One festival to add to your calendars this year is Forwards Festival, a collaboration between Bristol’s Team Love and AEG, the team behind California’s famed Coachella and London’s BST Hyde Park festivals. The same team behind Love Saves the Day will be bringing a star-studded line-up of international music talent to the Downs for a brand new festival.
Taking place on the weekend of September 3 and 4 this year, Forwards Festival has announced that Charli XCX is the final headline act and latest riotous tour-de-force to hit Forwards’ main music stage in Bristol. Plus, The Chemical Brothers will be making their debut Bristol festival appearance. There will also be a whole host of ‘next generation’ Bristol-based artists, including Ismael Ensemble and Friends featuring guests such as Rider Shafique, Tiny Chapter, STANLÆY and Chris Hillier; Willow Kayne; Harvey Causon, Melt Yourself Down, Billy No Mates, Rozi Plain and Hypothetics.
Following the release of her first UK number one album CRASH, and current UK and North American tour, the avant-pop performer, singer-songwriter-producer, will take the stage by storm on Saturday for an iconic Bristol show. Putting her own spin on mainstream pop, Charli XCX is behind some of the biggest tracks of the last decade, from hits like ‘Out Out’, ‘I Love It’ and ‘Good Ones’, to collaborations with Cardi B, Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea, and David Guetta, right through to her landmark lockdown album ‘how i’m feeling now’.
Other acts confirmed for Forwards include Jamie XX, recent BRIT awards-winner Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Kae Tempest, Caribou, Sleaford Mods, Shygirl, Khruangbin, Fred again…, Floating Points, Kojey Radical, Self Esteem, The Comet is Coming, Overmono (live), Gabriels, Sudan Archives, Chrissi and Connie Constance. Tickets for the festival are now on sale on the Forwards website, priced from £49.50, with weekend tickets available from £95. Concessions are available for children aged 5-15, local residents and ‘low income individuals’.
Team Love promise the event will mark a “new era of festivals” that seeks to challenge what metropolitan festivals can be today and how they can do good from the inside out. Harnessing the power of live music, the aim is to bring people together to help drive positive change, through social initiatives and a space for discussion and debate.
Tom Paine, co-founder of Team Love, said: “We’re proud to be unveiling a new festival for a new era of festivals, in the best city in the world, our hometown of Bristol. Now, more than ever, it’s important that our events invite debate and challenge the audience to do more to make the world a better place, as well as being a place to come together, dance, and make memories.
“Alongside one of the most exciting line-ups we have ever brought to Bristol, we’re creating an area called ‘The Information’, to provide a space for urgent conversations from some of our favourite activist and political voices. We’re partnering with CICs to nurture new talent, provide community catering at the heart of the festival and give back to our communities through the festival ecosystem.”
The festival will also host a pop-up café from Bristol independent hospitality collective Team Canteen, which has been working through the pandemic to supply vulnerable communities with food as well as developing more sustainable ways of growing food.