Brought to you by Bristol-based creative company thread Events, Something Good is a new festival-style event promising two days of inspirational talks and practical workshops.
Taking place on 6-7 October, the event aims to celebrate “the magic of the creative process”. It'll see huge industry names descend on the south-west city, including queen of colour Morag Myerscough, minimalist designer Anthony Burrill, quirky Swedish design studio Snask, digital and analog artist Brendan Dawes, Spitting Image plasticine sculptor Wilfrid Wood, the city’s own Gavin Strange of Aardman animation (aka JamFactory) and more.
Creative Bloq readers can get 20 per cent off talk and workshop tickets with the code: CreativeBloq20. To give you an idea of what to expect from Something Good, we caught up with Ben Steers, founder of thread Events.
Putting on a brand new event must be exciting and nerve-wracking – what made you decide to create Something Good?
Ben Steers: With thread, our mission was to create a series of events that harnessed the creative community of Bristol and the South West. The events are designed to be comfortable, open and diverse, while creating a space for creatives to come together, meet and get inspired.
After a year and a half, and seven sell-out events, with talks (and quizzes) from the likes of Jon Burgerman, Mr Bingo, Animade, Hey, DesignStudio and ustwo, we’ve been blown away by the popularity of the events and the feedback we’ve had from guests.
The next question was a fairly natural one: can we go bigger? In a city with a thriving creative community, which is famous for its diverse range of festivals, it seemed strange that there wasn’t a festival dedicated to the creative arts.
Our mission, therefore, was to bring the ethos of thread to a larger audience and create a festival that focuses on, and celebrates, the magic of the creative process. We wanted to avoid it feeling like a conference, and instead, create a design festival that is exciting, inspiring, comfortable and open to everyone.
What are you most excited about for Something Good?
BS: All of it! For the inaugural year we’ve got some brilliant speakers coming from across the UK and Europe, including the likes of Anthony Burrill, Morag Myerscough, Snask and Trapped in Suburbia, super talented creatives and studios in their own right.
We’ve also got a load of stuff going on throughout the day, as well as a number of surprises planned for our guests. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
How is it different to other design events?
BS: For a start, we’re not using the ‘c’ word: ‘conference’. The ethos of Something Good is laid back and comfortable, creating a space for creatives to come and enjoy inspiring talks and workshops while having a good time.
We’re planning the whole experience around the festival, from the moment guests arrive on the Friday morning, to when they leave a workshop on the Saturday. It’s two days of creative events across the city; that’s something that hasn’t been done before in Bristol.
Bristol has an incredibly vibrant (and perhaps competitive) creative scene. How does setting the event there affect the event’s format and content?
BS: It does indeed and it’s something the city should be really proud of. I’m super proud to be part of the creative community here and there’s definitely less ego and bravado here than somewhere like London.
I’ve always found the creative community to be very open and friendly, with people willing to get involved and help where they can. It’s part of what makes this city so great.
Being a Bristol festival, we’ve made sure that there’s plenty of diversity across the programme of events. We’ve got a really diverse team of creatives, who work across various different disciplines, speaking on the Friday, as well as a really varied programme of hands-on workshops on the Saturday.
We’re also collaborating with some great local creative businesses and there’ll even be some live music to boot.
You’ve managed to score some pretty big names, how did you lure them away from London?
BS: Simple: we asked! It’s a bit of a cliche, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. A good example was how we managed to secure Anthony Burrill. When we originally asked him, he was a little unsure. So I travelled to London to a Nicer Tuesdays event he was speaking at to try to convince him that it’d be a good idea. Luckily he’s a really nice guy so he didn’t need much convincing.
For others coming from outside the UK, including Snask, we were really surprised at how up for it they were. I think having a clear vision for the festival, and a good-looking identity for the festival, helps.
We had a hit list of creatives that we wanted on the lineup (some were pretty ambitious) and we’ve managed to get the majority of them, which is great.
The open workshops around the city sound really fun and inclusive, what was the thinking behind them?
BS: That’s great that you think that because that’s exactly the vibe we were trying to acheive: fun and inclusive. The reason for the two days and the format of talks on the Friday and workshops on the Saturday, is that we give people the opportunity to get inspired and then get their hands dirty the following day.
Our aim was to create a programme of workshops that was diverse and covered a range of creative disciplines. Run by creative practitioners, workshoppers will get an insight into their working process, while learning new skills.
Can you tell us any more about the talks – what themes do you expect to hear?
BS: The focus of the talks will be on the blood, sweat and tears behind the work. Our guests can expect to get an insight into how these creatives work and how they developed their style; how they tackle commercial briefs and tricky clients; as well as creative side projects and what keeps them stimulated outside of work.
Catch Something Good on 6-7 October, and get 20 per cent off the price of talk and workshop tickets on the Something Good website with the code: CreativeBloq20.