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UPFEST Takes on the Virtual World for 2020 and reveals dates for the festival to return in 2021


UPFEST Takes on the Virtual World for 2020 and reveals dates for the festival to return in 2021 posted: 22/09/2020

by UPFEST Takes on the Virtual World for 2020 and reveals dates for the festival to return in 2021

Street art fans from around the world will be virtually welcomed to the streets of Bristol as UPFEST announces Virtually Upfest an online version of the world-famous street art festival 25th-27th September. Working in collaboration with virtual reality studio, ZubrVR and with the help of Arts Council England's emergency response funding, the team at UPFEST has reconstructed Bedminster's North Street with a TRON style feel, and designed an alternative way for users to experience the festival after the Covid-19 pandemic forced 2020's edition to be cancelled.

The virtual world will run from the UPFEST gallery down to the Tobacco Factory, giving users the chance to explore over 30 new pieces of commissioned work by a spectrum of UK artists specifically for the virtual world. The team at Upfest are also proud to announce the equal allocation of artists commissions within the virtual world of female and male artists, including Zoe Power, Silent Hobo, Lucas Antics & Andy Council.

The announcement of Virtually Upfest coincides with positive news of allocated dates, subject to licence, funding and making the festival Covid secure, the festival will return in the flesh on the 5th & 6th of June 2021, with an extended programme starting a few weeks before this date. Artists who were successful in being allocated a space in 2020 will be given first refusal on returning to the festival next year.

UPFEST's founder Stephen Hayles,says:

As we were unable to run the festival the same as we have done in previous years we thought it would be fun to find a way to bring the festival to the people and the team at ZubrVR have done an incredible job at helping us bring this alternative to life

We usually see people visiting from all over the world, so hopefully this way, we can help both our national and international audience enjoy the festival from the comfort or their own home or on the move through their mobiles.

The emergency response funding from Arts Council England we received early this year, primarily came from players of the National Lottery and has been a lifeline to the Upfest Organisation enabling us to experiment into the world of VR creating a new platform for the festival and it's artists.

The portal to Virtually Upfest via will be compatible with both VR headsets as well as mobile phones and regular laptops. The retro style TRON feel to the virtual world has taken influence from the 1982 legendary American Sci-fi film which saw arcade owner Kevin Flynn reconstituted into the internal, 3-D graphical world of computers.

Due to Covid-19 the event was unable to take place as planned in June this year, but this experience is set to give users the opportunity to virtually visit the much loved streets of Bristol ahead of their return in 2021. Access to the virtual world will be free continuing the Upfest Organisation ethos of making art accessible for all.

For more information, including artist line-ups and releases, please follow @upfest on all social media channels or visit .

About Arts Council England Emergency Response Fund

On Tuesday 24 March 2020 the Arts Council announced a 160 million emergency response package to support individuals and organisations across the cultural sector in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

This package consisted of:

90 million made available for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) and Creative People and Places (CPPs) lead organisations

50 million made available for organisations outside of the National Portfolio

20 million made available to creative practitioners and cultural workers

This funding has come from reallocation of National Lottery Project Grants, Developing Your Creative Practice and our Development Funds for the 2020/21 period, and uses up almost all of our reserves. 143 million, or almost 90%, has come from the National Lottery with the remaining budget made up of Government funding.
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