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July 8, 2013
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August 5, 2013

The Sun-rises on the Bristol Pound!

Steve Clarke, Director of the Bristol Pound, and Mary-Rose, Events Volunteer, at our stall in the sunshine

On the first weekend of June, £B8,000 (eight thousand Bristol Pounds) circulated the ‘Sunrise Festival’ in Somerset, giving thousands of people a positive experience with community currency.

It was back in December when the festival organisers approached us and planted the idea of taking the Bristol Pound (£B) to Sunrise. Having had the experience of running their own currency at ‘Sunrise- off grid’, they were keen to implement a similar experience into their larger festival. Immediately we could see the value of this partnership. Festivals were born out of peoples desire to explore an alternative way of living, a way of living that was run by values. Festivals provide a great space for like minded people to come and share ideas, experiences and form new groups. Playing on this, we could see that each Bristol Pound released into this environment, had the potential to plant an idea in peoples mind. A tool to make people think about money and the benefits of a community led economy. Over the weekend we were overjoyed to hear peoples positive reactions to the currency. Everywhere we went we caught glimpses of our beautiful £B1’s being admired by all. We met individuals from all different areas of the country, some keen to set up similar initiatives of their own. We also enjoyed meeting our members and other Bristolians, excited to take their cash home. sunrise logo As a team we bonded over Bristol Pound bought chai, chilli chocolate, hot tubs and ale (who said working was boring!) We danced to gypsy beats, samba bands and even tribal frog! A fantastic weekend of hard work and equal play, to celebrate how fantastic we all are!r festival. Immediately we could see the value of this partnership. Festivals were born out of peoples desire to explore an alternative way of living, a way of living that was run by values. Festivals provide a great space for like minded people to come and share ideas, experiences and form new groups. Playing on this, we could see that each Bristol Pound released into this environment, had the potential to plant an idea in peoples mind. A tool to make people think about money and the benefits of a community led economy.

The Rising Sun Pub at the Festival

With the Bristol Pound creeping up to its first birthday,we will be looking back on this memorable year and remembering these special moments that show us what Bristol has achieved. By partnering up with the regional festival, we were able to spread the word of the Bristol Pound even further than before. ‘Happy money’, ‘beautiful!’, ‘values and community’ are just some of the words that people use to describe the Bristol Pound. Community currencies are rewriting the story of money. A story which connects and builds relationships, which celebrates community diversity and where people work together to build and protect their environment. So thank you to the sun that really did bless us with its appearance for this years Sunrise Festival, to Dan and John, the two magical machines behind the weekend and to the thousands of people who swapped a £ for a £B and helped spread our story wider.

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The Bristol Pound Team!

Sarah Forrester- Wilson

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