By Josh Templeman, Co-Deputy Music Editor
The weather so far has been pretty shocking this year, but fear not, sunnier times (hopefully) await us. Summer is never truly complete without good tunes, good vibes and an unwise number of pints in the sun and there’s no place better to experience that than Bristol. Here, we break down just a fraction of the music events you shouldn’t miss out on in the city this Summer.
Kicking off the 2023 festival season, Dot to Dot returns this May with yet another stellar line-up. Bringing over 60 names, including both local and national talent, the festival continues to cement itself as a Bristol favourite. This year sees Yard Act, Alvvays and The Murder Capital headline, alongside exciting names in UK hip-hop such as Fin Foxell and Kofi Stone. This one is not to be missed.
Bristol’s biggest festival returns to Ashton Court this May in what’s promised to be its biggest edition yet. With a huge line-up of the most exciting names across electronic music, including the likes of Fatboy Slim, Four Tet, Nia Archives and much more, the festival is an absolute summer staple for Bristol. The Sugababes are also there this year, but I promise I won’t judge you (I will) if you go and see their set.
One of Bristol’s best event spaces, Propyard, is hosting what they’re describing as a ‘tropical extravaganza’ this June. Whilst I’m not sure I’d ever call Bristol tropical myself, the Propyard courtyard never fails to bring the summer vibes and this will hopefully be no different. Expect groovy house and disco beats alongside indulgent BBQ treats from local vendors.
Bristol’s harbourside is one of the most picturesque areas of the city, but it’s also a great spot for music, with Bristol Sounds bringing 5 days of open-air gigs to the Amphitheatre this Summer. Mika, Jacob Collier, James, Levellers and Self Esteem make up the line-up this year, with a number of special guests promised for each show.
Also hosted at Lloyds Amphitheatre this Summer, Hospitality returns for Bristol’s biggest DnB day rave following last year’s sold-out event. Taking place across two stages, Hospitality are bringing some of the most exciting names in drum and bass to the main stage, including Wilkinson and A.M.C, whilst the second stage is hosted by Bristol’s very own Invicta Audio.
Celebrating 10 years of the label, Born on Road are bringing a stellar selection of their favourites to Motion’s outdoor spaces this August in what is being billed as their biggest-ever event. Locking in Mungo’s Hi Fi for yet another heavyweight Soundsystem takeover, this one can only be described as a full-send.
Forwards have not been messing around when it comes to this year’s line-up. With the queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu headlining the Friday and the legendary Aphex Twin headlining the Saturday, Team Love and AEG have produced not only one of the best line-ups in Bristol but also one of the best I’ve seen anywhere in the country. You’d be silly to miss out on this one.
Closing out the Summer this September, RUN return with yet another killer line-up of the biggest names in drum and bass to take over Motion’s outdoor spaces. Bringing Hedex and Camo & Crooked, this promises to be one of the summer’s most exciting day parties on offer this year. With tickets flying already, we’d advise you to act fast to secure your place.
Bristol record label Shall Not Fade is hosting the second edition of their festival at Propyard as the festival season closes out this September. With a diverse, multi-genre line-up, the event this year will add a third stage into the mix, one that promises to focus on emerging local talent. Also taking place the day before at Strange Brew, the label is hosting an introduction concert focusing solely on live artists to kick everything off.
Featured image: Mikey Harris
What music events will you be heading to in Bristol this Summer?