece, Thekla, The Louisiana and many many more. Free shows allowed plenty of people to enjoy the festival buzz even if the missed out on one of the main events, and I imagine did a world of good for sales of booze. Win win.
Monday morning came too soon with my ears still ringing, my legs aching, and my shoes decorated in that lovely club sludge that comes from people standing on your feet all night. It was good though. It was very good in fact. A great reminder of all the amazing venues, music and culture Bristol has to offer.
You can check out loads of highlights, including the full Foals set 👌, on the BBC iPlayer. You can also see some of my attempted photography below.