When it comes to festivals, Bristol is well served. The Harbour Festival, Foodies Festival, St. Paul’s Carnival, BrisFest, Balloon Fiesta and Kite Festival to name a few. Those in the fantastic grounds at Ashton Court are particularly enjoyable as the brilliant city views remind me about what’s so great about this city.
One continual gripe about Ashton Court, particularly for the Balloon Fiesta, is the difficulty in getting there. The most obvious route is across the Clifton Suspension Bridge, but for the last few years, this has been restricted to walkers and then, sadly, closed as a route altogether.
We know why. The movement of people on the bridge trudging from one side to the other creates a motion that could cause the bridge damage. Random steps start to sync up, that syncopation causes others to sync with it and before you know it, hundreds of people are helping destroy one of our city’s landmarks. No-one wants that.
But what if there was a way? What if there was a way in which some could use the bridge, help raise a lot of money to support free transport for others to the festival and give themselves a Spectacularly Bristol experience? This to me seems like a real opportunity.
I propose the Suspension Champagne Bar. For festival events, close the road and create a spectacular bridge-length champagne bar from which the paying few can get the most brilliant views of the fiesta and save time on their route to the action. The numbers would be limited to both save the bridge from damage but also to create an exclusivity. There would be no harmonic motion created as folks would be using the entire length of the bridge. The money raised would help pay for subsidised or free buses from the centre of the city to Ashton Court, or for bike parking at the event.
It’s Spectacularly Bristol, something that only we can do. Let me know your thoughts and if you do like it, share this via your social channels.
Update Edit: Some have criticised the elitism of this idea. I’ll take that on board. I called this a champagne bar because with a limited paying public, it has to feel special and valued. I’m sure there are alternatives. We could of course keep the road closed and not raise any money at all.
I called out the balloon fiesta but equally, this idea could be reused for charity events to raise money, or to celebrate public service contributions in the city.