News, events and schools' information for families across Bristol

The popular light artwork Bristol is Always a Good Idea by renowned artist Real Hackney Dave is set to return to the city, kicking off a vibrant Bristol summer. Celebrating the city’s rich cultural offering, diverse culinary scene, world-class events and more, the artwork reinforces why Bristol is a must-visit destination.

From tomorrow, Tuesday 9 July, the captivating light installation will make its way back to the city centre. Initially showcased at this year’s edition of the Bristol Light Festival, where it illuminated Valentine Bridge, the artwork will now travel to various iconic locations around the city.

It will debut in Millennium Square tomorrow, before touring different venues, with local businesses able to enter a competition to host this glowing pink reminder of Bristol’s charm.

Photo: SUP Bristol

Bristol’s summer calendar is brimming with events for all ages and interests. The city’s maritime must-do, the lively Bristol Harbour Festival, returns between Friday 19th – Sunday 21st July, and the artwork will make a splash by taking prime position next door to the event’s new-for-2024 Expression Stage. 

Visitors and residents can also look forward to the jazz and blues of Old City Sounds, taking over venues in the Old City on August bank holiday Saturday 24th; see Massive Attack take to the Downs on Sunday 25th August in the lowest carbon show of its size ever staged, before catching LCDSoundsystem and Loyle Carner wow crowds as they headline Forwards festival there on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September. 

Photo: Beth Whelan

Bristol’s vibrant cultural scene is unmatched. From award-winning attractions like We The Curious, now reopened, to the 15th edition of Bristol Pride this weekend and the spectacular Bristol International Balloon Fiesta wowing crowds on the weekend of Friday 9th – Sunday 11th August, there’s something for all.

Art aficionados can also enjoy exhibitions at the Arnolfini and the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, as well as world-renowned street art, while music lovers can attend live performances at various iconic venues across the city.

Bristol’s food and drink offerings are also a feast for the senses. The city is home to award-winning venues like Milk Thistle, crowned UK Bar of the Year*, and Dhamaka, a nominee for Independent Restaurant of the Year*.

Photo: Beth Whelan

Bristol recently landed the top spot on an acclaimed list of the 15 best places to visit in the UK in 2024*. It  was awarded the Best City to Live in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2017, and the Culinary Destination of the Year in 2019*. It was also the first UK city to be awarded the title of European Green Capital in 2015 and became the first UK ‘cycling city’ in 2008.

In 2016, Bristol was named as one of the 10 happiest cities to work in the UK by The Guardian. Most recently it has topped the list to become Greenest City in the UK in June 2024 (Millets study).

In addition to the travelling installation, Bristol Is Always A Good Idea will feature striking billboards throughout the city and beyond. These billboards will display iconic Bristol scenes overlaid with the Bristol is Always a Good Idea artwork, enticing both residents and visitors to explore all that the city has to offer.

Photo: Julian Preece

Vicky Lee, Director of Bristol City Centre BID, said, “Real Hackney Dave’s artwork is a reminder of all the things people love about our city. Everyone’s reasons for loving the city are so varied—from the many great businesses the city centre is home to, to the beautiful green spaces and huge cultural array of things to do – our summer campaign and the return of this famous Bristol Light Festival artwork is sure to drive footfall into the city centre as visitors and residents come to enjoy their favourite things about Bristol.”

Jon Chamberlain, Head of Marketing at Visit West, added, “We wanted to showcase everything that makes Bristol such a unique and inviting cultural destination. Whether it’s the creativity, attractions, food and drink, events and festivals, or just the amazing people, Bristol really is always a good idea. This is especially true in summer, and Real Hackney Dave’s artwork is a fitting tribute to that.”

Bristol is Always a Good Idea is returning to Bristol as part of a summer campaign created by Visit Bristol and Bristol City Centre BID. Businesses can apply to be next to host the artwork in or around their venue by sharing why they think Bristol is always a good idea and outlining where they would put the installation in/around their venue.

For more information, including how to apply, head to