This weekend, the streets (and walls and pretty much every other available surface) of Bristol, England were taken over by some of the greatest street artists in the world. Upfest is Europe’s largest street art festival, and this year, it brought in over 350 artists from 40 countries to the Bedminster neighborhood to create new, daring, and beautiful public works of art. The festival attracts tens of thousands of people to the area, and involves pretty much every available surface being taken over by painters, muralists, paste-up pros, chalk drawers, and other artists of all stripes. It’s street art on steroids.
Upfest was launched in 2008 by a group of likeminded street artists, but has grown exponentially since then. It currently takes up 30,000 square feet of surface, across 35 different venues. And it all happens in a cacophonic rush of creative energy during the course of just two days. The pieces were created Saturday and Sunday, and visitors were encouraged to come watch the paintings come together live. They also had the rare opportunity to chat with, interact with, and see the artists as they worked. Some of the pieces and spaces were temporary, but the larger scale wall pieces will stay up to be viewed until next year when a new group of artists will arrive to paint over the old with the new, just as they did this year.
It’s an incredible celebration of creative minds that immerses and involves the crowd in a way that you don’t normally get in the secretive, surprising world of street art. And we really want to go next year. But until then, check out some of our favorites from this year’s festivities!