FORWARDS will host leading UK disruptors, artists, writers and social innovators taking to the festival stage in next weekend to put forward-thinking conversations side-by-side with an epic music lineup, headlined by Aphex Twin and Erykah Badu.
A festival defining concept stage – THE INFORMATION at FORWARDS – faces pressing cultural issues head on, with no conversation off limits. The 2023 programme will tackle inequality in the media, the housing emergency, racism, sexism in story writing, black novelists and writers, queer stories, politics on TikTok and more.
Headline speaker names for 2023 include BBC broadcaster, historian and BAFTA award winner David Olusoga with journalist and housing rights activist, Vicky Spratt, British Vogue’s contributing editor, author and LGBTIQA+ activist, Munroe Bergdorf with author and founder of gal-dem, Liv Little, iconic British artist Jeremy Deller with the artist, raver, provocator and founder of UK-based clothing brand Sports Bange, Jonny Banger, plus digital creator Danny Price with TikTok creators and comedians Grace Campbell and Josh Berry.
Munroe Bergdorf. Image: Mariano Vivanco
Voices from the social and political spectrum will once again join a host of international music names at FORWARDS: from Bonobo, Ezra Collective, Primal Scream, Arlo Parks, Gabriels, Raye, Leftfield to Goldie with the Live Ensemble, Olivia Dean and Biig Piig. More than a music festival, FORWARDS aims to harness the legacy and power of live events for positive change, stirring crowd consciousness in one of Britain’s most progressive and socially-minded cities, Bristol.
Arlo Parks, Image: Alex Waespi. Raye, Image: Raye.
The headline talks unveiled today to for the THE INFORMATION programme at FORWARDS , include:
Friday 1st September:
Liv Little in conversation with Munroe Bergdorf
Telling Our Stories – Reflections on sharing experiences with the world
Author and LGBTIQA+ activist, Munroe Bergdorf and author and founder of gal-dem, Liv Little share their stories on THE INFORMATION at FORWARDS 2023 stage. Speaking on the power of storytelling, and the importance of sharing personal experiences, Bergdorf and Little will reflect on the ways in which women and queer people retell their narratives in different ways and how they are often asked to relive past trauma. This powerful talk looks to inspire budding writers and share advice on how to approach putting pen to paper, and crafting an impactful story.
Vicky Spratt talks to David Olusoga
Broadcasting Inequality – An urgent discussion on inequality in the media
BBC broadcaster, historian and BAFTA award winner David Olusoga speaks to journalist and housing rights activist, Vicky Spratt on the power of using media as a tool to teach audiences on history and inequality. Olusoga and Spratt will share their first-hand experiences of utilising the media, the criticism often received, and praise from using it as a power for good. The talk will delve into the inequalities that exist in the media, and what more can be done to enact positive change.
David Olusoga. Image: Plaster.
Saturday 2nd September:
Jonny Banger in conversation with Jeremy Deller:
“We’re not sure where this conversation will go!”
English conceptual, video and installation artist Jeremy Deller joins artist, raver, provocator and founder of UK-based clothing brand Sports Banger, Johnny Banger, for an unconventional talk that knows no boundaries. Fresh from the release of their books “Art Is Magic” by Jeremy Deller and “Sports Banger: Lifestyles of the poor, rich & famous” by Johnny Banger, the authors will bounce around concepts, stories, politics, theories, feelings and their backgrounds as socially conscious satirists and observers. Or perhaps talk about a current event of the moment. Join us to find out. Perhaps they’ll discuss the most recent moment to reach the headliners…join us to find out.
Danny Price investigates – with Grace Campbell and Josh Berry
Seriously Funny – Is politics a joke? – current affairs for content
Danny Price investigates with TikTok creators and comedians Grace Campbell and Josh Berry, Is Politics A Joke? This humorous conversation will examine current affairs in content, what this means and engaging with new audiences. Has TikTok and social media encouraged young people to be engaged with British politics? Do Danny, Grace and Josh look to inspire their audiences to use their democratic rights or hope they might after watching their content? Is TikTok our new political satire for a new generation and is it ok to use politics for content?
Grove and Marla Kether are among the artists performing this year.