The first edition of the Portishead Arts Festival was hailed a great success by attendees and the organisers alike, with hopes high that the event will now become a regular fixture on the community calendar.

Photo of the Barnacle Buoys by Bob Cartwright

Taking place over the weekend of September 25-26, the festival brought the town to life with a wonderful mix of exhibitions, talks, entertainment, workshops and more, held across several venues.

The brainchild of co-organisers Jeff Lucas and Nicola Holland, the festival had been thought up with the aim of showcasing Portishead’s natural beauty and wealth of artistic talent. “Feedback has been fantastic and with people over the weekend already begging us

Exhibition photos by Alan Harrison

to do it again and giving their ideas for next year, it already feels like the 2021 festival is the start of a long-term project rather than a one off,” Nicola said. 

She added that highlights had included seeing the faces of the crowds wandering round exhibitions clearly enjoying themselves and suddenly catching the voices of sea shanty maestros the Barnacle Buoys as they carried across the Marina from the lock gates to where she was standing. “I confess to almost welling up more than once!” she said. Nicola also thanked the local businesses that had sponsored the festival, saying that none of it would’ve been possible without their support.