Ahead of new festival Something Good, organiser Ben Steers reveals what to expect
Ben Steers shares why Bristol is the ideal setting for new creative festival Something Good
One of the first things that struck me when I moved to Bristol almost a decade ago was the sense of community, and DIY ethos of the city. It’s something I found incredibly refreshing and inspiring. There’s the buzz and culture of a bigger city, but with the community and collaborative nature of a close-knit town.
Bristol consistently ranks highly on lists of the best places to live and work in the UK. A 2015 Design Council report puts Bristol as the only UK local authority outside London and the South-East to be in the top 10 areas for design, and over 13 per cent of Bristol’s business units are in the creative sector. And it’s not just Bristol, Bath employs 57 per cent more creatives than the national average.
In 2015, frustrated with the lack of creative events happening in Bristol, I – along with some of the team at Fiasco Design – decided to do something about it. Our mission was to create a series of events that reflected the city. They would be comfortable, open and diverse, creating a space for creatives to meet and get inspired. From this simple idea, thread was born. Over 18 months and seven sell-out events, with talks (and quizzes) from the likes of Mr Bingo, Animade, Hey and DesignStudio, we’ve been blown away by thread’s popularity, and the feedback we’ve had.
The next question was a fairly natural one: can we make it bigger? In a city jam-packed with festivals, it seemed strange that there wasn’t one dedicated to the creative arts. We wanted to bring the ethos of thread to a larger audience, and create a festival focusing on, and celebrating, the creative process.
And so, after much planning and research, Something Good was born. Bucking the trend of overpriced, conference-style events, the festival will be held on 6–7 October, and will include a full day of talks on Friday and a programme of workshops, hosted by creative practitioners, on Saturday.
Friday’s creatives include Snask, Anthony Burrill, Morag Myerscough and Marta Veludo. They’ll share stories and anecdotes of their lives in design, including how they got where they are today, and how they tackle creative briefs. There’ll be interactive installations and printing processes for attendees to get involved with, plus an on-site shop.
Saturday will be an opportunity for people to get their hands dirty with creatives workshops hosted by the likes of Anthony Burrill, Wilfrid Wood, Miscellaneous Adventures and Sophy Hollington.
We’re hoping the festival will be a real hit that we can continue to grow and develop. Together we can make Something Good. Tickets are on sale now, visit www.somethinggoodbristol.com
Something Good builds on the success of thread, for which speakers have so far included paper artist Hattie Newman (top left), DesignStudio’s Ben Wright (top right) and Matt ‘mills’ Miller from ustwo (bottom left).