Hundreds flock to town's first arts festival

Tracie Fry exhibiting at the Folk Hall

Tracie Fry exhibiting at the Folk Hall 1 of 10. Photo by Tracey Fowler (1) - Credit: Tracey Fowler

Portishead's first ever arts festival was hailed a huge success after hundreds of people flocked to the eight different venues taking part last weekend. 

The High Street was awash with people as they made their way from venue to venue to experience the artistic talent on show. 

Le Roc's Flash Mob in Portishead Precinct by Bob Cartwright

Le Roc's Flash Mob in Portishead Precinct. - Credit: Bob Cartwright

From dancing in the Precinct to modelling at the youth centre; art and craft exhibitions at Somerset Hall and the Folk Hall to guided tours of the public art trail, there was something for everyone. Live music on the quay and in the High Street and a flash mob dance in the Precinct encouraged everyone to join in. 

Graffitti workshops at Portishead Youth Centre by Bob cartwright

Graffitti workshops at Portishead Youth Centre. - Credit: Bob Cartwright

Visitor Valerie Simms, who lives near the town’s marina, said: “We have had such a lovely day, Portishead really came alive today (Saturday), there has been so much going on. The atmosphere is party-like, there’s a real feel good factor about the whole thing and I have bought some lovely gifts.” 

The exhibitors also gave the event the thumbs-up.

Artist Sue Loder, who exhibited at the Folk Hall, said: “It was a very well organised event. It was a really good experience for me, especially meeting other artists and discovering quite a few of us started our crafts and paintings during lockdown as a way to overcome the doom and gloom by being creative.”

Somerset Hall art

Some of the art on display in Somerset Hall. - Credit: Tracey Fowler

Organiser Nicola Holland, who came up with the idea of the weekend festival, said: “It was a first for me, organising anything like this and I have to say the people of Portishead and beyond did us proud.

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"We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout. I’d just like to thank everyone who helped make this such a success, from those performing and exhibiting through to our sponsors, advertisers and prize givers, not to mention the volunteers and visitors. Exhibitors and visitors have asked us to make this an annual event so we’re now looking for people to get involved in the 2022 festival.”

Poet Peter Gibbs. Photo by Tracey Fowler (1)

Poet Peter Gibbs. - Credit: Tracey Fowler

Anyone who wants to get involved in the future of Portishead Arts Festival can email