Broadmead Christmas market changes prove controversial

Changes to the Bristol Christmas Market in Broadmead this year have caused controversy as opinions are split on the new set-up.  

After seven years, Destination Bristol has decided to award the Bristol Christmas Market to Xmas Markets Ltd rather than WELA Märkte GmbH.

The change in organiser has resulted in a number of changes to the Market itself which has generated a lot of controversy in the city.

In response, one Bristolian has set up a petition to “bring back the German Christmas Market” – which is due to launch later today.

What do people think?

UWE Wired spoke with people attending the Markets to gauge how the city is feeling about these changes.

While some have complained that it is “not as Christmasy as last year,” others have admitted that they “wouldn’t have noticed a change.”

“Won’t be hurrying back”

Marcus Keppel-Palmer, a senior lecturer at UWE Bristol, is particularly vocal about his disappointment with the changes: “The Bristol German Christmas Market is something we look forward to every year.

“The unadvertised change and removal of almost all of those elements has been the cause of deep disappointment. The sausage offering has been reduced to just a couple of options, the gluhwein stall is smaller, less convivial and crucially misses the live music which added atmosphere,” he continued.

“Walking around the stalls provided nothing that was distinctive and certainly nothing that was German beyond the miniature houses, and that stall emanated from Lithuania.

Keppel-Palmer concluded: “If the market had made a virtue of having local craft entrepreneurs for example and advertised as such, I would have said that was OK, but in my view this revised market smacks of being a cheap disappointing option. I certainly won’t be hurrying back”

“Not as busy as last year”

Social Media

Keppel-Palmer’s comments have been echoed on social media, as many have taken to Twitter to vent their anger.

“Disappointed and sad”

WELA Märkte GmbH – the former organiser – have released a statement in response.

They claim to be “sorry” that so many are disappointed and hope that they may return to organise the market again in the future.

UWE Wired contacted current organisers Xmas Markets Ltd however they were not available for comment.

“Why not start a petition?”

The uproar has lead to one Bristolian launching a petition on the council website.

In an exclusive interview with UWE Wired, Amy Maszuchin spoke about the market and her petition: “It was a bit heart-breaking to hear and I think it’s a bit unfair for them to be turned down after seven years,” she said. “I sat at home and I thought why not start a petition about it?”

Amy hopes that the petition will be going live by the end of the day, awaiting Bristol City Council’s approval.

Updates regarding the petition will be provided on UWE Wired throughout the day, as well as Amy’s Facebook group.


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