UP First: First Bus partners with UPFEST PRESENTS to bring colourful commutes to Bristol

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The bus has been painted by legendary Bristol street artist Cheo.

First Bus has partnered up with UPFEST Presents to transform one of its double decker buses into a mobile piece of art depicting iconic Bristol and West of England landmarks and signature scenes.

The bus has been transformed by legendary Bristol street artist Cheo, who’s signature cartoon style is instantly recognisable.

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The bus will officially be in service from May 13 and will remain in service for the rest of the year, leaving a legacy beyond the event’s 17-day culture programme.

First bus will also be providing free travel for the event’s 200 artists, giving them the opportunity to freely travel across Bristol during the 17-day event.

Credit: UpfestCredit: Upfest
Credit: Upfest | Upfest

Sarah Wallbridge, Senior Marketing Manager for First Bus Wales and West, said: “We’re really excited to be bringing Europe’s largest street art event literally to the streets of Bristol for its first ever mobile piece of artwork. Through his design, Cheo has really captured the essence of Upfest while also helping us to reflect the diverse area we serve in the West of England, from the busy cityscape of Bristol to the rolling hills of the Mendip countryside and the famous coastline of Weston-super-Mare.

“This bus screams the West Country, and we love it. This is the first time we’ve worked in collaboration with a street artist, and it has been amazing to watch Cheo at work with his spray cans to transform this blank canvas into one of our most detailed and impressive bus designs to date.

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“Upfest is such an eye-catching and iconic date in the West of England diary, and we’re delighted to be a part of it this year. We’re sure this specially designed bus will be a real head-turner, and will encourage you to get your phones out to snap pictures of it as it makes its way on many of our Bristol routes. And if you see it out and about, why not hop on it for a ride for as little as £2 for an adult single?”

Credit: First BusCredit: First Bus
Credit: First Bus | First Bus

Stephen Hayles, co-founder of Upfest, said: “This collaboration between UPFEST PRESENTS and First Bus is an inspired way of showcasing exactly what Bristol and the West of England is about. We’re creative, we’re bold and we have big ideas… and when it comes to transport, can you get bigger than a double-decker?

“We’re so grateful to First Bus for sponsoring the event this year and giving the artists bus passes for when they’re painting in Bedminster. It’s important to us that we put on the best event that we possibly can, and First Bus, along with Arts Council England and the community donations, has allowed us to do that.”

The bus will come into service on Monday 13 May and will travel out of the city towards Yate and Thornbury. For more information on UPFEST PRESENTS, head to the website. To keep up to date with the latest news, follow Upfest on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and use the hashtag #UPFIRST to share sightings of the Cheo double-decker. 

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