For the second weekend this summer Bridgwater has basked in the community spirit of it’s talented and creative people. Last week it was the Bridgwater Docks Gala and this week it was the turn of the Bridgwater Big Bash-a street party organised by the Bridgwater Arts Centre.
It was summer and the sun came out. The curtain was up and the scenery just what was needed.
The backdrop to the Big Bash was Bridgwater’s 18th century gem ‘Castle Street’ with the main stage straddling the junction with the pedestrianised West Quay with it’s back to the river Parrett. A marvellous location for such an event, with the street itself full of stalls, jugglers,, a stage each end and mainly, People.
A porpoise opens the event
To launch the event a Porpoise appeared in the river, passed the bridge then turned around and left. Better than a fly past by the Red Arrows. Will our Town Council stop at nothing to promote this town! Emerging from the water further downstream, actor Simon Hann removed the Porpoise costume and collected a cheque for £3.60.
Lot’s of Good Music
Westover residents turned out in their droves. Music fan Dave Stanton said “What a great day it was, lots of good music to be heard, my favourite was Foreign Affairs best young band I have seen in a long time, also a special mention for Darren Hodge a future guitar star.”
Simi Bignall added, in a hat, “Personally, I loved the Big Bash street party. It was buzzing and a great event that was attended by the young and old and everyone in between. Very well organised by Kate Goodale and her team of volunteers and showcasing the Arts Centre and creative talent in the town. I hope it becomes an annual event and gets bigger and better every year. Attendance was great , which I think is down to properly publicising the event and also because it was free and central. Everyone was catered for in some way in terms of community entertainment .”
Residents happy with the event
Castle street was closed off for the day and residents made the most of the entertainment on their doorstep. Martin Grixoni in number 1 Castle street, found himself living next door to the main stage, which featured music and dance all day including evening sets by Bristol reggae stalwarts Talisman and heavy punks Ferocious Dog said “ A good day – and should be repeated – . Good and efficient clear up as well”
West Quay became a main entrance and exit route to the festival. Record shop owner Adrian Fraser said “I really enjoyed it. All the bands i saw were really good. Baraka, Bridges, Shoot the Moon, Ferocious dog and my favourite Talisman who were excellent.I had 3 pints of the local cider from Wembdon which was lovely and well potent. I had a cheesebuger which was delicious. All good stuff. Nothing negative to say. Some people said it could become a regular event. Let’s hope so. It was certainly well attended.”
Sarah Patten from the Bridgwater Art Centre said afterwards “Well what a fantastic turn out, super atmosphere and there so much positive feedback from the people of Bridgwater . Every nook & cranny of Castle street & Bridgwater Arts Centre was packed to the gunnels with Music, Comedy, Crafts and Entertainment of the highest quality, just as it should be.”
The Mayor Pays tribute
Glinting in the summer sunlight, Town Mayor Leigh Redman said “The event was a wonderful example of what Bridgwater does well, a community event for people to have fun. Everyone involved must be congratulated and I look forward to the next one. The whole event was great and I am sure enjoyed by all.”
Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley , who lives in Castle Street, said “The event lasted from midday to mid evening, the sun shone throughout and there was no trouble, unless you count bare chested tattooed men in their mid 5o’s creating a mosh pit during the Ferocious Dog set. But that sort of thing is only to be expected. I hope the event will become a regular feature of Bridgwater’s summer calender and I’m very impressed with the work of the Arts Centre in pulling all this together.”