The Best Summer Events and Festivals in Bristol 2023

Photo: Paul Gillis Photo   

Contributor Kim Kerr takes a look at the very best summer events and festivals in Bristol for 2023… so get out there and have some fun!


Bristol, one of South West England‘s top tourist destinations, buzzes with fun things to do year-round. But there’s something truly exceptional about a summer visit to this historic gem of a city. And the summer of 2023 is no exception, with summer bringing with it an endless parade of festivals, events, and unique experiences to enjoy.

Whether you’re into music or art, dance or comedy, or are a foodie or a history buff, Bristol is an exciting escape just waiting to be discovered.

To help you make the most of your time in this famous port city, be sure to read through our list of the very best events and festivals in Bristol for 2023.


The Best Summer Events and Festivals in Bristol 2023


See the Future of Art @ Squidsoup’s Beyond Submergence (From 1 July)

 Start your cultural adventure with Beyond Submergence at Propyard, a world-first immersive art experience. From July 1st, the former missile warehouse metamorphoses into an avant-garde playground, with the award-winning collective Squidsoup curating a cutting-edge exhibit featuring their most impressive installations.

Journey through this mesmerising spectacle of light, space, sound, and movement, crafted for an all-encompassing, unforgettable encounter.


Free Fun @ St Pauls Carnival (1 July)

This summer, Bristol proudly hosts the first full St Pauls Carnival since 2019. Join over 100,000 people on 1st July, celebrating in the heart of Bristol’s St Pauls neighbourhood.


An Ode to Unicorns @ Unicornfest (1 July – 3 September)

Experience a captivating fusion of public art and history as Unicornfest marks Bristol’s 650th year of independence. The city comes alive with 60 supersized unicorn sculptures, painted by local artists and scattered across Bristol’s most iconic landmarks.

After this fun-for-all-ages event concludes in September, these whimsical creatures will be auctioned, with proceeds benefitting Leukaemia Care.


Show Your Colours @ Bristol Pride Day 2023 (8 July)

Join the crowd in celebrating Bristol Pride Day 2023, scheduled for Saturday 8 July. Look forward to mesmerising performances by Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters, Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud, Alison Limerick and Ladyhawke, along with talented local artists and community groups.


Fun Galore @ Bristol Harbour Festival (14 -16 July)

In the heart of the city, the always fun Bristol Harbour Festival dances into action from July 14th to 16th, inviting visitors to five distinct performance areas around the city’s spectacular harbour.

You can soak up the festival atmosphere at this free-of-charge event, one of the city’s largest summer gatherings that lures in over 250,000 visitors with its rich and diverse programme.

From riveting music and dance to jaw-dropping circus acts and maritime displays, this summer extravaganza is the must-do event of the summer.


Art Adventures @ at Aerospace Bristol (22 July – 3 Sept)

Celebrate the art of flight at Aerospace Bristol from July 22nd to September 3rd. Join in on the artistic fun, drawing inspiration from aviation’s illustrious history.


Reach for the Skies @ Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (10 – 13 August)

Don’t miss the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta from August 10th to 13th, where the skies fill with colourful hot air balloons in a thrilling spectacle of family-friendly fun. This free four-day spectacle is the largest of its kind in Europe with over 100 hot air balloons rising into the sky each day.

A highlight of a visit is the spectacular Night Glow shows and fireworks. Adding to the excitement are fairground rides, live music, aerial displays and more, all set within the gorgeous grounds of Ashton Court Estate.


Imbibe @ The Bristol Cocktail Weekend (28 Sept 1 October)

Sip on summer at the Bristol Cocktail Weekend from September 28th to October 1st. Venture into Bristol’s world-class bars serving their signature cocktails at a special rate for wristband wearers. Top it all off with tempting food offers for the ultimate gourmet experience.


Find Out More…


To find out more about these and the many other fun summer events and festivals in Bristol in 2023, visit the Visit Bristol website at




Travel and luxury lifestyle writer Kim Kerr is a Co-founder of Riley International Media, a leading source of news and reviews relating to luxury lifestyles and travel in the world’s leading destinations. 

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