Upfest is undoubtedly the premier street art festival in Europe. Transforming whole sections of its home city Bristol with pieces from some of the best street artists and graffiti writers from around the World.
Over the last weekend in July a massive number of locations across the south of the city played host to a myriad of artists. Centred around the area of Bedminster and in particular North Street, some of the spots were standard walls lining the streets whilst others saw parks, pubs, a football stadium and even a churchyard taken over by spray painting artists.
This was street art on a massive scale, designed very much for the masses, this was about celebrating street art and artists and bringing them to the attention of a public who might never have seen their work yet whom, judging by the crowds, were undoubtedly loving what they saw.
Of course if any city is going to pull off something of this size and scale then Bristol is it. The city is widely credited as being the birthplace of the street art and graffiti scene in the UK. Wander around any part of the city and it’s more than likely that you’ll come across one piece or another. The south of the city in particular, thanks in no small part to previous Upfest festivals, showcases some of the best street art in the country and that can be seen all year round.
There’s plenty more we can say about Upfest but really it’s the art that does the talking and in this latest of events the show boasted more venues and artists than ever before. We spent two full days wandering around and there’s no way that we could have seen everything although we can be sure that we saw a pretty good proportion.
This time the weather also made its mark on the event. Many of the artists found themselves having to stop and start as periods of glorious weather were followed by intense periods of heavy showers. For the artists painting some of the big walls with little shelter, this undoubtedly played a part in some of the pieces being delayed and so in some of the shots in our gallery below some pieces are still unfinished whilst others are covered in scaffolding.
But that is what it is and we’ve chosen our top 20. It was a hard choice as the standard of this festival is incredibly high. We’ve also had a bit of a bias towards those works which we know are going to stay a little longer as they’ve been created on walls as opposed to boards. In the end though there were loads more that we could have included in our top 20 but of course we had to settle on something.
The Inspiring City Top 20 Artworks from Upfest 2017
Kobra – The Tobacco Factory, North Street
2. Nomad Clan – The Old Bookshop, North Street
3. Fanakapan & Insane57 – 239 West Street
4. Jody Artist – The Nursery
5. Eelus – Royston Garden News, North Street
6. Buff Monster – Salvation Army Shop, East Street
7. Hannah Adamaszek & Saroj – The Steam Crane, North Street
8. N4T4 & Philith – Al’s Tikka Grill, Ashton Road
9. Cheo – Brewery Theatre, North Street
10. My Dog Sighs & SNUB – Lilit, North Street
11. Dekor & Zase – Redpoint Climbing Centre, Winterstoke Road
12. Dzia – Redpoint Climbing Centre, Winterstoke Road
13. Xenx & Will Barras – The Masonic, North Street
14. Rocket 01 – Brewery Theatre, North Street
15. Guy Denning & Yatiko Fields – The Tap & Barrel
16. JXC – The Hen & Chicken, North Street
17. Andrew Burns Colwill – The Coopers Arms, Ashton Road
18. Boe & Irony – 302 North Street
19. Caro Pepe & Age Age – The Tobacco Factory, North Street
20. Mon Devane – Ashton Gate Football Stadium, Ashton Road
Upfest was visited over the weekend of 28 & 29 July 2017 and all photographs were taken over that period. For more about Upfest click here and for more about the street art scene in Bristol click here. To see pictures from the 2018 festival have a look here.