Bristol plans for major arts festival

Plans are afoot to boost the image of Bristol’s creative community with a major new design, music and film festival next year and the launch of a Made in Bristol marque.

The Regional Development Agency and Bristol Council are paying for a 20-strong contingent of digital creatives, music producers and managers to go to this month’s South By South West Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas, so they can find out how it’s done.

Digital groups including Beef, Rubberductions, E3, alternate reality games developer Licorice Media, and iShed Director Clare Reddington will all be attending.

The three-day festival is a celebration of the creative industries, featuring well-known bands, gaming, Web designers and the latest technology.

‘We have the intention of lanching a two- to three-week festival in 2009,’ says Bristol Media chairman Mike Bennett.

‘We are interested to look at how festivals like these come together, to make some new contacts and speak to organisers to see if Bristol, like Manchester and Edinburgh, could play host to its own world-wide creative showcase. We should be looking at ways for Bristol to grab the world’s attention by celebrating some of its remarkable success stories.’

Made in Bristol is an umbrella band that will be co-ordinated and managed by Bristol Media. It will appear on the end of films made in the area and be stamped on a marketing campaign set to launch shortly.

Bristol has the third highest GDP in the UK and a strong arts scene led by the likes of Aardman Animations.

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