Ref no44518
TitleRecords of Bristol Community Festival
Date1983 - 2007
DescriptionMinutes of committee meetings (1989 - 2006); accounts and financial records (1987 - 2007); correspondence (1988 - 2007); site management records (1988 - 2007); photographs (c. 1986 - 2004); marketing & publicity material (1990 - 2007); legal papers (1991 - 2007); staff newsletters (1994 - 1997); press cuttings (1991 - 2007)
Extent9 boxes, 10 folders
Administrative historyThe Bristol Community Festival (aka Ashton Court Festival), was an outdoor music festival held annually in mid-July on the grounds of Ashton Court Estate in Bristol. It began in 1974 as a series of four one day events held on successive Sundays and was originally known as the Ashton Court Free Festival. First organised by Royce Creasey, the stated aim of the festival was to promote and provide a showcase for talented artists from Bristol and throughout the South West.
From 1975 the festival was condensed to a two day event and it was in this format that it grew from a small community festival into one of the biggest community events in Britain.
In 1988 a Management Committee was formed and on 8th April 1998 the festival became a limited company: Bristol Community Festival Ltd. Originally funded by donations and benefit gigs, a minimum entry fee donation was introduced in 1998. The festival also began to seek funding through sponsorship deals, with the weekend event becoming the 'Orange Ashton Court Festival' from 2002 until 2007.
The festival underwent a temporary move to Hengrove Park in 2001, due to the foot and mouth crisis. In 2007, following the cancellation of the second day of the event due to torrential rain, the company declared bankruptcy and the festival folded.
The Bristol Festival Community Group was set up in 2007 to launch a new community-focused festival for the South West after the Ashton Court Festival ended.
A history of the festival titled 'Court in the Act: Ashton Court Festival 1974 - 1992' was published in 1992.
Access statusOpen
Access conditionsNone
ArrangementAt the point of accession the majority of the collection did not appear to be in any particular order and did not appear to be an archive or resource to which reference was regularly made. The original accession record notes that a lot of material was either never retained or disposed of at a subsequent date and there was also little explanation or evidence within the collection of how the organisation was structured. Therefore it was decided that arranging the collection by function would represent the most pragmatic way forward.
The catalogue was split into three main groups: 'Administrative', which is concerned with the management and organisation of the festival; 'Programming', which consists of front-facing material produced by, and as a result of, the festival, for use in the public domain, primarily for marketing and publicity; and 'Financial'. There is also a group of miscellaneous items.
Custodial historySince Bristol Community Festival Ltd folded, the records have been in the custody of festival co-ordinator, Steve Hunt.
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