Ken Loach joins political debate line-up for The Downs


The social campaigner and TV and film director has joined the line-up of keynote speakers on The Information Stage

The Information Stage will offer festival goers an area of thought-provoking talks and panel discussions addressing some of the issues currently affecting UK society, enabling ticket holders to engage with social and political debates, ideas and experiences. The speakers for which, have been carefully selected from a range of backgrounds to reflect Bristol’s diverse cultural landscape and unorthodox nature.

The all day festival, which takes places on Saturday 2nd September, follows the success of the inaugural event last year and offers three main areas:

  • – The Main Stage featuring British rock band, Elbow, American blues legend, Seasick Steve, American hip hop trio, De La Soul, Soul II Soul, American rock band, The Districts and Ibibio Sound Machine.
  • – The Second Stage featuring Groove Armada, David Rodigan MBE, Roni Size, Mad Professor and DJ, producer and rapper Mike Skinner
  • – The Information Area, which includes the Information Stage for speakers and performers, The Information Venue for panel discussions and talks and the Information Tent for charity and current affairs exhibitors. 

Already announced for The Information Stage and joining Ken Loach are rapper, poet and historian, Akala, Suhaiymah Mazoor-Khan, a third generation British Pakistani woman and author of The Brown Hijabi blog, the creative minds behind satirical show The Revolution Will Be Televised, Heydon Prowse and Jolyon Rubinstein and spoken word artist Vanessa Kisuule addressing feminism through her poetry.

The Information Venue will then provide panel debates throughout the all-day festival airing some of the burning issues of the day to inform and inspire discussion, including how Brexit and austerity will affect the coming years and if we can shape a new, fairer society with this opportunity. A panel will them look at how the landscape has changed since movements like Grime for Corbyn and how to motivate future youth politics while another panels will look at how the grassroots movements can inspire change and how much impact an individual and their votes can have.

Addressing Bristol’s growing homeless crises the Information Stage will invite the city’s homeless representatives, the volunteers who support them and the key staff who work alongside them to address solutions to the homeless issues in the UK and how people can get involved. Lastly a panel of music industry reps and musicians will debate the role that music and festivals can play for positive change in society despite being on the surface self-indulgent and consumptive events.

The Downs Festival is presented by Team Love and Crosstown Concerts. 

Tickets are priced at £45.00 plus booking fee and are available from, and All online ticket sales will be subject to a £1 donation with funds going directly to the upkeep and maintenance of The Downs, for all of Bristol to enjoy.

For further information on the festival visit or follow @TheDownsBristol on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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