Bristol Sanctum closing night

November has been all about Bristol Sanctum for me. I’ve played there three times with the African Sambistas, twice as Tommy Tutu, had a go for “Fuck the house band” and I could claim my 7th appearance at the closing night. I’ve also visited four times. All the posts are listed in my November archive:

I was at a rehearsal for Afon Sistema for most of the day on Saturday. I managed to make it to Sanctum for 5.40 pm and knew it was closing at 6pm. At the door the security man recognised me from the samba band and said “go through the side door”. I walked in with a drum and joined the band Count Bobo. This means that I was there at the end and I can claim to have performed there 7 times. I’m not counting or anything.

Sanctum Bristol closing
Final moments at Sanctum Bristol
Count Bobo Bristol
Part of Count Bobo

There was a sizeable crowd inside and Count Bobo created a piece that rose in intensity for ten minutes to reach a frenzied climax at 6pm. This received a massive cheer and round of applause. And that was it, the party was over.


On the way out the security man told me that Sanctum had really changed him. That’s great to hear. For me, Sanctum has shown just how many people are out there working on their performances and that a receptive audience exists, it just needs the right place to come together. Definitely, after playing with “Fuck the house band” I realised that anyone could start a band, it’s just a matter of getting on with it. The details like working out how to play can come later.

I loved Sanctum. Well done to SituationsUK for making Theaster Gate’s vision happen.

Sanctum Bristol on Tumblr

One thought on “Bristol Sanctum closing night”

  1. Theaster has inspired so many people with Sanctum, I’m not sure ‘public art’ will ever quite be the same again round these parts! For such a ambitious project with such a high degree of risk to be so successful and reach out and touch so many people really is quite phenomenal. Honoured to have been part of it and moved to really up my game as far as creating my own artwork is concerned.
    I wonder if Theaster had any idea of just how much of an impact his vision would have?

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