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A photo of six people walking through the desert.

Formed in 1979 on the borders of Mali and Algeria, Tinariwen are world renowned as pioneers of the assouf style (“nostalgia” in tamashek). They address Tuareg people’s preoccupations in songs that mix traditional West African and Arab music with blues, folk and other influences.

Tinariwen singlehandedly invented a guitar style that has captured the world’s imagination. They call it ishumar or assouf. The rest of the planet has come to know it as the Tuareg blues. Its music that is imbued with sorrow and longing but it’s also music for forgetting our cares and for dancing. Far more than just a rock band, Tinariwen are ambassadors for their people and a way of life in tune with the natural world that is under threat as never before. Their message has never sounded more urgent and compelling than it does now.

Since gaining international recognition in the early 2000s, they have played more than 1100 shows around the world and released nine studio albums, three of them nominated for a Grammy, including Tassili, which won the award for Best World Music album in 2012.

Presented by Bristol Beacon

Standing show

Age: 16+ (Under 18s to be accompanied by an adult)

Doors: 18.30
Finish: 22.00

Ticket price includes £1.00 restoration levy for SWX

“To say their music is captivating is underplaying it massively; it pulls you in and takes you on a desert journey, the lilting blues trance and the interplay between guitars and bass, percussion and vocals all creating a sensuous and pleasingly hazy mood.”

Louder Than War

The venue

SWX Bristol

Getting There

Address: SWX Bristol, 15 Nelson St, Bristol BS1 2JY

The venue is situated on Nelson Street, next to Broadmead and Silver Street.


You can reach SWX Via most cycle routes into the City Centre. Find your nearest cycle routes using Cycle Planner.

Car parking

The closest public car park is Nelson Street Car Park 160m from the venue.

  Bristol Clean Air Zone

SWX is located within the Bristol Clean Air Zone. View a map of the Zone and check if your vehicle will be charged.


Bristol bus station is 290m from the venue where most bus services stop. The closest bus stop is on Nelson Street, right outside of the venue.

Access Information

SWX is a multistory venue with a customer lift located at the back of the venue. To arrange lift access please email

Parking & drop off

Drop-off is possible on Fairfax St and there is limited metred on-street parking. There is nearby parking at The Galleries and Nelson Street.

Accessible toilets

SWX has accessible toilets.

Carer pass

A free pass for carers is offered per ticket holder.

View our Access pages for information about joining our access register, access booking online and website accessibility.

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