Ashton Court Festival Facing Ruin

Organisers of the Ashton Court Festival in Bristol have launched a public appeal in a bid to save the annual event from being wiped off the festival map...

The two-day festival is under threat following low numbers at this year’s event and increased costs.

Launching a public appeal, the organisation said it urgently needs public support if it is to continue offering the 32-year old festival to the Bristol and South West community.

Neil Barlow, who has been on the festival’s committee for 10 years, said: “The festival has become a kind of institution and people seem to take it for granted that it will always exist.

“However, it really is crunch time and we desperately need the support of the community to carry on. If we do not act now, by January it will be too late to turn the situation around and 32 years of heritage will be lost. Along with it will go one of the most important dates in the Bristol calendar and a major opportunity for local artists to perform.

“We are hopeful that the people of Bristol can come together and support the festival and we will do everything we can to ensure that it will live to see another year.”

Organisers are asking people to donate whatever they can towards a public appeal fund, with the aim of putting the event back on a secure footing.

Mr Barlow said: “If 5,000 people each donate £20, it will enable the festival to pay off its current debts and will help ensure an event in 2007.”
Last year’s event saw sets from Simple Minds, The Go! Team, Blackbud, Plan B and many more. However, despite a successful Saturday, the figures on Sunday were around 10,000 down on what was expected and therefore the festival was dealt with a financial loss.

The organisation does not receive public funding and is entirely reliant on sponsorship and gate income to survive. Mobile phone company Orange has sponsored the festival for the last five years but has since decided not to renew the deal.

The festival was traditionally free, with local acts including Roni Size, Portishead and Massive Attack all performing for next to nothing. However, several years ago organisers attempted to expand it and charge for tickets.

To help keep the festival alive and to enable it to continue as an important date in the Bristol calendar, you can donate directly with a credit/debit card via the website

Alternatively, you can send a cheque made payable to ?Bristol Community Festival? to 1 Ninetree Hill, Bristol, BS1 3SB

If you have any questions you can e-mail the Festival Office at