Opening the doors of Bristol’s best buildings

Returning 13-15 September 2019



In a special commission, artist Edson Burton re-creates a seminal moment in the history of Black Britain now lost to licensing laws, extended club hours and the changing population of the inner city. Part installation, part live event, Late Night Blues promises to be an evening to remember.

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  • Saturday2PM - 4PM

How can Bristol become a city that allows children from all backgrounds to thrive? Led by Arup and based on their research about designing for children, this workshop will explore the importance of considering the young as the city rapidly develops. Suitable for all ages.  

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  • Saturday10AM - 4PM

Gain exclusive insight into the workings of an innovative asphalt plant, with tours every half hour. Discover how green technology fuels the manufacturing process and learn how asphalt is made and used. Climb the tower for estuary views and see the remains of a Second World War gun emplacement.

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  • Saturday10AM - 12.30PM
  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

Be among the first to explore Bristol Old Vic’s multi-million-pound redevelopment before it opens fully to the public. Sneak a peek into the brand new, fully accessible foyer with its floor to ceiling glass windows, hear about the design from the Project Team themselves, and glimpse some of what’s been uncovered of the theatre’s 252-year history in specially curated tours.


Due to the ongoing site activity, we are no longer able to offer a preview of the nearly completed Studio Theatre or Coopers’ Hall, as mentioned in the Bristol Open Doors brochure.


Please note that tours have limited capacity and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

See how a new citizen-led approach to development can work at TAM, an innovative low-carbon, prefabricated timber and straw home. The organisation behind the project, We Can Make, is re-imagining legal, financial and policy frameworks so that real people can become the developers of their own affordable homes.   We Can Make presents an inspiring vision at a time in which the city is in desperate need of new, low cost housing. Visit this venue for an alternative perspective what on urban house-building might look like.

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Your keys to the festival, get the programme delivered to your door, while also helping to support the charity behind Bristol Open Doors.

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