ABDW: Melissa Grace Farnie, from Stokes Croft Festival of the Arts

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A brief discussion with Melissa Grace Farnie, Event Coordinator for Stokes Croft Festival of the Arts.

What’s your hometown and what brought you to Bristol? Sunderland – A Mackem lass! I absolutely fell in love with the city’s amazing energy and sense of community, the wonderful people that inhabit it and because the houses are funny colours here.

What’s special about the arts scene here? It’s ALIVE! The art scene is vibrant and exciting, forever changing and every last inch is covered in paint!

What’s the Stokes Croft Festival all about? It’s a week long celebration of all things art shaped within the creative quarter of Bristol, Stokes Croft.

Where did the idea come from? The idea was coined in April by the lovely people at It’s All 2 Much Gallery and PRSC. We finally got the ball rolling around a month ago to go ahead with the celebration of the creative Croft!

Which places have you been working with? We are working with venues from Boston Tea Party all the way down into the Bear Pit; we’ve got the cream of the crop lined up for the event – we can’t thank them enough for their involvement!

What has been the biggest challenge putting it together? Oh gosh, probably the tight timeframe! We’ve had a little over a month to piece the festival together but we’ve managed! PMA guys.


Where should we be grabbing something to eat in Stokes Croft? That’s a toughie! The Stokes Croft area really does spoil us for choice, doesn’t it? I absolutely swear by the grub in The Canteen, there’s always something a little bit different to pick from, and you can’t grumble with the portion sizes.

Where do you recommend to drink in Stokes Croft? Easily The Crofters Rights – the range of cider and beers is forever changing. It always gets us heading back for more.

What event should we be checking out at the Art Festival? We are very, very much looking forward to the Collage Club at The Crofters Rights on Friday 12th. Like we keep saying, it’s going to get sticky!

Any installation or Street Art feature we should keep a look out for? Keep your ear to the ground for big Bear Pit announcements throughout the week of the festival, we have very big plans soon to be unveiled.

Who’s your favourite Bristol-based artists? I absolutely love Fuller, he’s the lovely tall chap that illustrates the incredibly intricate maps of Bristol. We are looking to project his map on a building during the festival so keep your eyes peeled! Also, I have a huge soft spot for Deamsy – he lent us his awesome talents to create the poster and print design for the festival. Many, many thanks once again Deams!

How can people get involved? In an all manner of different ways! We are looking for guerrilla gardeners, street team volunteers, buskers, painters, performers, film makers and all the bits in-between! We would love to get as many people as possible involved so don’t be a stranger, link up with us on stokescroftartsfestival@gmail.com – we are looking forward to hearing  from you already.

Do you use the Wriggle app yourself? I do! It’s absolutely awesome for keeping up to date with all the excitement bubbling away in Bristol.

Anything you’d like to add? We are thoroughly excited to champion the creative quarter of Bristol and we hope you will all join us to celebrate throughout the week. See you all there!

Head on down to the Stokes Croft very first Festival of the Arts between the 8th-14th September, 2014. Want to find out what’s cracking where & when? Head to their website, or keep up with their antics over on their twitter page.

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