NEWS: Forwards Festival announces its 'Changemakers' programme

Words: Delroy Hibbert

The new festival is establishing itself as ‘more than a music festival’, which means as well as the fantastic line-up of musical talent, they will also be hosting a programme of cutting-edge creatives, campaigners, music industry names and more – who will panel discussions on site at The Information area, engaging in conversations that delve into crucial topics deep-rooted in the city – such as making Bristol a sex-positive city, tackling Bristol’s housing crisis and breaking the class-ceiling in the creative industries. 

Saturday 3rd September: 

Creatives face Climate Change, Breaking the Music Class-ceiling and Modernising Drug Support

Bristol environmental campaigners and agency Enviral bring to FORWARDS its changemaking campaigns for leading industry clients such as Greenpeace and Surfers Against Sewage to explore why creatives are fundamental for breaking boundaries for the communication of the climate crisis today. 

Also on Saturday, Izzy Cross director of the young person’s CIC, Noods Levels, and previously of NOODS Radio, will bring together a panel discussing breaking the class-ceiling in the music industry acknowledging their own experiences, featuring music, portrait and documentary photographer Khali Ackford and mic man and vocalist Dread MC. Bristol Drugs Project will also take to the stage for a panel on the modern way to treat drugs. 

The volunteer-run festival of socialist politics, arts, and culture Bristol Transformed completes the line up for Saturday, founder Isaac Kneebone-Hopkins will lead a talk on why you can’t just change yourself, you have to change the world.

Khali Ackford, Izzy Cross and Dread MC who will panel Saturday’s discussion on breaking the class ceiling in the music industry.

Sunday 4th September: 

Housing Crisis, a Sex Positive City and “Can festivals be a force for change?”

On Sunday Caring in Bristol, the charity working with people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness will come together with Bristol’s housing activists to ask ‘Is solving Bristol’s housing crisis even possible?’, at a critical time for rising homeless numbers in the city. Harvey Watt from Black Excellence will lead a discussion about the work of the organisation alongside Kaden Gardener, Bandyt and Dawn Limbu.

Campaigner Amélie will be joined by Euella Jackson from Rising Arts and Jess Herman, founder of the Sexual Health Circus to lead a discussion on how to make Bristol a sex-positive city, pleasure activism in practice and sex workers rights.

Across the weekend Team Love’s BIG TEAM CIC will lead a discussion into how music festivals can be a force for change, inviting leading festival organisers to take to the stage to look at their plans for 2023 and beyond.

Tickets for Forward festival are available here