Bristol’s FORWARDS festival brought the vibes

words Colette Earley

Bristol FORWARD festival LeeFORWARDS returned to Bristol on 1st and 2nd September, after its debut last year, for two days of music and discussion, driven by its social initiatives to create positive change.

Heralded as “a progressive-minded festival”, FORWARDS complimented its incredible musical line-up by offering fans a space for discussion and debate at ‘THE INFORMATION’, featuring a host of experts, disruptors, creatives, writers and thinkers – side by side epic music moments.

On Friday, ERYKAH BADU performed for the first time ever in Bristol UK, bringing her trailblazing neo-soul genre to Bristol this September, moving the audience in a new soulful trance with an eclectic mix. Erykah is amongst the greatest neo soul performers and has an abundance of awards including four GRAMMYs. Other Friday acts included Bonobo, Gabriels, Raye, Goldie with the Live Ensemble, Confidence Man, Olivia Dean, Biig Piig, and Wesley Joseph.

Bristol FORWARDS festival

The Saturday continued to bring the good vibes, with another day of sunshine and stages packed with energy. The lineup included Oslo Twins, Jockstrap, Australian punks Amyl & The Sniffers and Bristol’s own SCALPING. The evening saw incredible vocals from Arlo Parks, matching the golden hour glow which provided her backdrop. To finish things off, electronic legend APHEX TWIN closed the night with an epic set in front of a packed-out crowd.

More than just a music concert, FORWARDS challenges what metropolitan festivals can be today and how they can do good, from the inside out. Next year’s can’t come soon enough.


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