Knowle West Fest to go online

Final call for local people to get involved

Featured image headliners at last year’s Knowle West Fest, reggae band Da Fucherman. Picture Lewis Campbell.

The popular Knowle West Fest will be going online this September due to the coronavirus pandemic – and there’s still a call out for local people to get involved.

This year it will take place on Saturday 12 September and is being organised by digital arts charity Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) – working with the local community.

They are still looking for artists, performers and community organisations as well as food businesses who would like to take part.

There will be a host of activities on the day – including online workshops, music and film.

KWMC Arts Producers Martha King and Josie Gyasi will be coordinating the event and say it promises to be “an exciting celebration”.

Martha says: “It’s a chance to celebrate the Knowle West community and bring the festival vibe right to your house – as we haven’t been able to go physically to festivals this year.

“Going online can mean that those who still may need to be shielding at home can still be part of it.

“It’s a way to still showcase local talent, find out more about all the amazing community projects – and learn about some of the brilliant things that have still managed to happen through lockdown – like the Filwood Fantastic small grants and all the Knowle West Alliance’s work.”

Knowle West Fest was started by a group of organisations in the area in 2015 – with the aim of bringing the community together and celebrating local talent and diversity. 

It has traditionally been held in and around Filwood Community Centre with a range of music from local performers, workshops, food and stalls.

Face painting at Knowle West Fest. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.
Members of Bristol Pan Sonic Steel Pan performing at Knowle West Fest 2018.

This year promises a wealth of different activities and so far there has been a lot of interest from local artists and groups.

Highlights include a film made in lockdown by Young and Free, a befriending service for disabled young people, based at Filwood Community Centre. 

Artist Megan Clarke-Bagnall will be sharing the virtual Mini-Golf project which is part of Filwood Fantastic. During lockdown people were sent creative packs including wooden golf clubs and had a go at making their own golf course.

This is in anticipation of the real-life mini golf course which local charity re:work is currently building at Filwood Community Centre – to be opened this autumn.

Former Knowle West resident Gary Thompson, founder of Cables and Cameras is putting together a collection of short films from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) film makers and hosting a question and answer panel.

There will be music from young people working with KWMC’s Jump Studios and Soundwaves projects and performers expected so far include Knowle West pop music artist Kala Chng, local sibling duo Perfect Soul and DJ Bunjy.

Kala Chng performing at last year’s Knowle West Fest. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

Brother and sister duo Perfect Soul.

Online workshops will include circus skills with Circomedia and lantern making with Alan May. 

Don’t try this at home: Circomedia at Knowle West Fest 2019. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

And for those who might have missed last year’s Knowle West Fest there will be the chance to catch up with film footage of the day.

In order to get the whole festival experience, organisers are looking for food businesses to offer festival food takeaways on the day.

There will also be festival packs available to be sent out to homes  – which will include things to help people get into the spirit of the day – such as glitter and glo sticks.

Local artists Claudia Collins – who has run the Knowle West Beach and Knowle West Rocks projects – and Julian Wood from the Art of Kindness will be adding extra “kindness sparkles” to the packs and delivering them to your door.

Filwood Community Market will be taking place the week before the festival on Saturday 5 September – with possible live performances as a forerunner to the festival. Details to be confirmed nearer the time.

Martha adds: “The online event will be run very much like past festivals with family workshops and activities in the day and music in the evening. Watch this space for full info about timings and full line-up.

“We can offer technical support and help for people making videos and it will be easy for people to join on the day.

“It will be something for the community to look forward to with the closing of the summer and the start of the autumn term.”

Knowle West Fest is funded by Filwood Fantastic this year and will take place on in the afternoon and evening of Saturday 12 September – exact timings to be confirmed.

Organisers will be taking expressions of interest until Friday 7 August and complete video content by 21 August – with a full programme of events available shortly.

To find out how to get involved from submitting content and offering online workshops to performing or volunteering visit https://kwmc.org.uk/kwfest20/ or email Martha King: martha.king@kwmc.org.uk