The Downs Festival returns to Bristol this weekend, make sure you're prepared with these top tips!

Down Festival 2017

Source: Shotaway

Get there early

Gates open at 1pm and the live music will be well underway by 3pm so make sure you arrive early to make the most of the festival.  

Elbow headline the main stage joined by American blues legend, Seasick Steve, American hip hop trio, De La Soul famed for ‘Me, Myself & I,’ the legendary 80’s British R&B group, Soul II Soul best known for their hits “Back to Life,” “Keep on Movin” and “Get A Life” and American rock band, The Districts.  

Make the most of two music stages

Like last year, The Downs will host two music stages. 

The second stage line-up features Groove Armada with a show-stopping DJ set, David Rodigan MBE as well as an exclusive live festival performance by Roni Size to celebrate 20 years of his Mercury-Prize-winning album, New Forms.

Bring the whole family

This is a festival for all the family. As well as the live music you’ll also find Kid’s Area Activities including Karaoke Horsebox, crazy bikes, spin painting and carousel, Junk Ball Run, Play Dough Kitchen, Face Painting, Circus Skills, Hula Hooping and science workshops.  

The Ape Project will be offering children that cycle to the event, their ‘Bike Bling Station’ - an opportunity to jazz up their bike with spokeys, flags and tassels.   

Downs Festival 2017

Source: Shotaway

Join the debate

This year, the Information Area has been extended to include the Information Stage, featuring  renowned TV and film director, Ken Loach; rapper, poet and historian, Akala and Suhaiymah Mazoor-Khan, author of The Brown Hijabi blog. 

The Information Venue will host panel discussions and debates on the burning issues of the day to inform and inspire discussions. Topics will include how Brexit and austerity will affect the coming years; how the landscape has changed since movements like Grime for Corbyn and how to motivate future youth politics.  

Don’t even think about taking a car

There is no parking at the event or close to the site, but organisers have made sure there are a whole host of sustainable travel options to get you to and from the event. 

First Bus will be running a special event shuttle bus service to and from the event site from Temple Meads and the City Centre from midday until 11pm. For those travelling from further afield a shuttle bus service will also run from the Long Ashton and Portway Park and Rides between 12.30 and 11pm. 

On all services, a single journey costs £3 and a return is £4 (a return shuttle bus ticket can also be used as a day rider and used for any journey on the First Bus Inner Bus Network). Children under 16 travel free, but must be accompanied by an adult.  

If the bus isn’t your preferred mode of transport, the festival will also offer a first come, first served cycle park on site and designated drop off areas for pre-booked taxis and private vehicles.  

Downs Festival 2017

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The Downs Festival
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The Downs Festival

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, headlined by Massive Attack, The Downs Festival is set to return on Saturday 2 September.  Elbow will headline the main stage.