Upfest, the Europe’s largest free street art festival, will be extending further down East Street this year, thanks to new support from local developer Firmstone Consortia One.
The developer, who recently bought St Catherine’s Place in Bedminster and is currently drawing up plans to regenerate the site, has stepped in to support the festival. The funding will help support retailers and businesses in East Street by attracting new people into the area.
This follows the recent news that a host of community events, including Upfest, would face a funding shortfall after a major supermarket in the area decided to withdraw from supporting the renewal of Bedminster’s Business Improvement District.
Francis Firmstone, director of Firmstone Consortia One, commented: “Upfest is a jewel in the crown of BS3 and when we heard that important community events like this would be affected by the BID vote, we decided to step in and help.”
“St Catherine’s Place has the potential to kick-start the regeneration of surrounding area, which is why we are so excited that Upfest will a touch of colour to more of East Streets buildings.”
Running from 28-30 July, the popular Upfest festival attracts over 400 artists from 70 countries as they descend on the area to paint live on 60,000 sq ft of surfaces. National and international artists will be venturing further down East Street for the first time and visitors will be able to see new spaces being transformed into jaw-dropping designs during the festival.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival has also had great success with its annual crowdfunding programme to help support the artists who attend the festival.
Stephen Hayles, Upfest founder, said: “We’re lucky to have support from the communities of BS3 and in particular Firmstone and the St Catherine’s Place project this year. The development will be great for that part of the area and our Upfest fans will be able to head down and see more walls painted on East Street than before as they explore the artists we’ll have painting throughout the weekend.”
The revised BID for Bedminster is now out for consultation. Francis Firmstone added: “We strongly support Bedminster’s BID and will be voting ‘yes’ for the revised scheme. The investment from local businesses helps fund projects and events that are of huge importance to the local community.”