SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Forwards Festival 2023: Thousands attend first day in Bristol

Thousands of people have attended an inner-city festival in Bristol.

Forwards Festival, on The Downs in Clifton, aims to give a platform to emerging artists from the city and provide a platform for debates around cultural issues.

Huge crowds gathered on Friday night to watch headliner, Grammy award-winning artist Erykah Badu.

Organiser Tom Paine said: "What a phenomenal performance to close Friday on."

The two-day festival, which launched last year, is expecting about 30,000 attendees.

Crowds also gathered to watch Bonobo, Raye, Confidence Man, Ezra Collective and Gabriel's.

On Saturday, revellers can look forward to headline acts Aphex Twin, Primal Scream, Arlo Parks and Leftfield.

Alongside its music offering, organisers say the festival will tackle the city's "important" issues.

The festival's debates platform - called the Information Stage - is hosting a series of activists and speakers to discuss cultural issues like the housing crisis, racism, sexism in story writing and politics.

Friday saw the festival host BBC historian David Olusoga, who discussed inequality in the media, as well as transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf.

Saturday will see talks on politics featuring Grace Campbell and Josh Berry.

The festival is also offering aspiring photographers a paid placement to gain experience in festival photography.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: