The Bridge events began in the summer of 1994 with a small gathering of 6 visiting writers from the UK who painted together with their Irish counterparts to produce the first of many murals on the now famous Bridge of Peace site. The event has now been running solidly every summer for each of the following years and in this time has seen it grow to where in 2001 almost 40 writers from Belgium, Holland, California, New York, London, Spain, Belfast, Dublin, Australia and Ireland converged on the site to produce a large array of multi-coloured styles and concepts on the site.
Since its inception the event has seen some of the top writers from around the world come to paint at the events. Over the years we have hosted members of 2 of New York's most famous graffiti crews TATS and FX, as well as the other famous and respected writers such as Mode2, Bates, Sub, Per, How, Nosm, Shime, Darco, BG183, London's VOP crew, and the godfather of graffiti Phase 2 (complete with his "aerosol armada" a slide show detailing the birth and rise of the New York subway train scene to its worldwide development today). Phase 2 is a living legend and is generally recognized as one of the most important graffiti artists, having had numerous gallery shows and exhibitions as well as writing books, and is wildly acknowledged as the founding father of many of the styles used today by graffiti artists worldwide.
Aside from the graffiti element our event also gives the other elements of Hip-Hop a chance to shine. Over the years the park adjacent to the site has seen performances from Ireland's top break dance groups Belfast City Breakers and Bad Taste crew, as well as performances by well known Irish hip-hop groups and DJ's such as DJ Mek (Irish DMC champion) DJ Wool, DJ Splyce, DJ Laze. As well as Hip Hop there have also been an array of local rock, punk and samba bands perform at the event.
The site of the event is very symbolic in Irish history. The bridge itself, Bridge of Peace, crosses the river Boyne 3 miles south of where in 1690 the battle of the Boyne took place, generally recognized as the first sectarian battle in our country's checkered history, and a date which we are all aware often descends into violence each year in Northern Ireland as one faction celebrates and remembers its victory over the other.
We feel it is important that on this site we celebrate something completely different. The Bridge jam (formally known as the Bridge Over Troubled Waters, or Bridge Of Peace event) is about young people from all walks of life, cultures, creeds and color coming together with their common bond of graffiti and hip hop culture and using their energy in a positive way producing breathtaking murals, for young people by young people. Its about Protestant and Catholic, Black and White painting side by side and building on their common interest for the common good. It is to show the world that while some people look back and live their lives in the past that we as young people want to move on, live in harmony and understanding and build positive bridges for the future.