Creative Commons announce Bristol Circus Festival

Creative Common today reveals details of the inaugural Bristol Circus Festival, opening on Friday 13th September. Set to "wow" crowds with 41 performances over 33 nights and featuring 8 local, national and European companies, 16 live bands and DJs, and 143 individual performers, the festival will celebrate the city’s historic and continuing strong links to the art form. Curated by Bristol’s very own Invisible Circus, the festival climaxes with the world premiere of their brand new show ‘Under A Dark Moon’. More exciting performances from Fringe First winners Pirates of the Carabina, family favourites The Insect Circus and stars of the National Theatre’s ‘Watch this Space’, Joli Vyann. Plus more Festival exclusives including Mr Scruff, The Sheelanagig Band and Twisted Fairground. For details of the full festival program and tickets, visit the Creative Common website.

Bristol has been home to wild and wondrous entertainment for many centuries.  An annual fortnight known as St James’ Fair dates back to the 13th century and is said to have included an international array of exhibitors and performers. Phillip Astley, the man dubbed ‘the Father of Circus’, brought his famous trick horse riders to Bristol in 1794 where he founded the first of his own circus companies.

Fast-forward to the 21st century and Bristol is home to not only a growing number of artists, performers and companies, but also Circomedia, the country’s leading school for circus skills. The school’s alumni form an international cast starring in contemporary circus shows across the globe including Ockham’s Razor and Pangottic Circus Theatre – and NoFit State Circus who opened the Creative Common 2013 season in June.
The Invisible Circus’ Director, Doug Francis explains the driving ethos behind the festival – “Artists and shows from Bristol are exported all over the world yet remain often unseen in the city itself. Our aim is to create a platform and build an audience to showcase local talent as well as attract touring companies to show their work here.”

Highlights of the Bristol City of Circus festival include Fringe First winner ‘Flown’, a mix of high-impact physicality by Pirates of The Carabina. The piece was originally commissioned by Glastonbury Festival and was also developed in Bristol at The Invisible Circus’ former creation space at Paintworks.  An interactive installation performance comes courtesy of Twisted Fairground, adding puppetry, theatre, costume and sculpture together to create a truly immersive world within the Creative Common Big Top. Experiments in ‘comic extremism’ come from Tony Clifton Circus who will be balancing poetic elegance with screw-ball weirdness in their anarchic spectacle ‘Rubbish Rabbit’.  
The weekly festival highlight will be Francisco’s Limelight Lounge every Friday evening featuring high octane circus, beguiling cabaret and foot stomping live music and DJ’s.  Hosted by The Invisible Circus’ Doc Francisco, Friday nights at Creative Common are set to be the best party in town.
Creative Common has so far welcomed over 30,000 visitors since its launch in June 2013. Once a derelict piece of land next to Temple Meads Railway Station, Creative Common has been transformed into a unique public space in the heart of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Locals and tourists who regularly visit the site can enjoy a locally sourced organic meal in Yurt Lush and a local ale or two from “Bristol’s coolest new bar” The Goods Yard.  The 2013 season has been filled with immersive performance, live music, independent cinema, public art and exhibitions along with Gromit Unleashed, making the space a destination to be enjoyed by all.

Bristol Circus Festival Listing Information

* Booking fees apply 

Friday 13th September 
Francisco's Limelight Lounge feat. The Rubber Duck Orchestra
Each Friday throughout the Festival, The Limelight Lounge appears as the sun goes down, illuminating the timeless shadows of the Big Top.
Hosted by The Invisible Circus’ Doc Francisco, with special guests each week, bringing you the very finest of high octane Circus, beguiling Cabaret and foot stomping live music and DJ’s.

Dress Up Code: Circus Freak Chic
Doors 7:30pm, Show Starts 8pm, Finish 1:30am
£5 adv/conc plus booking fee, £7 full price

Monday 16th & Tuesday 17th September 
Tony Clifton's Circus ‘Rubbish Rabbit’
A non-stop rollercoaster ride of physical comedy, and endless hilarity all augmented by an amazing musical score – an irreverent and unmissable show to start the festival.
Doors 8pm, Show Starts 8.30pm
£5 conc, £7 full price 
Friday 20th September 
Francisco's Limelight Lounge feat. Top Shelf Jazz
This week; notorious Welsh 5-piece, Top Shelf Jazz serve up a heady cocktail of crooning melodies, filthy swing and rakish banter reprising inter war jazz numbers with verve, nerve and class in a Noel Coward-esque style of their own.
Dress Up Code: Circus Freak Chic
Doors 7:30pm, Show Starts 8pm, Finish 1:30am
£5 earlybird, £7 adv/conc, £10 full price
Tuesday 24th – Thursday 26th September 
Twisted Fairground 'The Electric Fairground Organism´
An explosive fusion of art, interactive installation, puppetry, moving sculpture and contemporary theatre. 
Performances at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
Doors open 15 minutes before start of show.
£5 conc, £7 full price 
Please note: This is a promenade show, no seating.

Friday 27th September 
Francisco's Limelight Lounge feat. Fromage en Feu
This week’s stage will be set alight by the quintessential faux-French fiery 6 piece gypsy band; Fromage en Feu.  Come prepared to lose your inhibitions, sobriety, clothes and sanity.  Dress sharply – or not at all.
Dress Up Code: Circus Freak Chic
Doors 7:30pm, Show Starts 8pm, Finish 1:30am
£5 early bird, £7 adv/conc, £10 full price
Tuesday 1st – Thursday 3rd October
Pirates of the Carabina ‘FLOWN’
Irreverent and silly, bold and breathtaking FLOWN is a captivating show packed with thrills, laughs and extraordinary physical feats, originally commissioned by Glastonbury Festival.
Doors 7pm, Show Starts 7.30pm
£10 adv, £12 full price
*joined by Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson on Weds 2nd

Friday 4th October 
Francisco's Limelight Lounge with Mike Freear (SLAMBOREE)
This week, Mike Freear – Slambo-mastermind DJ performs his full throttle dance explosion.
Dress Up Code: Circus Freak Chic
Doors 7:30pm, Show Starts 8pm, Finish 1:30am
£5 early bird, £7 adv/conc, £10 full price
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th October
Pirates of the Carabina ‘FLOWN
Saturday – Doors 1:30pm, show starts 2pm – matinee performance
Saturday – Doors 7pm, show starts 7.30pm
Sunday – Doors 1.30pm, show starts 2pm – matinee performance
Sunday – Doors 5.30pm, show starts 6pm
£10 adv/conc, £12 full price
Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th October
Joli Vyann 'Don’t Drink and Dance' and 'H2H' Double Bill
'Don't drink and dance' – A familiar story of boy meets girl in a bar transformed by a cocktail of dance, circus and theatre.
'H2H' – Mixing dance, circus and theatre in an innovative way H2H is about hand to hand support physically and emotionally.
Doors, 7:00pm, Show Starts 7.30pm 
£8 adv/conc, £10 full price
Friday 11th October
Francisco's Limelight Lounge feat. Sheelanagig, The Destroyers and The John Langan Band
This week; Sheelanagig will be ripping the roof off the Big Top with their high energy, Balkan flavoured stage show.  14 piece Megafolk mentalists The Destroyers and the Celtic, Gypsy Swing, Roma and Flamenco sounds of The John Langan Band will join them.  
Doors 7:30pm, Show Starts 8pm, Finish 1:30am
£12 special early bird offer, £14 adv, £16 full price
Tuesday 15th – Thursday 17th October 
Apocalyptic Circus ‘Push Me, Pull You’
Originally performed as part of Bristol Old Vics 'Bristol Ferment', push me, pull you uses a combination of traditional circus skills and daring dance acrobatics, performed as part of a beautiful and compelling show about the friendship, trust and unique relationship between performer and her technician.
Doors 7.30pm, Starts 8pm
£6 adv/conc, £8 full price
Friday 18th October  
Mr Scruff ‘Keep It Unreal’ 
The Manchester legend parachutes in to the festival armed with a hot cup of tea to “play records in a big tent for 5 hours”.  This Festival exclusive will be Mr. Scruff’s only Bristol appearance this year.
7:30pm – 01:30am
£10 adv/conc, £12.50 full price
Tuesday 22nd – Thursday 24th October
Insect Circus
A family-friendly, magic world filled with physical theatre, circus and extraordinary costumes 
Doors 5.30pm, show starts 6pm.
Thursday – extra show Doors 8pm, show starts 8.30pm
£7 conc, £9 full price, £25 family
Wednesday & Thursday £7 conc, £9 full price, £25 family ticket 
Friday 25th October
Francisco's Limelight Lounge feat. The Carnyvillains
This week; A highly theatrical and energetic live show, from the infamous 6-piece circus show band expect stomping swing and ska, all rolled out live with riotous, infectious wild punk energy. 
Dress Up Code: Circus Freak Chic
Doors 7:30pm, Show Starts 8pm, Finish 1:30am
£5 earlybird, £7 conc, £10 full price
Saturday 26th October
Kings of Ping presents ‘Return of the Goths of Pong’
Part of the International Ping Pong Convention; PONGRESS.
Table Tennis tournaments like you’ve never seen them before with DJ Poshratz and a special Circus twist!
Halloween Fancy Dress Special
6:30pm – 02:00am
£5 early bird, £7 conc, £MOTD
Sunday 27th October 
Bright Nights International presents 925 and HeartBeats
Everyone dreams of a different kind of life.
925 and HeartBeats explore what happens when hiphop acrobatics and parkour break into an ordinary day.
Doors 6.30pm, show starts 7pm
£6 conc, £8 full price
Wednesday 30th October – Sunday 3rd November
The Invisible Circus presents ‘Under The Dark Moon’
The Festival climax and conclusion of the 2013 Creative Common Big Top program; a world premiere from The Invisible Circus.
A shadowy landscape mixes circus and dreamscape haunted by old film and a live musical score.
Doors 7:30pm, show starts 8pm
£10 conc, £12 adv. £MOTD
Festival concessions: 
Children under 12, NUS, OAP, Disabled, low waged.
Creative Common is fully accessibile.

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