Bristol Festival of Ideas

The Bristol Festival of Ideas aims to stimulate people’s minds and passions with an inspiring programme of discussion and debate throughout the year.

Established in 2004, the Bristol Festival of Ideas emerged out of Bristol’s bid to be Capital of Culture in 2008.

We wanted more debate in the city. We also wanted to celebrate the work of great writers, commentators and thinkers in and outside the city.

In the past 10 years we’ve run more than 2,000 events, as well as major projects on Brunel, Charles Darwin and Bristol aerospace; the Great Reading Adventure; and the UK’s largest programme commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war, Bristol 2014.

Upcoming projects include The Romantic Poets and Bristol, celebrating Bristol as the place where Romantic poetry was born with the first publication of the Lyrical Ballads, and Bristol 800 in 2016, marking the 800th anniversary of the first mayor of Bristol.

The Bristol Festival of Ideas is an initiative of Bristol Cultural Development Partnership (Bristol City Council and Business West), an Arts Council England national portfolio organisation.



Leigh Court
Abbots Leigh
Leigh Wood


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