After being successfully booking Massive Attack for their first hometown gig in 13 years last year, we were delighted when organisers (a joint effort from the teams behind Love Saves the Day and Bristol Sounds) announced that The Downs festival would become a permanent fixture on Bristol’s growing festival calendar.

The lineup, announced today, includes very special headliners, Elbow, who’ll be touting songs from their new album Little Fictions, and hopefully some anthems from their 2008 Mercury prize-winning album Seldom Seen Kid.

The main stage will also play host to American blues man Seasick Steve and old school hip hop favourites De La Soul, as well as Back to Life-singers Soul II Soul, and US rock group The Districts, plus a promise of a very special guest still to be announced.

Stage two is topped by noughties dance duo Groove Armada, MBE-awarded reggae selector and broadcaster David Rodigan (read our recent interview with the icon here), and hometown hero Roni Size with Mad Professor, for a very special performance to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking New Forms.

David Nitelife-Rodigan-My Life in Reggae
David Rodigan by Khali Photography for Nitelife magazine

And the all-important Information Stage is also set to return, with guest speakers, Q&A sessions, film screenings, photography and charity representatives. The lineup for this stage is still under wraps, but last year’s special guests included photo journalist Giles Duley, influential punk-led fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and spoken word artist and poet Kate Tempest.

Tickets are £45 and go on sale on Friday 28 April at 8am from Bristol Ticket Shop and The Love Inn (bring cash), before going out on general release at 9am* via

*Last year, all 27,000 tickets sold out in less than two hours – so we’d set a reminder for this one.

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  1. […] same musical minds behind Bristol Summer Series – and co-conspirators of The Downs festival – are back on Bristol’s Harbourside this summer with not only a new name, but a whole extra day […]

  2. […] The Downs festival is back for its second installment this September, bringing the likes of Elbow, Seasick Steve, Groove Armada, Roni Size, Soul II Soul, De La Soul and our favourite reggae selector Sir David Rodigan MBE to Clifton’s Downs. […]

  3. […] One of the judges sitting on our panel is Dan Chandler; with over a decade of experience working in the music scene, he currently heads up Crosstown Concerts and is also one of the brilliant minds behind Bristol Sounds and The Downs festival. […]

  4. […] is also part of the promotions superteam who – alongside Team Love – bring us The Downs festival, whose debut year in 2016 saw Massive Attack play their first homecoming show in 13 […]

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