Erykah Badu and Aphex Twin announced for Forwards Festival 2023

Erykah Badu

The Bristol event returns to Clifton Downs for its second edition this year.

Forwards Festival has revealed the first names confirmed for 2023. Following the appearance of a series of billboards around the city hinting at a Bristol show from the beloved producer, Aphex Twin has been announced as the Saturday headliner. Also topping the bill is neo-soul trailblazer Erykah Badu, who will perform on the Friday.

Elsewhere on the line-up there’s experimental pop duo Jockstrap, Australian punk outfit Amyl and the Sniffers and Metalheadz founder Goldie – who is set to perform with the live ensemble. On the pop tip, there’s also Confidence Man, Raye and Arlo Parks. Whilst local Bristol folk-pop artist Katy J Pearson, NiNE8 collective member Biig Piig and 90s dance music duo Leftfield are all set to play.

Other artists locked in so far include Viagra Boys, Wesley Joseph, Bonobo, Yazmin Lacey, Primal Scream and Olivia Dean, with more to be announced in the run up to the two-day event.

In addition to the music, Forwards Festival 2023 will see the return of its talks series entitled The Information. It will also continue its social initiative Capture Forwards – which offers five young photographers first-hand experience documenting live events.

Forwards Festival – which is helmed by Team Love and AEG – returns to Clifton Downs in Bristol on 1 and 2 September. Tickets go on pre-sale on 23 March and general sale on 24 March. Head to the festival’s website to sign-up for pre-sale.

Speaking on Forwards Festival 2023, Team Love co-founder Tom Paine said: “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.”

Read our review of Forwards Festival 2022, an event we described as a “hugely welcome musical elevation for Bristol’s event calendar.”