Aphex Twin, Erykah Badu, Bonobo among lineup for Forwards Festival 2023

Bristol-based Forwards Festival has announced a stellar lineup for its second instalment, including Aphex Twin, Erykah Badu, Bonobo and Arlo Parks.

Forwards Festival lineup

Held on Friday, 1 and Saturday, 2 September this year, on Clifton Downs, the festival has today revealed an impressive line-up that builds on its impressive debut last year.

Among the headliners are the sensational neo-soul artist Erykah Badu and British DJ and producer Bonobo, who will play on the Friday. 

On the Saturday, the innovative and mercurial Aphex Twin will bring his cutting-edge sound and visuals to the Bristol downs.


And the brilliant roster of acts doesn’t stop there. Among the other performers are Primal Scream, Arlo Parks, Raye, Leftfield, Confidence Man and Biig Piig.

On the Friday, too, Goldie – a pioneering force in drum and bass and jungle – will play with a live ensemble, with Wesley Joseph playing on the same day; on Saturday, Aussie punks Amyl, and the Sniffers will take to the stage, as will ever-impressive London duo Jockstrap.

Sunday will also be a special day for Bristolian Katy J Pearson, who will be playing in her hometown following the release of last year’s beautiful album Sound of the Morning.

Olivia Dean, Viagra Boys and jazz and RnB songstress Yazmin Lacey have also been announced to play across the weekend.

Forwards Festival 2023 lineup

As well as this eclectic musical offering, Forwards Festival is billed as a festival that “commits to creating positive change”, with talks and initiatives also held at the festival. 

Whilst speakers for the festival – who discuss a range of topics at a hub called ‘The Information’ – are yet to be announced for this year, last year’s names included food writer, journalist and activist Jack Monroe, food critic Jay Rayner, ex-footballer John Barnes MBE and the poet Lawrence Hoo.

Team Love is the production and organising team behind it – a group who describe themselves as “passionately Bristolian” and behind the festivals Love Saves The Day, Breaking Bread and Simple Things, which also take place in Bristol.

Tom Paine, co-founder of Team Love, has said of today’s announcement: “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.


“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’.”

Our review of Forwards Festival’s debut last year proclaimed that “Bristol has a new festival on its doorstep. One it can be proud of, that speaks to its musical history. And the best part is: it’ll probably only get better.” We’ll await to see that come to fruition.

​​Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday, 24 March, 2023, with pre-sale at 10am on Thursday, 23 March 2023.

Early bird day admission starts at £49.50, with weekend tickets available from £89.50. For more information and to purchase tickets later this week, visit https://www.forwardsbristol.co.uk/.

Leave a Reply

More like this