FORWARDS Festival, the biggest new international music festival for Bristol, and the first collaboration for AEG Presents and Team Love has this morning announced its second wave of the line-up and there’s an exciting amount of Bristol talent involved.
The festival, taking place 3rd-4th September on Clifton Downs, is working to kickstart a new breed of city music festivals, committing to positive change through social initiatives and forward-thinking discussions, alongside epic music moments.
Nurturing local talent is also integral to the ethos of the festival, so it’s not surprising that this morning’s announcement showcases some of the incredible artists that Bristol has to offer.
Considered some of Bristol’s brightest stars, these ‘next gen’ artists include the evocative dronescapes of 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.
They will also be joined by visceral jazz-punk-Afro-funk band Melt Yourself Down, raw post-punk vocalist Billy No Mates, beautiful and understated Rozi Plain, and alternative indie band Hypothetics.
In response to joining such a pioneering new festival, Bristol artist Ishmael Ensemble said: “We’ve had such a fun year since the release of Visions Of Light, and can’t wait to bring the show home this September alongside a really incredible line-up over the two days.
“We’ll be celebrating on The Downs with a whole load of our own special guests in tow for this performance. See ya there!’’
It’s a pretty exciting move for many of these homegrown bands and artists, as they join the already announced programme of FORWARDS Festival headliners The Chemical Brothers, Jamie XX, Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Khruangbin, Caribou, Fred Again.. and Shygirl.
The artists themselves aren’t the only ones excited about bringing their music to home soil, either. Team Love’s Director Tom Paine said of the new additions to the line-up: “What a line-up and what a weekend! Alongside the likes of Chemical Brothers and Jamie XX, we are thrilled to shine a light on the fantastic talent that Bristol has to offer and excited to see these superb local artists perform to home crowds.
“FORWARDS Festival feels like a proper celebration and more than just a music festival. We are challenging what metropolitan festivals can be today and how they can do good from the inside out – and this is just the beginning.”
To really ensure that this ethos of doing good from the inside out is met, the festival is built with social initiatives at its core, partnering with a range of Community Interest Companies (CICs). Big Team CIC will nurture new music talent and open doors for young people in the city who have historically been excluded from and are under-represented in the festival and events industry.
Team Canteen CIC, which fights against food vulnerability, will also provide community-led catering at the festival.
The festival is also giving back to NHS workers, partnering with two organisations, ‘Protect our NHS’ and ‘Bristol grAttitude’ at the event, while offering all local NHS workers special priced day tickets at £25, plus booking fee. For those on low incomes, an affordable ticket scheme is also available.
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.