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Bristol Harbor Festival is too ‘white and middle class’

Bristol’s main festival was branded ‘white and middle class’ in a report by the local council – which added that the harbor which serves as its centerpiece ‘represents colonialism’.

The survey of the popular Harbor Festival, which attracts 250,000 people every July, highlighted its ‘whiteness’ and the ‘invisible barriers for members of the global majority’ – a woke term used to refer to the non- white.

He also suggested that the elderly and disabled, Black and Asian families and residents were put off by “the overconsumption of alcohol and the commercial approach to food.”

The council consulted on the 50-year event following Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol and the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in the harbour.

The survey of the popular Harbor Festival, which attracts 250,000 people each July, has highlighted its ‘whiteness’ (Pictured: This year’s event)

The Harbor Festival is an annual celebration of Bristol’s maritime heritage and the importance of its docks and harbour. The event includes live music, street performances, fireworks, and a variety of other live entertainment.

Its origins as a harbor regatta have been raised as an issue by the council’s feather-pushers due to the traditional event celebrating ‘the boating community’ which is ‘predominantly white’.

The council’s report warned that “the festival currently has the perception of being a ‘white English festival’ for some of those consulted”, with “nothing for communities of different cultural heritage”.

He added: “The consultation highlighted the ‘whiteness’ of the festival and the invisible barriers for members of the global majority, as well as attendees with mobility issues or diverse neuro needs.

“The perception of Harbor Festival for Bristol’s global majority communities is that it is not for them and that the cultural offering primarily serves a white middle class audience. Many people from different cultural backgrounds find the overconsumption of alcohol and the commercial approach to food daunting.

“The narrative of the festival’s work is lost and the branding is reminiscent of the harbor regatta, celebrating the predominantly white boating community.”

Local Conservative councilor Richard Eddy criticized the report, saying The telegraph: ‘This latest attack on the hugely successful Bristol Harbor Festival sadly comes as no surprise and is a further indication of how the current regime of Labor mayors hates all things ‘Shipshape-and-Bristol-fashion ”.

“The current mayor, Marvin Rees – whom Bristolians voted in a referendum in May to abandon – is known to be dismissive of anything he dismisses as ‘Brunel, bridges and balloons’ in the historic city.

‘Like when Mr Rees defended the criminals who tore down the town center statue of Edward Colston in the summer of 2020, his administration hates everything real Bristolians value.’

The report – which was given to councilors as they consider future funding and staging of the £160,000-a-year festival – noted that 83% of attendees were white Britons, compared to 78% of Bristol’s population .

An acrobatic daredevil flyboard show takes place on the water and draws huge crowds during the Bristol Harbor Festival last month

An acrobatic daredevil flyboard show takes place on the water and draws huge crowds during the Bristol Harbor Festival last month

Referring to the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, Black Lives Matter protests, he argued the annual celebration needed to become more “inclusive”.

It said: ‘Bristol has been in the spotlight over the past two years, particularly its port and its history. Bristol’s perception on the national and international scene is one of diversity, creativity, independence and energy.

“The festival should reflect recent events in its treatment of issues around the port and celebrate the diversity that Bristol represents. There is an opportunity to harness this alongside the beauty, heritage and innovation of the port through events, dialogues and performances.

The authors recommended the establishment of a “paid advisory board” to oversee an outreach program for the festival and the introduction of “alcohol-free spaces”. He also called for more work to tackle the port’s “role in the slave trade”.

Bristol has long been known for its leftist politics and has become the center of BLM protests which on June 7, 2020 saw the famous statue of Edward Colston ripped from its plinth and dumped in the harbour.

It is a motion to ban strip clubs and other sexual entertainment venues that failed in a council vote last week.

Referencing the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, the Black Lives Matter protests, he argued the annual celebration needed to become more 'inclusive'

Referencing the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, the Black Lives Matter protests, he argued the annual celebration needed to become more ‘inclusive’

A consortium of women’s rights organizations and community groups had campaigned for Bristol to follow in Edinburgh’s footsteps and impose a blanket ban.

Bristol currently has a cap of three strip clubs in the city centre, although it currently only has two – Urban Tiger and Central Chambers.

Emotions were running high at a meeting of the council’s licensing committee on Thursday, where dozens of people on both sides of the debate aired their views.

A dancer has explained how she started working in a strip club when she was unable to make ends meet as a circus performer and now had a ‘flexible enough schedule to pursue the career of his dreams’, while another performer insisted that stripping ‘brings stability’.

Another performer, who only gave her name as Scarlett, said she suffered from chronic pain and fatigue, but stripping gave her a future.

The vote was the culmination of a three-year review and two public consultations – one in 2019 and one in 2021 – which received more than 17,000 submissions between them.

MailOnline has contacted the local council and festival organizers for comment.