BBC Radio 6 Music today announced that the 6 Music Festival 2016 is coming to Bristol from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 February. 6 Music presenters Steve Lamacq and Mary Anne Hobbs made the announcement in a special broadcast live from Bristol’s Watershed, featuring an exclusive set from Roni Size.

Now in its third year, the festival has previously taken place in Manchester and Tyneside. Previous festival lineups have included Mogwai, Sleater-Kinney, Kate Tempest and Nadine Shah. 2016’s festival will take place in venues across Bristol – including Motion, Colston Hall, O2 Academy Bristol, Basement 45 and Trinity.

But what of Bristol? Why have they chosen us?!

It’s not tough to answer that question. We’re a vibrant community with a diverse population, and enough live music venues to shake a stick at.  Steve Lamacq loves the Fleece, don’t you know?

Bristol has incubated some incredible musical talent over the years – from Portishead, to Tricky, to Massive Attack. We boast a converted boat-come-venue in the Thekla, former jailhouse the Louisiana, and of course the original wool-packing factory, the Fleece (and Firkin).

Not to mention, Bristol’s burgeoning music education hub – with Bimm, DBS and Bristol Plays Music – there are so many opportunities for young people to nurture their creative and musical talents, and bring innovative new ideas to the city.  Bristol is quite literally a city with its own unique acoustic space – and BBC 6 Music have decided to host their 2016 festival here, for that very reason.

“I think the most interesting thing is that we have a pencil sketch – an outline of the city – texturally, there are some elements that we’re really familiar with – but what we’ve realised in the last couple of days, in speaking to the artists and musicians in Bristol, is that it’s a really complex environment. It will be fascinating to get some colours and fill in that outline. We’re very much here to learn about the city as well, the diversity and the culture here. The musical culture and the street art as well.” Says Mary Anne Hobbs.

“You’ll find kindred spirits over the course of the weekend…”

As part of the festival plans, Bristol based street artist Loch Ness has been working on an original piece of artwork, incorporating the eclectic range of Bristol’s live music venues – both current, and diminished. As an homage to the musical heart of Bristol, the graffiti-art inspired mural will accompany the festival in February.

“What is fascinating about Bristol is the underground keeps moving all the time – it’s very much a primary, motivating force for the rest of the world. It’s something I reflect in great depth in my electronic programmes on my 6 Music Recommends show.” Mary Anne says.

Confirmed artists to play at the BBC 6 Music Festival in 2016 include: Primal Scream, Roni Size, Tricky, The Blue Aeroplanes, DJ Pinch and Beak. With the full lineup to be announced on BBC 6 Music on 19 January (musicians and bands) and 26 January (spoken word and performance poetry). DJ Pinch and Mary Anne will be presenting a special show dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of Bristol’s music spirit. DJ Pinch is originally London, but as Mary Anne tells us, it is Bristol which has its hold on him:

“DJ Pinch tours all around the world, but he can’t wait to get back to Bristol. He’s travelled all around the world but always comes back to Bristol. I think that speaks volumes.”

The festival will be a reflection of the artists who adore the city, as well as the music to have grown out of the city. Also, as a remedy to the ever-isolated, digitalised worlds we find ourselves absorbed in – bringing the human element back to music, broadcasting and the live experience of being at a gig:

2“We live in a digital space in a digital world, and there is something very powerful about the idea of bringing the radio station into a physical space – there’s a magic that happens. Everyone shares the same passion, and we can reflect that back to our audience.” Says Mary Anne.

There will be workshops, graffiti art masterclasses from some of the artists involved in 2016’s BBC 6 Music festival, and a three day programme of live music running from 12 – 14 February.

Steve Lamacq says: “Everyone always talks about the diverse spirit of Bristol’s music – there are very few places talked of in that way – Brighton is one, where musicians will move to and never leave.  I love getting out of London and going to gigs around the country, so the 6 Music Festival is ideal. Bristol has some fantastic venues – I was there a while back to see a band called The Archie Bronson Outfit and had an excellent night at the Colston Hall so I’m really looking forward to going back there.”

BBC 6 Music comes to Bristol from 12 – 14 February 2016. Official lineups, ticket sales and details will be announced on 19 January via BBC 6 Music.


6 Music champions music with an alternative spirit and the Bristol music scene encapsulates this. The city is steeped in a fantastic musical heritage with a hugely diverse scene which will be reflected at the festival. Bristol has also gained renown for its thriving graffiti art scene with one of the world’s biggest names, Banksy, hailing from the city. At Watershed today, Steve and Mary Anne talked to graffiti artists CHEO, Inkie and Cosmo Sarson, and 6 Music commissioned local artist Loch Ness to create an artwork especially for the festival which he made during today’s show – see a time lapse video of him creating it later this week at

BBC Radio 6 Music is an interactive digital radio station that celebrates the alternative spirit of music and culture, bringing together the cutting-edge music of today and the iconic and ground-breaking sounds of the past 50 years. The network currently has its highest ever weekly reach of 2.19 million listeners.

You can view an exclusive time-lapse video of the BBC 6 Music Festival Art Installation here.

BBC 6 Music:

All images:  BBC copyright.