Written by: Lily Fulvio-Mason
This September Forwards Bristol makes its debut at the city’s beloved Clifton Downs, celebrating some of the biggest names in music with a dose of activism for good Bristolian measure.
As one of the last festivals on the summer stretch, it looks like it’s going to be a good'un.
The two-day festival’s programme includes not only the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Jamie xx, Khruangbin, and Róisín Murphy but some of the world’s top pioneering experts, disruptors, and thinkers from across the social and political compass.
Never has a festival's debut lineup looked so overwhelmingly good, here are some top picks from the South West’s answer to All Points East.
If you’ve just about managed to recover from their 4am set at Glastonbury, it might just be about time to catch Warmduscher again.
Named after a made-up term that refers to ‘somebody who is perceived to be a bit too soft for something specific or not hard enough for life in general’, the post-punk band was initially formed - with two of the Fat White Family in tow - at one drunken New Year’s Eve.
Ordained as "the sleaziest, most debauched, and downright addictive experiences in London's guitar underground right now” - all the signs of a great time.
Rising to the mainstream with the success of her third album GREY Area in 2019, before releasing her hotly-anticipated Sometimes I Might Be Introvert last year, Little Simz is one of the slickest rappers of the moment, and beyond.
The North London-born rapper shows no sign of slowing down despite ten years deep in the game, 2022 has seen her win Best New Artist at the BRITs, headline the West Holts Stage at Glastonbury and take home an Ivor Novello Award - it’s incredibly hard not to be excited by where she’s going. Her effortless spine-tingling storytelling will make you wish the set was at least three hours longer.
If you’d like to conclude your summer in the most idyllic manner of them all (and by that, we mean clutching on to your mates, a few pints in, unanimously singing "I can’t do without you") you absolutely shouldn’t miss this set from the Canadian musician Dan Snaith performing under the moniker Caribou.
Seemingly Snaith has worn many hats over the years performing as Manitoba and more recently Daphni. However, Caribou is arguably his Sunday best of the lot, as it’s what brought us the likes of tracks such as ‘Odessa’, ‘Home’ and ‘Can’t Do Without You’.
Now would probably be the time to check out one of the most spoken about people on this year’s festival circuit: Fred John Philip Gibson - or as the line-ups know him as Fred again.. - has a career spanning from producer to songwriter and has worked with some of the biggest names in music including Stormzy, The xx, and Burna Boy.
2021 marked the year he decided to enter the spotlight for himself, as he embarked on his first ever tour, after releasing the anthem of the pandemic with The Blessed Madonna, ‘Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)’.
Hailing from working-class beginnings, the crux of everything Sleaford Mods is an honest ode to their start in life. Often speaking out about pop-culture, capitalism, and unemployment, frontman Jason Williamson writes the lyrics, whilst producer Andrew Fearn makes the music and provides some class dancing whilst performing.
Their minimal production performances are of an acquired taste and certainly divide an audience, pass by, or get stuck in, either way, it’s an experience nevertheless.
Forwards Bristol 2022 takes place at Bristol's Clifton Downs on 3-4th September. Book the final remaining tickets here.