Bristol street festival Upfest postponed until 2022 because of Covid

It had been planned for hundreds of artists to paint live as part of the event later this summer. Credit: PA

Bristol’s Upfest - Europe’s biggest street art festival - has been postponed because of the pandemic.

The festival was supposed to happen at the end of August, with hundreds of artists and thousands of art lovers expected in the city.

But organisers have now decided to reschedule this year’s event due to uncertainty about what Covid restrictions may be in place going forward. It is now expected to take place in May or June next year.

A spokesman for Upfest said the postponement came "after much thought and with great sadness".

“The primary reason is the continuing uncertainty about what covid requirements will be in place over the next few months," they added.

“The government promised clear guidance, which should have been available in mid-June.

“As this has been postponed, our window of opportunity to plan and safely host a festival has reached a point where the risk has become too great to continue planning and paying for increasing infrastructure costs which could leave us significantly in debt, should the event not be able to happen at the last minute.

This mural of Greta Thunberg was created during the festival. Credit: ITV News

“We're also conscious that many people are still not 100% confident about being in large crowds. This is a big consideration to us for our loyal festival-goers, artists and our 80 strong volunteer crew, whom we can't run the festival without.

“Inclusivity is at the heart of what we do, and so it feels too soon to be hosting the event while ensuring everyone can join us.

"We will start planning for our return in 2022 right away, and we are looking forward to bringing everyone together as soon as we can in the new year.”

The Upfest team is currently concentrating on its initiative to paint 75 murals across south Bristol in 75 days.

The spokesman added: “In better news, we are halfway through our 75 walls in 75 days, and some incredible artworks are appearing on the streets of south Bristol.