Proving their ploy to be “more than just a music festival”, the latest Forwards Festival stage announcement showcases how they hope to create a platform for positivity, change and discussion.
THE INFORMATION, which is what they’ve called the festival’s space for examination and debate, is to explore today’s most pressing cultural issues. This platform will tackle race and diversity, the cost of living crisis, LGBTQIA+ rights and gender fluidity, feminist agendas and the music industry today, plus more.
The music festival, which is a brand new addition to the cultural calendar in Bristol this summer season, wants to instigate the urgent conversations needed in 2022.
Taking place 3rd-4th September on Clifton Downs, it is working to kickstart a new breed of city music festivals and they hope to do so alongside an exciting line-up of music and cutting-edge talent.
Already confirmed for the line-up is plenty of local talent. Considered some of Bristol’s brightest stars, these ‘next gen’ artists include Ishmael Ensemble and Friends featuring guests such as Rider Shafique, Tiny Chapter, STANLÆY and Chris Hillier; the 90s-inspired rap of Willow Kayne; and the powerful, brooding vocal of Harvey Causon.
So, what will the new THE INFORMATION stage add to the already exciting event? No conversation is off limits, and Forwards Festival aims to harness the legacy and power of live events for positive change, stirring crowd consciousness in Britain’s most progressive and socially-minded city.
They have, this week, announced a programme of speakers and popular culture voices from across the social and political spectrum. Former footballer John Barnes MBE will speak with Bristolian poet and active media spokesperson on the Colston Four trial, Lawrence Hoo, for a special one-off conversation on the black experience.
You’ll also find one of the UK’s best-loved poets, Lemn Sissay, performing his ‘My Name is Why’, a one-man show reflecting on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness.
Perhaps one of the most exciting announcements is that you can have the chance to watch The Observer food critic Jay Rayner take to the stage with British food writer and activist Jack Monroe, known for campaigning on food poverty issues and launching the Vimes Boot Index, which measures the creeping price of basic food products.
Together, Monroe and Rayner attack the pressing issues of ‘Food Bank Britain’, the cost of living crisis and the realities of food as a luxury or a commodity today. Plus, they will discuss the future of food and crucial environmentalism questions facing us all.
Another exciting line-up announcement for the new platform is in the form of Sunday Times bestselling author of ‘The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice’ Shon Faye and award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker, Travis Alabanza.
They will spill the tea on the realities of contemporary romance. From trans and non-heteronormative issues, to intersectional feminism, the two Bristolians will unpick modern-day love in all its often complicated and beautiful forms.
Fancy it even more, now? Day tickets are now available from £49.50, with weekend tickets available from £95. Concessions are available for children aged 5-15, local residents, and low-income individuals. Gates open 12:00 with the last entry to the event at 20:00.