The Downs Bristol, the city’s largest one-day music festival returns on Saturday 31 August and organisers have announced a spectacular first wave line-up, with Ms. Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones and Bristol’s own IDLES.
Ms. Lauryn Hill
American singer, songwriter, rapper and founding member of hip-hop pioneers The Fugees, will headline the Downs Stage on Saturday night and is the festival’s first female and international headliner. Hill’s only solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, earned her five Grammy Awards and remains one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop albums of all time.
Jamaican-American singer, songwriter, producer, model and actress Grace Jones will also take to the stage. With a career spanning four decades, Jones secured her first record deal with iconic Jamaican label Island Records in 1977, becoming a star of New York City’s disco scene. An iconic figure in the arts scene, Jones has inspired the likes of Lady Gaga, Nile Rogers, Annie Lennox and Lorde.
IDLES will play their largest gig ever in Bristol, following a huge 12 months for the band. The local five-piece’s popularity has soared in recent years, following the release of their 2017 album Brutalism, and more recently Joy as an Act of Resistance in 2018 and in 2019 IDLES were nominated for Best Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards.
Swedish singer, songwriter and rapper Neneh Cherry will also feature at The Downs Bristol. The stepdaughter of jazz trailblazer Don Cherry, Neneh forged her own groundbreaking blend of pop, dance, hip hop and R&B picking up Brits, Grammys and MTV Europe Music Awards along the way.
The festival’s stand out Avon Stage will be home to a dance and hip-hop line up, headlined by one of the UK’s most esteemed up-and-coming hip-hop artists, Loyle Carner. Also on the bill will be English electronic outfit Crazy P, DJ and electronic music composer Nightmares on Wax and a special performance from drum & bass outfit High Contrast, with the accompaniment of a live band.
The Information Stage
Discussion and debate has been a key part of The Downs Bristol since its inception in 2016 and once again festival goers can expect the return of The Information Stage, a space where key note speakers address issues affecting UK society. After dark, this will transform into a music stage featuring new musical talent, after the huge popularity of last year’s line-up.
The Downs Bristol is an event for all the family and, making sure younger music fans have a great time, the Children’s Area is returning bigger and better than ever, with activities, workshops, dancing and much more.
Kids tickets will be £15 and reduced-price tickets will be available to anyone unemployed or on income support, priced at £29.50. The reduced-price tickets are only available in person from Bristol Ticket Shop and supporting documentation and ID will be required.
All tickets are subject to a £1 Down levy which goes towards the upkeep of The Downs.
Full Price Adult Tickets are £55. You can buy them in person from Bristol Ticket Shop (Broadmead) or via thedownsbristol.com.