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News: Colston Hall Presents – Bristol Takeover Online

A live streamed festival celebrating and supporting Bristol’s music scene.

A collection of Bristol’s music artists and venues, plus some specially invited guests, have teamed up for an online festival to support the live music scene in the city.

On Saturday 23 May, from 3pm – 12am Colston Hall Presents the Bristol Takeover Online, a digital festival in partnership with Music Venue Trust’s Save Our Venues campaign and hosted by BBC Introducing in the West.

Following on from Colston Hall’s Bristol Takeover events in 2017 and 2019, the 2020 edition comes with the lockdown twist of being live streamed online, and features a powerful line-up of fresh new talent and special guests programmed in partnership with some of the city’s renowned grass roots venues including The Louisiana, Thekla, The Fleece, Exchange, St George’s Bristol, Trinity, Crofters Rights, The Old England, Rough Trade and more.

Bristol Takeover Online is hosted by BBC Introducing in the West presenters Richard Pitt and Sam Bonham and will feature the likes of Adrian Utley of the band Portishead, The Allergies, Ishmael Ensemble, Melt Yourself Down, No Go Stop, Pictish Trail, Rachael Dadd, Run Logan Run, Three Cane Whale, artists on the Saffron Records roster and many more.

The festival will be live streamed for free via YouTube, however organisers are asking that viewers donate what they would normally spend on a gig ticket via the event’s CrowdFunder page. All donations will be split 50/50 to support participating artists and Bristol music venues in collaboration with Music Venue Trust.

Music Venue Trust are aiming to ensure no music venue goes under because of the disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, and Save Our Venues is a new national campaign to save hundreds of grassroots music venues at imminent risk. Speaking of the need for support, organisers state that the impact of the outbreak is likely to last a long time for artists and venues as it will take time to move safely back towards live events.

Todd Wills, Artistic Director at Colston Hall, said: “The Bristol Takeover is our annual event to spotlight the incredible music scene we’re fortunate enough to be a part of here in Bristol, and with the Coronavirus outbreak we wanted to move it online to keep celebrating and supporting live music in our city.”

“What’s more, new talent is the lifeblood of our industry and without grassroots venues like The Louisiana and Exchange and many others, we wouldn’t see these new artists develop. It’s an uncertain time for both venues and artists, so working together and with Music Venue Trust on their Save Our Venues campaign, we hope to raise the funds that will ensure we still have a vibrant live music scene to return to.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said: “Grassroots Music Venues are an important part of the music ecosystem so MVT are always excited to see them championed by artists and other music industry professionals. Colston Hall’s recognition and inclusion of Bristol’s fantastic venues in their festival is very welcome – together we can Save Our Venues!”

Bristol Takeover Online takes place as a pre-cursor to the launch of the Bristol Arts Channel: Together Online – a digital programme of performances, events, talks and more from a cross section of Bristol’s cultural organisations, further details of which are due to be announced in the coming days.

A full line-up and running times for the festival will be announced in the lead up to the event. The broadcast will be available to view on-demand for one week after the event.

Visit the Colston Hall website for information on how to watch and donate.

You can read more about the Music Venue Trust’s Save Our Venues campaign, here.

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