What not to miss at The Downs festival


Excited for this weekend? Don't miss out on these key acts...

The exciting weekend is nearly upon us. The highly anticipated Downs festival is returning for its second year, and bringing with it an immense line-up. Here’s some of the best things happening at the festival so you know what to look out for…


Throw those curtains wide Bristol, because Elbow are coming to town & these Northern rockers are guaranteed to put on a cracking show at The Downs this year. They’ve been picking up rave reviews across the country this year and who can be surprised. With a voice like Guy Garvey’s and the bands uncanny knack for a stunning arrangement, Elbow have only been getting better since they first graced the stages of Bury in the late 90’s.  

Roni Size

This is no regular performance for Bristol’s own Roni Size, as 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Reprazent’s seminal album ‘New Forms’. Size will be performing New Forms in its entirety at The Downs Festival, a mouthwatering opportunity that drum and bass fans simply can’t afford to miss. Those old enough to remember the heyday of the breakbeat era will remember just how important this album was, picking up a Mercury Prize and carving Size and Reprazent a mainstream niche for drum and bass, the likes of which had never been seen before. 

Groove Armada

This dynamic electronic duo have been lighting up stages and dancefloors across the globe for a long time now and Groove Armada don’t look like stopping any time soon. With eight studio albums and plenty of chart toppers under their belt, Groove Armada’s back catalogue will certainly get the crowds at The Downs moving. At some point during the evening you’re guaranteed to hear the phrase ‘I See You Bristol’. It’s pretty much written in the stars that at some point either one of Groove Armada’s Andy Cato or Tom Findlay will make this announcement , surely? If they don’t then someone will surely tweet it.  


If political debate and discourse is more your thing, then The Downs has certainly got a treat in store. This year sees the return of The Information Stage and a hugely diverse array of keynote speakers, who will each be discussing and debating a dizzying array of topics from gender politics, to creed, colour, faith, the ongoing homelessness crisis and beyond. One such speaker is the esteemed rapper and poet Akala. A staunch supporter of Musicians without Borders, Akala is as well known for his music as he is his moving TEDex and university talks. 

Suhaiymah Mazoor-Kahn 

Another keynote speaker at The Downs 2017 Information Stage, Suhaiymah is a 22 year old third generation British-Pakistani women and the author of The Brown Hijabi.  Suhaiymah speaks beautifully on matters of politics, race, gender, creed and more and her voice can regular be heard on radio, podcasts and live at various conventions and poetry slams across the country.

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