ALFRESCO DISCO: The Ambassador’s Reception
I had the pleasure of photographing for Alfresco Disco this New Years Eve. It was such an immense party right in the centre of Bristol, in the old Guild Hall – Such an incredible venue for the evening!
I’m no wordsmith, so here are a few words from the writeup by Davy Reed & Anna Tehabsim for Crack Magazine which accompanied a selection of my photographs….
So with their Bristol competitors bidding for huge names for months leading up to their 15,000+ capacity events, why is there such a frenzied ticket scramble over this party which doesn’t announce its venue, or even its (generally low-key) line-up until hours before the doors open? Alongside the quality of their affiliated DJs, the answer lies in Alfresco’s innovative use of unconventional spaces and a committed, quality-over-profit ethos.
Since its humble inception as a free party for mates, the institution has continued to expand. So can Alfresco preserve its essence despite its swelling popularity? A recent back-to-basics outdoor effort didn’t turn out to be the secretive and intimate party it was supposed to be due to an unexpectedly huge crowd being drawn. But due to the booming success of this New Year’s Eve event, that remains pretty much the only blip in Alfresco’s history.
The only tip we had of the nature of the event came courtesy of ‘The Ambassador’, whose reception we could expect to be an extravagant, experienced affair. On the evening, news broke that tonight’s party would be taking place bang in the city centre. Bristol’s huge Guild Hall building is plain by sight, something you’ve walked past a million times. It’s recently been used as an art space and is soon to be renovated into one of Bristol’s most luxurious hotels, but never would you look at it and think ‘that’d be a great place for a clubnight’. Entering the party is overwhelming. The building’s massive corridors and countless staircases lead to courtooms, libraries, prison cells, hammock-draped rooms for downtime. Immediately you realise that any attempts to meet up with your mates via text would be futile. But while at most nights of this size, the sensation of being shifted around the venue like cattle is sadly to be expected, tonight the number of staff is refreshingly low and there’s room to breathe. It feels liberating.
…and of course, some photos!!!
Pretty cool huh!