Bristol is a city in South West England. As the largest city in the region it is a centre for the arts, the region has a distinct West Country dialect. In summer the grounds of Ashton Court to the west of the city play host to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, the Fiesta draws a substantial crowd even for the early morning lift that typically begins at about 6.30 am. Events and a fairground entertain the crowds during the day, a second mass ascent is then made in the early evening, again taking advantage of lower wind speeds. The annual Bristol International Festival of Kites and Air Creations, featuring kite makers and flyers from around the world, takes place in September at Ashton Court. From 1974 until 2007, Ashton Court also played host to the Ashton Court festival each summer, torrential rain during the 2007 festival and mounting costs incurred as a result of the Licensing Act 2003 led to the dissolution of the not-for-profit company which organised the event. The annual Bristol Harbour Festival features displays of tall ships and musical performances, the St Pauls Carnival also takes place in Bristol during the summer and features a procession and late night music. The Bristol Slapstick Silent Comedy Festival celebrates silent film comedy every spring, in November the Encounters Short Film Festival offers a platform for new short films. The biennial Wildscreen Festival showcases wildlife filmmaking in the city that is home to the BBC Natural History Unit, the Great Reading Adventure was introduced in 2003 as part of Bristols bid to be European Capital of Culture 2008. It was inspired by an equivalent scheme in Chicago, where they were reading Harper Lees To Kill a Mockingbird, in its first year in excess of 15,000 people read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as part of the scheme. The Bristol Art Library is an art project created in 1998 by British artist Annabel Other. It consists of books in a library the size of a suitcase. The Bristol Festival of Ideas is a programme of debates and other events. The citys principal theatre company, the Bristol Old Vic, was founded in 1946 as an offshoot of the Old Vic company in London. Its premises on King Street consist of the 1766 Theatre Royal, a studio theatre. The Theatre Royal is a grade I listed building and was the oldest continuously operating theatre in England, Other venues which have hosted theatre productions include Hope Chapel, the Hen and Chicken pub and PACTS. Theatre Bristol is a partnership between Bristol City Council, Arts Council England and local theatre practitioners which aims to develop the industry in Bristol. The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which originated in King Street as an offshoot of the Bristol Old Vic is now a separate company
Se Fire on the Main Stage at the Ashton Court Festival
The Old Vic.
Statue of Cary Grant in Millennium Square, Bristol, England.