It’s been five long years of waiting, but there’s less than a month to go until Bristol Beacon reopens; the venue will open its doors once again with a ground-breaking collaboration between Bristol-based and globally-renowned artists, Trip The Light Fantastic. But the date we’ve had circled in our calendars for a while is The Housewarming on December 2.
Essentially a giant house party inside Bristol Beacon, The Housewarming will spread the celebrations across the entire venue with local talent like Doreen Doreen, Krust, Ishmael Ensemble, Lady Nade and Elles Bailey all playing. This free all-day party, going from 11am to 2am the next day, will be jam-packed with local musicians, both established and up-and-coming, and champion the best of Bristol talent.
Every inch of the newly refurbished venue will be explorable. Beacon Hall, the largest performance space, will be abuzz all day with musicians and DJs (and a few extra surprises too), while Lantern Hall will be dedicated to dancing the night away. The brand new space, Weston Stage, will also lead guests underground into Bristol Beacon’s cellars for a daytime youth takeover and a night of emerging grime, rap, pop and R&B acts.
To ensure Bristol is represented to the very best on stage, the party was planned with a community advisory group. This includes gig-going legend ‘Big’ Jeff Johns; family inclusion worker, Natalie Thomas-Gayle; Bristol Older People Forum’s Ian Quaife; artist manager Hannah Beasley-Garrigan; and poet and artist, Olamiposi Ayorinde.
“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,” said Natalie Thomas-Gayle. “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.”
Just some of the huge talent on this all-Bristol line-up includes Solomon O.B & Deems Experiment, Bristol Reggae Orchestra and Windrush Choir, Elles Bailey, Up, Bustle & Out, Fantasy Orchestra and Vilk Collective playing during the day. Come the nightfall, go crazy for the likes of Da Fuchaman, Knives, B3nji, BUFFEE, John Stapelton, Kray-Z-Legz, Melissa Fear, RSVP Bhangra and more.
Todd Wills, Artistic Director at Bristol Beacon, said: “With the reopening of Bristol Beacon getting closer and closer, we can’t wait to showcase the amazing talents we have right here on our doorstep at The Housewarming. This is the first time the public will be able to explore all of our incredible new performance spaces. From the initial call out for artists and the selection from our advisory board, we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that every corner of Bristol’s brilliant creative scene will be celebrated.”
Filling all five floors of the foyer, Bridgehouse will host kids activities, poetry, dances, DJs and music of all genres. Taking over the Kennedy Room on the lower ground floor of Bristol Beacon, ‘Big’ Jeff Johns will also be showcasing his artistic talents with his latest exhibition. Everyone is invited to The Housewarming, from long-time patrons (who still accidentally call it Colston Hall) to Bristol newbies.
The Housewarming is free to attend for Bristol with no ticket required, but to receive the full schedule and other essential information, RSVP at the website here.
The Housewarming line-up:
Ayahuasca Dance Group
Baila La Cumbia
Bristol Ballroom Community
Bristol Beacon Youth Ensembles & Community Groups
BDP Creative Communities: Recovery Orchestra & Rising Voices Choir
Bristol Reggae Orchestra & Windrush Choir
Bruce (DJ Set)
Da Fuchaman & his Fireblaze band
DJ Jemz ft Bandyt
Javeon & Operate
Misfits Theatre Company
She is El Capo
Sisters of Swing
Solomon O.B & Deems Experiment
The Yard Woman
Tlya X An
Travelling Light Youth Theatre
Up, Bustle & Out
Young City Poets: Altoma Elwasila & Nara Pring