Features / Downs Festival

Top tips from the organisers of The Downs

By beth owen, Friday Aug 30, 2019

The Downs Bristol returns for its fourth year on Saturday, 31 August and while before Ms Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones and the rest of the lineup take to the stage, the people behind the festival give the inside scoop on who and what to see:

Dave Harvey, Team Love

Fontaines D.C., 2.30pm – 3.30pm at The Downs Stage

If you’re a fan of IDLES then you’ll love Fontaines D.C.

You could make a strong argument that these guys are one of if not the best live act touring today. They’ve been steadily building a loyal following for a while now, off the back of their unreal live shows. But it was back in April of this year when they released their debut album Dogrel, that took them into a whole other place!

Fontaines D.C. are billed to play

Only Jerkin’

Best grub going in my opinion… summed up in five words: ginger beer battered chicken nuggets!

Penny Warner, Team Love

Extinction Rebellion People’s Assembly, 1pm – 2.15pm at The Information Area

It’s really exciting to have Extinction Rebellion involved in this year’s festival. Obviously, they’re hugely topical now, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of this movement. They’re going to be running quite a few activities at the show, but what stands out for me is the People’s Assembly, which will give everyone the chance to pitch into the discussion and have their voice heard.

Extinction Rebellion will speak at the festival. Photo by Emily Maggs

Aardman Workshops: 2:00pm at The Kids Area

Something for the family to get involved in and get their hands dirty (so to speak). It’s just so great to see kids and mums and dads getting involved and making their own Shaun the Sheep and Gromit figures.

Tom Paine, Team Love

Saba Shafi,  2pm–2:30pm at The Information Stage

Saba is a hugely impressive and inspirational person, as the commercial director of the Advocacy Academy, an amazing social justice fellowship that looks to engage and unlock the potential of young people from marginalised communities. Saba kicked off her career leading healthcare initiatives in refugee camps and diversity and inclusion programmes in graduate schools in the US.

Martin Parr: St Paul’s Carnival Photo Pop-Up, 2:30pm–3:15pm at The Information Area

This year we partnered with St Pau’ls Carnival and part of that relationship will be evident this Saturday.

On July 6 this year, a group of photographers hit the streets of Bristol. Led by photographers Martin Parr, Matt Stuart and Lua Ribeira with a team of emerging photographers from St Paul’s and around the UK, they aimed to capture the essence of Carnival.

Martin Parr photographed the carnival in 2019

Martin and a number of the other photographers will be getting together at The Downs this Saturday to discuss their experience as part of The Information line-up. They will be appearing alongside members of the St Paul’s Carnival Team who will offer their insights and knowledge around carnival culture to give context to the discussion.

After a month-long exhibition at the Arnolfini, a selection of the resulting images especially chosen for the festival will also be displayed in The Information Exhibitors Tent.

Dan Chandler, Crosstown Concerts

Ujima Takeover, 1pm–3pm at The Avon Stage

I’ll be stage managing the Avon Stage this year and we’ve got a lot of pretty exciting acts, but one I’d say you need to see is the Ujima Radio Takeover. The guys at Ujima have put together a pretty special warm up line-up with Coco, Docta Flex, Miss Devine, DJ Skel, Dancehall Generals, Anhel mel and DJ Mac 3…. it’s going to be great!

Jerk Halloumi

Definitely my go to lunch this Saturday: a jerk halloumi wrap from the Biblos stall… perfect!

Main photo by Chris Cooper

Read more: Acts not to miss at The Downs

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