While we’ve been buzzing for its return since February, now Forwards Festivals is almost here. Described as ‘more than a music festival’, blending a cutting-edge music line-up with political activism, Forwards looks bigger and better than we ever could have expected this September 1 & 2.
90s legends of their own fields, techno superstar Aphex Twin and neo-soul legend Erykah Badu will headline on Friday and Saturday respectively. Other 2023 music acts unveiled; Bonobo, Primal Scream, Arlo Parks, Raye, Leftfield, Goldie with the Live Ensemble, Amyl and the Sniffers, Confidence Man, Olivia Dean, Biig Piig, Viagra Boys, Wesley Joseph, Jockstrap, Katy J Pearson and Yasmin Lacey.
In a second-wave announcement, Forwards have added Ezra Collective, the quintet spearheading Britain’s jazz scene; the gospel notes of soul band Gabriels; and afrobeat, spoken word and electronic musician Obongjayar. Performing late at night at The Information stage on Friday, catch Bristol producer, vocalist and DJ Grove; ethereal guitar-driven Prima Queen; and bassist DJ and producer Marla Kether. On Saturday, see rave-ready bangers by Bristol’s Slaping; groove-laden, anthemic Saloon Dion; and emotive vocals and explosive hybrid drumming Intoku.
Taking place the first weekend of September (September 1 – 2), Forwards Festival 2023 is founded by the Bristol-based Team Love. Over the last 10 years they have been responsible for such large-scale events as Love Saves The Day, Simple Things and, as of 2022, The Silver Hayes at Glastonbury.
“We’re proud to be bringing FORWARDS back this year to the best city in the world, and our hometown Bristol. Building on our work from our inaugural year, we are incredibly excited to be able to pull together a musical offering with such an amazing array of talent,” said Tom Paine, co-founder of Team Love.
“It continues to be our aim to make FORWARDS a space which invites debate and challenges the status quo. Offering our audience a place to come together, dance and make memories, while trying to inspire discussions, actions, and to enact positive change through the urgent conversations at ‘The Information’.”
Forwards Festival lineup for 2023 also sees the return of discussion and debate at THE INFORMATION, featuring a host of experts, disruptors, creatives, writers and thinkers. Expect hard-hitting and powerful talks. And while Forwards brings in some big names this year, we expect it to continue championing young talent in the industry. The festival will offer young people work experience, shadowing and paid placements across the festival in 2023.
Day tickets are still available, with weekend tickets available. Concessions are available for children aged 5-15, local residents and low-income individuals. Like 2022, FORWARDS will offer discounted NHS tickets to those who work there. To learn more head here.
Forwards Festival line-up 2023:
Friday, September 1:
Goldie with the Live Ensemble
Saturday, September 2:
Amyl and the Sniffers
Katy J Pearson