We help people into work, organise events, support creative talent and strengthen the Bristol community.
Helping people into work
We offer industry work experience, mentoring, skills swap programmes and fund professional training to help our volunteers into employment. Areas of work include décor, design, stage management, site build, logistics, security, production, marketing, volunteer management, catering and many, many more.
- Year-round our charity and events programme is organised by up to 250 local people as paid staff, trainees and volunteers, and our events can take this total to over 1000 volunteers at any one time.
Training is provided in a wide range of transferable areas such as marketing, production, graphic design, logistics, event management, project coordination & people management, with the entire festival planned by volunteers assisted by experienced mentors.
We provide valuable work experience for over 400 people each year, including disadvantaged members of the community and those with additional support needs.
We work with other local charities such as Second Step, Big Issue and the Youth Offending Team to offer these opportunities to their members and engage them in creative practises or employment.
We provide solid employment routes directly into the industry via links set up with various UK festivals, event companies and venues, and we are currently setting up links with European companies.
“Hello I’m Russ and I was part of Brisfest’s Sustainability Team. Working with Brisfest really helped me progress my career in the events industry. I started 4 years ago as a steward, progressing to stage and area management, finally working on sustainability. There have been so many opportunities to learn and grow which I have not experienced anywhere else. I was recently successful gaining employment at Temwa (www.temwa.org) as their Events Coordinator and my experiences with Brisfest over the years really helped with this. Now I have my dream job and I am the happiest I have ever been!”
Russ Spollin – May 2015
“I first got involved in 2008 when I was asked to sound engineer a stage in St. Nick’s market by a university friend. I decided to take up the offer as it was a new company I hadn’t worked for, and it got my foot in the door for events in Bristol. At the time I was based in Bath and wanted to make the move to Bristol, and so by working for the event I was able to make new friends, network for jobs and generally get to know Bristol better. The following year I stage managed the Croft stage, one of the two main stages at the festival. 2010 saw me take to the role of assistant production manager, and now here we are in 2013 and I have climbed up the chain to the role of production manager. Doing this job has made it possible for me to freelance full-time and get the career I was gunning for before I started university. Obviously I still can go a lot further in my career, but without BFCG I wouldn’t be doing what I love for a living, which few people can say!”
Rich Howells, 2013
“I did an internship with Brisfest as I thought it would be a great way to get experience in Event Management now that tuition fees have rocketed! Not long after joining I quickly felt part of a team, and the trust and responsibility given to me made me feel like a valued member and encouraged me to prove myself at the task. I loved being thrown in at the deep end and found the pressure exciting, but at the same time felt there was still a support network in place to help me when I needed it. Not to mention that the enthusiasm of all team members is contagious!”
What would you say to someone that wants to get involved?
“Do it! Whether you want serious work experience, to find out more about the industry, to support a charity while having fun, or simply make new friends, it’s a great organisation to be involved in and I’ve had an amazing time. All the crew are friendly and welcoming and will gladly support you, you’ll find yourself getting involved every year!”
Lucy Dance-Matthews 2011
“I originally got involved as I had a lot of idle time on my hands and thought it would be an interesting thing to get involved in and a chance to meet new people.
I enjoy being part of something fun, that is so locally focused, and it’s a great group of people. The experience it provides and the skills I have gained I can take with me and use in all areas of my life.
The first two years I was involved as a steward, helping with just about anything from setting up, to anything that needed doing on the day. I didn’t have a specific skill to bring to the table so opted to help with general roles. This lead to me taking on more responsibility this year by teaming up with my friend and becoming one of the Volunteer Managers. This has a lot more responsibility and a massive challenge for me that so far… I am thoroughly enjoying. (albeit, hard work!)”
Xenie Merrix, Volunteer Manager
“I would not be where I am today, doing the job I love and feeling massively involved with local arts and community, were it not for Brisfest! It has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me and everyone involved.”
” I have been offered work with other events, and Brisfest has made fitting into Bristol lifestyle much easier.”
“Every year has changed and always for the better. In four years I’ve gone from engineering a small PA to programming acts for the main stage.”
Organising Major Events & Supporting Southwest Talent
- We organise a number of events and showcases every year, with our flagship event being Brisfest; a major outdoor festival attended by over 20,000 people per day at Ashton Court Estate.
- We programme rising local acts alongside international headliners to elevate their status and expand their fanbase.
- Two of our major events Brisfest and Rave on Avon showcase “the best of the South West” to agents from across the country… helping local acts make it big. It’s all about local artists, musicians and performers across all genres and styles – giving them a huge platform to shine. With over 15 stages and tents we showcase a vast range of arts.
- Helping local musicians through our free Artist Development Seminars including talks, workshops and feedback sessions.
- Helping the local creative scene, strengthening Bristol’s reputation as being cutting edge
- Gaining national media coverage for local acts through festival coverage, TV pieces, advertising and billboards.
Helping to Strengthen the Bristol Community
- We run our events openly with the public being able to have their say; encouraging active engagement and wide-reaching consultation on social media, forums, at meetings and engagement sessions. We actively encourage feedback and input from everybody, often gaining new trainees this way.
- We work with many local traders, food vendors, and community groups giving them first options on pitches at our events, assisting them to gain a pitch and be successfully competitive with others while striking up collaborations and partnerships.
- We work with local charities and community groups, providing training and work experience, advertising, and give them the opportunity at our events to run workshops and talks.
- Our event venues are programmed by local charities, businesses and promoters to boost local businesses & stimulate growth.
- We use hundreds of local contractors and companies, often using our main event, Brisfest, to gain further work. Money earned by local people is mostly spent back in the local area.