NEWS: Forwards Festival - more than a music festival

Bristol’s rising stars join The Chemical Brothers at FORWARDS Festival this September

FORWARDS Festival has unveiled that some of Bristol’s brightest stars are joining the 2022 programme. 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 on The Downs this September.

Further new additions to the bill include psyche-space legends Spiritualized, alongside London post-punk band Warmduscher and rebel rapper, Kam-BU.

These artists join FORWARDS’ stellar international music programme featuring The Chemical Brothers, Jamie XX, Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Khruangbin, Caribou, Fred Again.., Shygirl and more.

Little Simz

FORWARDS is the biggest new international music festival for Bristol, and the first collaboration for AEG Presents and Team Love. It kickstarts a new breed of city music festivals, committing to positive change through social initiatives and forward-thinking discussions, alongside epic music moments. 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, who fight 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 £25.00+bf. An affordable ticket scheme is also available for those on low incomes.

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 XXX, 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.” 

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!’’



Róisín Murphy

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.