The 27th and 28th was a bank holiday weekend fuelled with music. Regardless of the weather, Bristol’s Eastville Park was a hub of glitter-adorned festivalgoers in search of a good time. Advertising itself as a bumper weekend of love, there was definitely a sense of community to the gathering. Cue the goofy dancing with strangers, sharing set-lists and making new friends. The odd sprinkle of rain didn’t hinder the experience; it only made attendees more grateful for the clear skies that followed. Hello, Love Saves The Day!
Returning for its sixth year, the festival promised an eclectic mix of sounds and styles, so there was something for everyone. Partnering with Just Jack, Arcadia, Futureboogie, Gutterfunk, and The Dance Off on Saturday to provide a unique atmosphere on each stage, the end result was a well-rounded and original experience.
Gates opened up at 11, with music kicking off shortly afterwards. There was heightened security in light of recent events, but this didn’t have a severe impact on the time spent queuing. Excited attendees chatted, laughed and bathed in sunlight, as they eagerly anticipated the day ahead of them.
Personal favourites included Fatima Yamaha, producer Bas Bron, who brought his unique style of techno to the Main Stage with his classic What’s a Girl to do? There was also an incredible collaboration in the form of Hodge and Peverelist. The two Bristol-based bass mavericks gave Arcadia’s audience a two-hour set packed with good vibes.
Mura Masa was back again on the main stage, ahead of his new album that’ll be dropping in July. Keeping to his signature sound, he made sure to perform his Japanese-influenced classic, Lotus Eater as well as his newer, hip-hop and poppier releases such as 1 Night. The crowd was illuminated as What if I go? came on, and the same goes for Firefly.
Another act that’s worth noting was Bicep. The Irish duo made sure to provide their audience with a diverse selection of electronic oddities and mind-boggling gems. Remixing tracks to cater to their dedicated audience, these bloggers-turned DJs proved they are one of the industries most idiosyncratic acts around.
Arcadia finished off with a monumental set, Ricardo Villalobos b2b Craig Richards, for four hours of electronic heaven on the iconic Afterburner stage. The duo’s marathon set was a techno-driven exploration into minimal sounds and microgenres, it was not to be missed.
The next day was drum and bass focused, with The Blast, Crack Magazine, Who Cares?, Hold Tight, Run and Cult all taking over a stage, and Arcadia returning for a second day.
It’s not a festival without My Nu Leng. The Bristol- based duo played a plethora of different sounds, in typical form. Heavy basslines, shifted vocals and smouldering vibes made their way through the audience. Characterised by their diverse, yet ultimately cool style; they’ve become a must-see at any event. Shy FX made sure to bring some pure London jungle vibes and riled up the crowd as they braved the overcast sky. He was followed by the Heatwave Showcase as the sun started to creep through, ironically.
The Blast stage at Cloud 9 was a favourite; Toddla T with DRs and Coco, Levelz ft Trigga and Conducta all blew away the crowd. The resident DJs were also impressive, proving that this collective of like-minded urban DJs are quickly becoming one of Bristol’s most innovative acts.
Arcadia became a haven for drum and bass heads. Friction and Linguistics took over for an hour of unstoppable sound. The multi-faceted producer and his infamous MC pulled out all the stops as sun and rain-soaked partiers skanked under the Afterburner flames.
And to round it all off, one monster of a set from DJ Hype b2b Hazard with GQ, and Skibadee. Lasers were out in full force as plumes of smoke were tinted with glaring red lights. Savouring the moment, the crowd let go and danced like it was the end of days.
Then it all came to an end, two days of celebration, debauchery and alcohol-fuelled enjoyment. As the mud squelched beneath the feet of attendees, they passed the now-empty bars, littered with #grimeforcorbyn posters, clasping onto sponge hands from the Blast stage, and asking themselves what now?
Bristol’s infamous Motion and Lakota had prepared themselves for these embellished explorers by hosting their Love Saves the Night parties on consecutive nights.
Saturday at Lakota had Toddla T, DJ Die and Addison Groove performing hard rave and jungle sets with Pied Piper in Room2. The second day, there was more of a dub vibe with Fat Freddy’s Drop DJ set, with Numa Crew, Soom T and Dub Smugglers.
Motion’s Saturday night had Jamie Jones, Detlef, Saoirse and Waifs & Strays in the Main Room with Wade & Odyssey in the Second Room. They pulled out all the stops on Sunday as My Nu Leng, Redlight, Zinc, GotSome and The Blast all came together for a sold-out celebration of urban sound.
Love Saves The Day is an unmissable event for any Bristol resident, reflecting the city’s vivacious spirit, both in sound and attitude. Things can only keep getting better.