When the pandemic hit, arts & culture organisations closed their physical doors but many used it as an opportunity to improve their online presence, or to highlight what was already available online.
Past productions from Bristol Old Vic were broadcast on YouTube for a limited time, such as 'The Grinning Man' and 'Wise Children'. A family arts hub was created on their website for craft activities and learning opportunities.
Pervasive Media, based at the Watershed, took their weekly Friday lunchtime lectures on to YouTube Live, and had a great response.
Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives hosted some of their annual festivals online, including World In Bristol, the Festival of Archaeology and Black History Month. There were regular curator and archivist talks, virtual tours; quizzes and family activities were regularly posted on social media.
A highlight was Bristol Arts Channel, a city-wide collaboration between arts organisations who wanted to offer a lockdown experience for people missing the buzz and community of Bristol’s arts scene. In June 2020, their website highlighted the work of various organisations including Bristol Museum, Arnolfini, St Pauls Carnival, Colston Hall, Encounters Film Festival, Watershed, CARGO, and RWA. Streamed and archive performances were shown, interactive events took place and online galleries had a spotlight.
In place of live concerts, pop up performances took place across in streets across the city- people played to neighbours. A harpist called Scarlett Smith did a mini tour of the city. In July 2020, a city wide 'Coddywomple' was organised- street performances included circus, music and comedy.