1st September | Clifton Downs

Whatever excuse you’ve had for loitering on Clifton Downs in the past, Crosstown Concerts give you a legitimate and legal reason to get excited – The Downs Festival. As ever, despite the big-name acts, you’ll get to appreciate the best local bands if you’re there early enough, including The Heavy, Laid Blak, Soeur, Harvey Causon and Swimming Girls, whose 2018 ‘Back Of Your Car’, from the title alone, might give one or two attendees Downs flashbacks.

It’s the perfect time to have an all-day party. If you’re on your school or university holidays, you can see that vacation reaching its conclusion. The festival season is fading. If you’re a parent who’s knackered after having to actually deal with your offspring for at least six weeks, then it ought to be the moment when you salute the approaching autumn school term. For many, it’s just a fine excuse to sample festival life and big-name bands, more-or-less on their doorstep, and with no-one saying the ‘C’ word (camping, obvs).

The Mercury Prize shortlist is represented twofold, by headliners Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (don’t bring scissors to play along, they’ll confiscate them at the gate) and the astute, compassionate post-punk of Nadine Shah, whilst the ‘Bloody Should Have Been On The Bloody Mercury Shortlist’ shortlist is represented by the indomitable ‘Bad Bitches’ (their words), Dream Wife. The Modfather, Paul Weller, plays prior to the headliners, hopefully tapping strongly into his 2017 release, A Kind Revolution as well as his forthcoming release, True Meanings.

If you want to dance in your pants (tell the steward I said it was fine) and party like it’s 1995, there’s the timeless Goldie, the wonderfully-outside-the-box Orbital, and a DJ set from Basement Jaxx that may very well lead you to question the location of your head.

Make the decision to head to The Downs Festival on 1st September, or it’s an omission that’ll be dogging you for the rest of the year.

See the video for Nadine Shah’s ‘Holiday Destination’ here: