The Galleries Underground Carpark set the stage for a night of soul-stirring rhythm on Saturday 29th July, thanks to the free Summer of Soul pop up event, part of Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover.
The unique event, delivered by Compass Presents with Cinema Rediscovered (a Watershed project), was the fourth of nine free events for the public to enjoy in the city centre this summer under the Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover programme, presented by Bristol UNESCO City of Film and partners.
The evening featured an expanded screening of the Oscar®, BAFTA and Grammy award-winning 2021 documentary Summer of Soul, directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, a groundbreaking film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival that captures the essence and energy of an extraordinary moment in history, when music united a community. The Galleries Underground Car Park was brought to life through live musical performances transporting the audience to 60’s Harlem.
Credit: Paul Blakemore Photography @Blikmo
Mark Cosgrove, Cinema Rediscovered Founder said: “Woodstock, Altamont, Monterey – all iconic 60’s music festivals that have passed into legendary status because they were filmed and released into cinemas. Who knew of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival where the likes of Nina Simone, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder performed, except those lucky people who were there? Unlike those other festivals, this footage lay hidden from history. Questlove’s documentary rights that historic wrong capturing the social and political context of the times and putting centre stage the truly electrifying performances of a who’s who of Black American musicians.”
Ahead of the evening, Natalie Moore, Bristol UNESCO City of Film Manager said: “After premiering and winning the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival, Questlove’s superb documentary swept the board during the 2021/22 awards season and is widely considered to be the greatest concert film of all time. This is going to be an evening to remember for soul music lovers who can immerse themselves in an experience that mixes the big screen with fantastic music. Just bring your moves!”
Before the film, there were live jam-style performances with local artists setting the scene. After the screening, the night continued with an underground funk and soul afterparty that celebrated Bristol’s rich musical heritage. Host Edson Burton guided partygoers through the evening, which also included a Soul Train dance competition.
Bristol’s DJ Style, female led funk collective Streets of Soul and special guests, alongside Bristol archive film buff DJ/VJ Cheeba, curated a seamless blend of R&B and soul classics, progressing through to the infectious sounds of funk and disco.
Read more on the event page at: compasspresents.com/summer-of-soul
Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover was delivered as one of the activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project. View more at: www.bristolcityoffilm.co.uk/summerfilmtakeover.