A brand new festival for Bristol and the South West will celebrate cultural diversity through the arts

21 March 2024

Diverse Artists Network (DAN), champions of local arts and culture, are excited to present DIASPORA! – a new arts festival for Bristol and the South West, taking place from 3 – 6 May, Early May Bank Holiday weekend 2024. 

Partly inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe, this four-day festival is the first of its kind for Bristol and the regions – a vibrant celebration of music, film, poetry, dance, storytelling and much more. 

Over 15% of the South West population is made up of people from the global majority, but the region’s cultural output doesn’t reflect that. Building on six years of DAN’s artistic community development, in collaboration with some of the city’s best-loved venues and institutions, DIASPORA! seeks to better reflect the region’s cultural diversity by showcasing artists from marginalised diasporas. 

There’s also an exciting focus on community engagement through the festival’s opening and closing ceremonies, the Flag Up Your Identity project, and a DIASPORA! poetry competition, open for submissions until 20 March. Visit the DIASPORA! webpage for more information.

Vandna Mehta, Co-founder of DAN and Artistic Director of DIASPORA!, says:

“DIASPORA! was an idea from Ruth Pitter MBE, who wanted to see a Black arts festival for Bristol and the regions. The more we discussed it, the more we realised the value in celebrating arts and culture more broadly. 

“DIASPORA! is a natural progression of all the work we have, to create more and lasting connections between artists, venues and communities of culture.

“Working closely with my fellow DAN Co-founder, Deasy Bamford, and our brand new festival team, we really hope to make a difference for the region, to build something new and needed.”

The full programme is yet to be announced but participating venues already include Bristol Beacon, Tobacco Factory, RWA, The Canteen and the Trinity Centre.

The DAN team and partners are excited about how DIASPORA! is shaping up and invite you to stay informed by signing up to the DAN newsletter. 

You can also follow DAN on Facebook and Instagram, or visit the DIASPORA! webpage on the DAN website.

Everyone, young & old, from every corner of the world, is invited to experience and enjoy all DIASPORA! has to offer. The team hopes to see you there in May! 

Celebrating DIASPORA! in Weston-super-Mare, a Peace Feast supported by Loves Cafe, Refugees Welcome North Somerset and Super Culture, with a menu devised and cooked by Global Kitchen, will mark the opening day of the Festival. 

Illustration by Niki Groom

The event will take place at Refugees Welcome North Somerset on Friday 3 May. It will be an uplifting evening of shared food and culture for the diaspora communities who gather together at Refugees Welcome North Somerset to enjoy, accompanied by Turkish musician Özcan Ateș playing the baglama and Pippa Craggs playing the flute.The Peace Feast is kindly supported by North Somerset Council’s Community Food Programme. 

Find out more about Diverse Artists Network (DAN) HERE