Has Bristol, The U.K.’s Most Exciting City, Finally Got The Festival It Deserves?
More than London at the moment, Bristol seems to encapsulate the contradictions, energy and frustrations of the British nation. This city, which straddles the River Avon, is small (the population was just under 500,000 in 2019) but it punches well above its weight when it comes to politics and art. When a group of activists threw the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol harbour in June 2020, it focussed attention on Britain’s historic role in the slave trade. (Colston, who had endowed schools, almshouses and hospitals in Bristol had, in the 17th century, been instrumental in the transportation of at least 84,000 enslaved people during his involvement with the Royal African Company). Nowhere in Britain voted more fervently to remain in Europe (62 per cent versus 38 per cent voting to leave).