Headline acts announced for the The Downs Festival

Lauryn Hill

Bristol’s largest one-day festival returns with yet another stellar line-up

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. 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.

Conal Dodds, co-founder of co-promoters Crosstown Concerts commented:

“2018 was a great year and we’re taking it one step further for 2019. This is a line-up that really reflects Bristol, one of the city’s most up and coming bands in IDLES, a style and musical icon in Grace Jones and one of the most renowned hip-hop stars of the last 20 years in Lauryn Hill.”

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.

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. This will transform after dark 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. Tickets for the one-day festival will be on sale from Friday 8 March priced at £55 plus booking fee and available in person from 8am at Bristol Ticket Shop (Broadmead) and on general release at 9am via thedownsbristol.com  Seetickets.com, Gigantic.com Ticketmaster.co.uk and Bristolticketshop.co.uk

Kids tickets will also be on sale priced at £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.

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