How do you like a city to ‘greet’ you? When visiting somewhere new, what kind of welcome makes you think it’s the sort of place that you want to be? How do you feel when you arrive into Bristol?

One of the key aims of many of the projects currently underway in the Temple Quarter is to contribute towards providing a first-class welcome for those arriving into Bristol via Temple Meads. It’s widely acknowledged that the current arrival experience is characterised by protracted crossings, busy roads and too many derelict sites. From new riverside walkways, improved infrastructure and large-scale developments such as the Bristol Arena, this will be much improved over the next few years.

However, small interventions can also help supply a warm – and memorable – welcome to both new and repeat visitors to the city. One such intervention will be taking place at Temple Meads, 24 hours a day from 2 to 10 September.


Hey Bristol Temple Meads (copyright Hannah Clark)

How would you like Temple Meads to greet you? Photo copyright Hannah Clark

Hey Bristol, part of the 2016 Bristol Biennial Festival of Art and Ideas, is the brainchild of artist Natalia Skobeeva. Travelers arriving into the station will be greeted by over 40 distinct voices, making up an interactive sound sculpture. The installation, supported by Network Rail, the Royal College of Art and the Bearpit Improvement Group, will be entirely free – so anyone can pop in and visit it alongside unsuspecting commuters. Encompassing everything from simple greetings to warnings, animals to singing and regional accents to foreign languages, Hey Bristol is a multi-layered affair.

How many distinct voices will you be able to hear? What would say to welcome someone to Bristol?

Hey Bristol is the only Biennial event taking place in the Enterprise Zone, but there is a wealth of others happening across the city. The full listings are available on the Biennial’s website. To find out more about Natalia Skobeeva, visit her website.