Global graffiti festival Upfest returns to Bristol

Street art festival Upfest returns to graffiti Mecca Bristol for the May Bank Holiday, where visitors can see artists paint live and cover more than 9100m2 of wall space.

Smug and Epok at Upfest 2012
Smug and Epok at Upfest 2012

More than 250 artists are expected, including international stars DALeast from China, Faith 47 from South Africa, C215 from France, Peeta from Italy, and Inkie and Turroe of Bristol.

Car parks, a skate park, a theatre, beer gardens, and streets have been designated in the Southville area of Bristol to be taken over by graffiti, and street artists, and illustrators.

Herakut 2012

Source: Paul Green

Herakut 2012

These same artists will also be selling new canvas work, with prices ranging from  £25-£500 and part of the proceeds going toward keeping the festival free organisers say.

Sphiza, an artist from Bristol’s twinned city of Porto, Portugal, will be painting live. Her work focuses on facial expression.

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Upfest 2011
Clifton Suspension Bridge, Upfest 2011

She’ll be joined by other artists including Goin from France, Eoin from Ireland, JBAK from Germany, Remo from USA, Neuzz from Mexico, Peacetu from Brazil, and Narcelio Grud also from Brazil.

Soulful Crew, Upfest 2012

Source: Paul Green

Soulful Crew, Upfest 2012

Graffitti writer Truroe has designed the overall look of this year’s festival and will curate the Dean Lane Skate Park urban artwork. He will also partner with Ryder to work on a replica subway piece.

One of the artists at work last year
One of the artists at work last year

Upfest will be based at the Tobacco Factory and throughout North Street, Southville, Bristol from 25-27 May. It is free to attend.

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.