Upfest street art festival to expand to Weston-super-Mare later this year

upfest murals in Bristol
Upfest street art in Bristol this year.

Upfest street art festival will be expanding to Weston-super-Mare later this year.

The festival, which is Europe's largest, usually takes place in Bristol but it will be expanding this year for the first time.

The news was announced by Weston Town Council as a new £35,000 project - Weston Walls - was launched at the seaside town.

The new initiative will allow a number of local artists to get involved and create art as part of the festival.

The new Weston Walls mural trail is being created by Upfest and will form part of a permanent trail it is hoped will transform the town’s streets.

Artists will paint during the first three weeks of September to produce 10 new murals, adding to existing pieces to form an enhanced street art trail around the town.

Credit: ITV News

This year's festival has been in the spotlight after a number of murals were defaced and vandalised.

It was officially called off this year because of coronavirus concerns but 12 wall art paintings were targeted throughout July.

The vandalism was criticised by artists and Upfest officials alike, with the festival stating it would continue to produce artwork.

Locations for the murals in Weston will be announced as each artwork takes place. Updates on this will be on Culture Weston’s social media.

Cllr Helen Thornton at Weston Town Council said: “Investing in the town in this way will add to its growing cultural identity, draw new visitors to the town and boost local business.”

Upfest co founder Steve Hayles said: “We are excited to bring a flavour of Upfest to Weston-super-Mare where the artworks will not only transform local sites and engender community spirit, but bring people from near and far to the town.

"We want to say a big thanks to all the funders for making this initiative possible, to the landlords for providing their buildings as creative canvases and to the artists for leaving their unique street art stamp on the town."