Bristol to shape the political conversation at the Big Tent Festival
– Saturday 11th June

Big Tent Ideas Festival Ad

The people of Bristol are being invited to join an extraordinary gathering of leading politicians, businesspeople and civil society leaders in Queen Square in the heart the city this Saturday.  

The Big Tent Festival is an opportunity – not to campaign, not to argue – but to celebrate the best of Bristol and for constructive conversation on issues such as the drive to net zero, better public services and tackling fake news.  

Ministers, shadow Ministers, Party Leaders, Bristol’s Mayor, local MPs and councillors will join prominent businesses, NGOs, academics and campaigners – and most importantly the public – for a day of discussions in a friendly festival atmosphere.

The Big Tent Festival uniquely provides a forum for those within and without the Westminster bubble to engage with each other in a genuine cross-party desire to learn from each other and to find real policy solutions. And the Speakers Corner gives people a platform to highlight their own priorities, just like at Hyde Park Corner.

Festival goers can choose from a packed programme covering the environment, housing, regeneration, education, health and so on. The Pitch Pit – a Dragon’s Den style event – allows local entrepreneurs to pitch for real investment from a team of Angels, introduced by Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business.

Other highlights include:

  • How we can deliver on the COP26 targets with speakers including Sir Ed Davey MP, leader of the Lib Dems and Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader, Green Party
  • How we can ensure equality and diversity in politics with Bristol West MP and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Thangam Debbonaire and Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities
  • What do businesses really need from Westminster? With George Freeman MP, Minister for Science and Innovation and Darren Jones MP for Bristol North West and Chair of the BEIS committee

With performances from local dance troupes and comedians as part of sessions on how culture can revitalise a region, street entertainers bringing some festival fun, an art wall and food and drink, the Big Tent Festival will be a lively, thought-provoking day.

“The timing for Big Tent to come to Bristol couldn’t be better.  Britain faces some huge choices over the next couple of years, on the cost of living, Ukraine, the Covid fallout and so on,” says Big Tent Chief Executive, Ben Rich. 

“The idea that a handful of politicians in Westminster have all the answers is laughable, so Big Tent ensures everyone has a platform to begin to address these massive issues, as well as challenging our current and, maybe, some future leaders”.

The programme can be found here  at

Tickets for the festival are available here and are priced at £15 (£10 conc, U18 free); 2 for 1 tickets available.

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