After a substantial period of development and reorganisation, we are pleased to be able to share an update of plans for the 2017 Bristol Food Connections festival.

Following three successful years of our city-wide food celebration, it was decided that the rapid growth of the festival warranted the creation of a new Community Interest Company, Bristol Food Connections Ltd.

The founding Directors of the new Bristol Food Connections company will be: Martin Orbach (Non-Exec Director and founder of the Abergavenny Food Festival), Aine Morris (Bristol Food Connections, Creative Director), Barny Haughton (Non-Exec Director & Founder of Square Food Foundation) and Claire Ladkin (Non-Exec Director & Founder of Ad Hoc Projects.) Additional board members are expected to be announced in the coming months.

After lots of careful thought and deliberation however, the decision has been taken to scale back our activities this year, allowing us the opportunity to build an exciting new organisation – and refine the festival, to create an event that can truly do justice to the quality and creativity of the Bristol food scene.

In 2017, Bristol Food Connections will deliver a small programme of events, designed to bring together the food & farming communities from across Bristol and the South West. We look forward to the BBC Food & Farming Awards returning to Bristol’s City Hall, and have plans for an exciting industry conference, more details of which will be released soon.

Unfortunately we will not be running the city centre or Fringe event programmes this year. However, we look forward to being back stronger than ever in June 2018 (4th-10th)

Clare McGinn, Head of BBC Radio and Music production in Bristol said:
“The BBC remains committed to Bristol as an exceptional food destination, and as a beacon for good food and community in the UK. We’re pleased to stage the 2017 BBC Food and Farming Awards in the City Hall and are looking forward to working alongside Bristol Food Connections, the council and our other city partners. Thanks to the success of the festival over the last three years, and the support and talents of the people of Bristol, we have been able to take the awards in new directions. We are equally keen to see Food Connections – the festival we sparked into life – continue to succeed and grow and wish the new directors well.”

BFC Creative Director, Aine Morris said:
“Whilst the decision to pull the full festival programme has been difficult, this ultimately is the right choice for the new organisation. We are really excited by the energy and enthusiasm of the new project board to drive forward a festival that represents the extraordinary quality and diversity of food activities going on across Bristol. We will take the time to ensure we have strong foundations in place, to enable the festival to grow sustainably into the future and ensure a long-term legacy for a truly unique and inspiring whole-city offering.”

We look forward to announcing our boutique programme of 2017 events in March. In the meantime, you can enjoy a selection of photos from the 2016 festival: