Sun shines on Knowle West Fest

Featured image headliners reggae band Da Fucherman. Picture Lewis Campbell.

By Knowledge reporters

The sun shone as around 500 people turned out to enjoy the highly-anticipated Knowle West Fest at Filwood Community Centre on Saturday.

The festival was started six years ago by a group of local organisations with the aim of bringing the community together and celebrating different talent, diversity and ages.

With this year’s theme ‘Cultures of Knowle West’ the event looked to promote both the traditional and new cultures of the area – with music provided by homegrown bands including 3 Culture, Kala Chng’s brand of Chinese style pop and headliners reggae band Da Fucherman.

Local rappers 3 Culture performing at the festival. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.
Kala Chng. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

X factor star Daniel Quick – who developed his talent on the Filwood stage – was also performing and the evening featured sets from local DJs – including the popular DJ Bunjy.

Local X Factor celebrity Daniel Quick.

The music provided a big draw for many residents – such as Gary Chaffe (48) and his eight-year-old daughter Lauren who said their favourite band was Da Fucherman.

Gary said: “… Something like this brings people together, not a lot of that goes on nowadays…”

And Doreen Reay, (70) said: “I came for the music, I like the reggae. I think all the people here are friendly and that’s what makes it nice.”

Reggae band Da Fucherman was a hit with all ages. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre..

The event also provided plenty of family activities including the popular crazy golf – enjoyed by all including Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees – as well as circus skills provided by Circomedia.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees tries his hand at the crazy golf at Knowle West Fest. Picture KWMC.
Don’t try this at home – Circus skills demonstration by Circomedia. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

Beverly Dowling brought her three grandchildren, Lola (seven) and five-year-olds Phoebe and Spencer.

She said: “I only live round the corner and it’s the first time I’ve been here. It’s good for the community and it’s nice for the children – it’s lovely to see them having fun.

“It’s things they have never seen apart from on computer games…”

Left to right: Lola, Phoebe and Spencer try out circus skills at Knowle West Fest. Picture KWMC.

Nearby on the quadrangle some of the Beavers from the Knowle West Scouting group were toasting marshmallows over a fire – presided over by Group Scout Leader Melissa Veil.

She said: “The Beavers are doing fire safety and are talking to other children about what scouting is…We meet here every Wednesday and Thursday and we’re raising money for the Avon Jamboree next year in Wraxall…”

Melissa (centre) with left to right, Theo, Logan and Ross from the Beavers. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

There were more activities in the nearby sports hall – including a bouncy castle, which had been asked for by residents, as well as table tennis, table football and snooker.

Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

In one of the side rooms residents could also take part in virtual reality (VR) sessions with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) and be transported to the other side of the world – from Japan to Africa.

They could also try out digital embroidery or photograph their favourite objects for KWMC’s 100 Years of Knowle West Style project.

Artist Holly from KWMC helps residents photograph or draw their favourite object for 100 years of Knowle West Style project.

Lewis Campbell from KWMC helps people travel to other climates – without leaving Knowle West.

Filwood Chase History Society was also on hand to share information about the area – with a model of what it used to look like in Saxon times.

Outside a market was in full swing including a fruit and vegetable stall with produce provided by Knowle West Health Association’s Springfield Allotment and gardener Don Jones from Filwood Community Centre.

Vegetable, fruit and plant stall. Picture KWMC.

With the street closed to traffic, youngsters could take part in games from the Victorian era – provided by SS Great Britain which included skittles and skipping – enjoyed by all, even the local Police Community Support Officers.

Jumping for joy – local PCSOs Matt Badrick and Mark Thomas join in the fun. Picture KWMC.

Leila Nicholas, Communities Officer for SS Great Britain said: ‘We have been promoting what we do with Victorian games, mystery objects from the ship and Victorian costumes – we run family takeover days and free story telling for under 5s.”

Victorian costume at SS Great Britain Stall. Picture Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre.

On the lawn in front of the centre, Science Centre We the Curious had brought its Texture Garden – which included cardboard boxes and fluffy blankets laid out on the grass to encourage creative play.

Bianca (four) with mum Maria Lejandra in the We the Curious Texture Garden. Picture KWMC.

James Gallagher from We the Curious said: “It’s a kid led activity, if they want to build dens they can or robot boxes. We have a Community Open Weekend for anyone from Knowle West on the 21 and 22 September.”

Makala Cheung from Community in Partnership Knowle West (KWCIP), who organised the event for the second year, also performed under her stage name Kala Chng.

She told The Knowledge: “I’m so overwhelmed by all the community volunteers who came forward to help and really pleased with the turnout – people who know about the centre and people who have never been here before.

“Everyone has enjoyed the variety of activities especially the crazy golf and live music – Da Fucherman was a highlight…”

Luke Dean (20) was one of the residents drawn to the centre by the event. He said: ” I live round the corner and I haven’t been in the building since I was five…

“I can hardly recognise it. I feel like I’ve missed out on so many things going on.…It’s a sense of community and I wished I’d experienced more over the years.” 

Bobby Jones (60) who runs the boxing at Filwood Community Centre came with his seven-year-old grandson Sid.

He said: ” I think there were more activities this year and the weather has been better and a lot more people here…

” I like the market because it brought people to see what was happening… I reckon it’s been brilliant…”

See more pictures from the best of Knowle West Fest.

If you have any photos from the event you’d like shared email them to

Images below by Marcus Way courtesy of Filwood Community Centre unless otherwise stated.

KWMC artist George Lovesmith with Max trying out digital embroidery. Picture KWMC.