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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bristol Roller Derby

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bristol roller derby team

10 things you didn’t know about Bristol Roller Derby

If you’ve seen the 2009 film Whip It starring Ellen Page, you might think you know all there is to know about roller derby, but there’s a lot more to it and you might even fancy putting a pair of skates on yourself.

1. What is roller derby?

bristol roller derby

C. Jason Ruffell

It’s a full-contact sport played on quad roller skates. Participants must wear full protective gear, including a mouth guard. It’s predominantly played by women, but the number of men’s teams is growing rapidly too.

2. What are the rules?

roller derby fall

C Jason Ruffell

So there are five people from each team on the track at any one time. There’s one jammer from each team, that’s the one with the star on their helmet, and they can score points. There are also four blockers, they try to stop the other team scoring points. The jammer has to get through ‘the pack’, made up of both team’s blockers, before they can score points. Then, they get a point for every member of the opposite team that they pass. Easy, right?

3. It’s a growing sport

roller derby talk

C Jason Ruffell

It’s the fastest growing female sport, and England came second in the World Cup last year, losing to America in the final.

4. So what’s Bristol Roller Derby?

bristol roller derby contact

C. Ockendon-Powell Images

The local team in Bristol. They train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. They have women’s A and B teams and a men’s team. They turn six years old in May and retain three of their founding members.

5. They’re pretty good

bristol roller derby team

C. Ockendon-Powell Images

The women’s A team rank 26th in the whole of Europe.

6. You can play too

hugs

C. Vincent Le Goascoz

There’s a drop in session every Thursday, 6-8 at Ashton Park Sports Centre. You can borrow all the kit and they’ll teach you everything you need to know to pass your minimum skills, a list of approved skills needed before you can play.

7. And you can play if you’re a man too

roller derby men

C. Jennifer Rollason Photography

Bristol Roller Derby Men train on Sundays, 2-4, or you can go to the drop in session and once you’ve passed minimum skills they train at the same time as the rest of the team

8. People play under an alias

hands in dark

C. Mark Gilbert

Players choose a new name to play under. It’s usually a play on words. Often skaters find they have a different personality on track, which can help their confidence in their day-to-day lives too.

9. They have a charity partner

hands in

C. Ockendon-Powell Images

This year they’re supporting the Southmead Project, a charity providing free therapeutic and practical support to adults who were abused as children and have turned to drugs, alcohol and other ways of self-harming as a consequence of that trauma. The team raise money at their home games and by doing fund-raising activities.

10. You can go and watch their next home games

bristol roller derby game

It’s on the 10 April. You can buy a ticket here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2520839

That’s roller derby in a nutshell. You can find more details about BRD by searching on Facebook or going to their website: http://www.bristolrollerderby.com/

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7 Awesome Festivals Coming Up In And Around Bristol

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Our favourite festivals coming up in and around Bristol

This has been one of the best Summers ever. Football almost came home, the sun will never leave us and festival season is here! Cue a loss and stormy weather but the last remains a fact! We can’t control how England perform or the weather but we can pick and choose our favourite festivals to enjoy this summer, and here our seven of our favourites which are in, or a short drive from, Bristol.

Upfest – 28th – 20th July

street art

Via Andrew Parsons

Oh well done Bristol, keeping your title of Graffiti Don with Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival! Upfest is an amazing event where over 300 artists and 50,000 viewers descend on South Bristol to admire the amazing creations that are adorned onto every available space.

This year they have teamed up with The Simpsons to create the theme and celebrate their 10th anniversary! Plus, Matt Groening himself has handpicked three Upfest artists to bring Springfield to South Bristol.

As well as enjoying all the art you can also have a dance, drink some cider and eat loads of great street food- plus it’s free!

Bristol Harbour Festival 20th – 22nd July

bristol harbourside

About as Bristol as a pint of cider while listening to the Wurzels, the Bristol Harbour festival is an absolute highlight for us. For the weekend the whole of the city centre is taken over for everyone to enjoy for free! Music, food, art, activities for everyone and all them boats makes this one of the best festivals in the South West!

Don’t forget to explore the areas away from the main hub this year as things have been moved about a bit.

The Balloon Fiesta 9th – 12th August

bristol balloons sky

Via. Jim Cossey

Another Europe’s biggest title for Bristol, this time the annual meeting of hot air balloons! The Balloon Fiesta has been a Bristol highlight for us since we were just nippers, as what’s more exciting than seeing a hot air balloon in the sky – and then multiplying that by 150!

This really is a site that you can only see in Bristol, plus it is free!

Cock & Bull – 10th – 12th August

cock and bull festival

“A party on a farm” is about one of the most West Country phrases a festival can adopt – and we love it. Not only is this a cracking little festival just an hours drive from Bristol, it is also raising money for a great cause, Jamie’s Farm. Jamie’s Farm help children from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom have never left the cities they were born in! They do this through farming, community and counselling.

Plus, their line up is punching some weight for a small festival, there’s the farmer Olympics, loads of free workshops and talks and general well-being. This is one for food lovers, music lovers, ravers and families – basically it’s got something for everyone and adult weekend tickets are under £100.

Redfest – 4th August

Redfest is back in St George park again! Yas! Redfest has always been one of our favourite free festivals in Bristol. From humble beginnings this has become one of Bristol’s biggest free festivals which was started to celebrate and bring together the culture of East Bristol.

The music is always amazing, the food is top notch and the sense of community spirit is proper Bristol! We’re so glad it’s back in it’s spiritual home, it wasn’t the same when it wasn’t in the park! Great for families and those looking to get their skank on!

The Downs Festival – 1st September

downs festival

Credit Chris Cooper

You’ll find us at the front of this one crying to Orbital! The Downs Festival, now in its third year, has pulled in some heavyweight acts and this year is no different. Orbital, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Paul Weller and Goldie to name but a few.

For everyone missing Glastonbury, this is nothing like that, however you can get your big hitting musical fix right here in Bristol. Plus, you get to go home at the end and have a hot bath and a cup of tea!

Simple Things – 20th October

simple things 2016

For festival lovers who don’t need a season to party, Simple Things is back this year with a scaled down, more intimate event. Simple Things is a multi-venue, city centre festival where music is definitely the star of the show. This is always a popular event and as it is smaller this year tickets will sell out faster than usual, they are already on pre-order so make sure you sign up!

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The Time I Beat Bristol’s Scariest Escape Room

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Hell in a cell Bristol

I’m put in many a tricky situation exploring the very ‘Best of Bristol’.

Usually up high, scaling buildings and cranes (#antimitchclimbs), but I didn’t think it would result in being locked in a prison cell with a psycho killer called Pig Face (pictured above). Welcome to Hell in a Cell, ay?

Now for some of you reading, Hell in the Cell will make you think of wrestling but I can promise you this is scarier than when Shane McMahon jumps off the top of that cell.

Probably..

Hell in a cell Bristol

The rather terrifying Pig Face.

Hidden beneath the old Crown Courts on Bridewell Street, within the cells, this has been dubbed “Bristol’s scariest attraction”. And so in the interest of research I took on Pig Face, and lived to tell the tale!

I can’t actually give away too much of the game, because this is an escape room and that just wouldn’t be cricket, would it?

What I can reveal though, should give you a taste of what to expect.

Hell in a cell bristol

You don’t know what you’re getting yourself in for until they handcuff you and throw a bag over your head..

Like any escape room, Hell in a Cell Bristol sets players challenges that they have to complete. Perhaps the first challenge is not backing out after you’re handcuffed with a sack placed over your head.

It’s then trying not to cack yourself as you’re led into the pitch black cells, where you know you’re not alone, but you can’t quite tell what’s there.

It’s that lovely fucker by the name of Pig Face.

Pig Face is reasonably fair at this point and allows you an hour to make your escape. It’s go time!

Oh, and all your belongings have been taken off you, so you can’t use your phone torch or ask Siri for help.

You ok there hun?

A post shared by Darkest Hour Events (@hellinacellbris) on

What I will say is that you bond pretty bastard quickly when you’re scrambling to find light and remove your handcuffs. I was with my good friend Colin Moody, but with three other people I did not know, and we came out of it with an unwavering sense of camaraderie.

That probably explains why this Bristol escape room has proven so popular with corporate clients in the city. Hell, it’s proven pretty popular with all but one reviewer on a popular site that rhymes with whip chastiser. That person claimed it wasn’t very scary. Ooooooo sorry ‘ard.

The game itself was challenging, terrifying and fun (if you like being scared). It will most certainly fill you with adrenaline and leave you in need of a celebratory drink if you do make it out.

This is NOT for the faint hearted. I don’t scare easy, and if you’re like me you won’t feel a sense of fear, but you’ll definitely be made to jump. Nobody is immune to that.

If you do scare easily, go to the bathroom beforehand. Or don’t, these are real holding cells so you could always have a pee in there..

Fancy it? Then click here to book.

Tag us in your psycho selfies on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you take on Pig Face

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Bristol’s Biggest Food Festival Is Back

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Bristol Food Connections

Bristol Food Connections 2018 is nearly here, so it’s time to plan your festival!

Bristol Food Connections is one the highlights of Bristol’s food calendar, with a ridiculous amount of events (130 at the last count!) taking place across the city from 11-17th June.

It’s a fairly huge festival, covering everything from growing your own food to huge gala dinners and talks on sustainability. We’ve decided to break down what’s happening and pick out a few of our favourites from this year’s programme.

Bristol Food Connections

Booze it up

There are plenty of ways to hit the hard stuff (and find out more about it too)…

See more of Bristol

With events dotted in every far flung corner of Bristol, now is the time to get out and explore!

  • World Food Passport (All week, £8)
    Taste your way around the food businesses of Gloucester Road, collecting stamps as you go (or you can also do a guided food tour of Gloucester Road that week too).
  • Behind the Scenes of a Gin Distillery (Sat 16th, £25)
    Head out to Thornbury for this special tour of 6 O’clock Gin’s distillery to find out more about how their delectable spirit is made (with plenty of tasters along the way, obv).
  • Shroomshop (Sun 17th, £30)
    Get some hands-on tips about mushroom cultivation at this workshop in St Werbs.
  • Thyme Trail (Fri 15th, £15)
    Visit various vendors in Wapping Wharf, hearing the stories behind the businesses and getting tasters as you go.
  • TimeZone: Eat Your Way Around the World (Sat 16th, £4)
    Try a range of international cuisine in Easton, including Jamican, Indonesian and Spanish.
  • Eco day at Hartcliffe City Farm (Sun 17th, Free)
    Try your hand at pond dipping, searching for bugs and other activities.

Bristol Food Connections

Educate yourself

It’s not just about filling your face with food, there’s plenty of opportunity to learn a new skill or hear some interesting perspectives on the food we eat too:

Fantastical feasts

Some seriously special dinner events from well-known chefs and local producers…

  • FUTURE: FEAST (Mon 11th, £25)
    Star Trek meets Come Dine With Me in an ‘immersive dining experience’.
  • A Summer’s Feast (Fri 15th & Sat 16th, £30)
    The next generation of Bristol chefs serve up a seasonal feast.
  • It’s a Bristol Ting! (Sun 17th, Free)
    Celebrate Bristol’s Jamaican community with rum & jerk chicken at Lakota.
  • Chocolate Gala Dinner (Mon 11th, £35)
    A special dinner to kick-off festival week, with all 3 courses featuring chocolate.
  • Summer Dine & Vine Feast (Thu 14th, £30)
    A three-course tasting menu paired with bio-dynamic wines.
  • Homegrown Collective Supper Club (Fri 15th, £35)
    Three-courses of local, seasonal food accompanied by music.

 

There are also loads of free talks and demos at the Festival Hub (next to Watershed) throughout the week, so it’s worth stopping by to see what’s on!

 

See the full Bristol Food Connections Programme

 

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