Festival review – Love Saves The Day 2017

Located in the heart of Bristol, Love Saves The Day music festival is perfect for those in search of a varied and exciting festival lineup that doesn’t break the bank. Read on to find out how the festival’s sixth year played out…

At the end of May, festival season truly kicked off in Bristol. Love Saves The Day is one of the city’s musical highlights, attracting thousands of fans each year. This spectacular two day event is held at Eastville Park, a relatively central location that makes it ideal for anybody looking for a quick festival fix without the expense or travel.

This year the crew over at Team Love created another diverse lineup, which heavily represents the south west’s underground scene. Stages were hosted by local promoters such as The Blast, Shapes, and Hold Tight. Bristol legends DJ Die and Addison Groove were featured among countless other locals, celebrating the plethora of styles that the BS postcode has to offer. For party-goers looking for some less familiar sounds however, there were plenty of intriguing names to pick from. Dutch artist Fatima Yamaha flew in to perform on the main stage, and Fat Freddy’s Drop came all the way from New Zealand. Acts from Croatia, Italy and the USA were also billed, making for their most mouth watering poster to date.

Some attendees may have had to decide on which day to choose, and luckily the guys at Team Love already have that covered. They traditionally host the most popular headliners on the Saturday, along with predominantly house, techno and disco acts. Sunday is a very different affair, instead focusing on lesser known headliners, and generally faster music. Fans of drum and bass, dubstep, grime, dancehall or garage will most likely pick the Sunday, and then head to one of the official after parties at venues like Motion or Lakota. Those who chose to buy a ticket for both days would certainly not have been disappointed.

After a well managed and surprisingly short queue, the first thing to do was to locate a bar. There were plenty to chose from, and they were pretty prompt; but of course expensive. The rum bar next to Brouhaha was a welcome alternative to beer or cider, but for cocktails, a trip to the hidden woods was well worth it.

Like many other festivals, such as Boomtown, if you knew where to look there were hidden areas where you could take a break. For the majority of the time though, most were too busy trying to fit everything in. Little Dragon performed the headline set, whilst Jamie Jones, Waze & Odyssey and Deli G entertained house fans on the second largest stage; Cloud 9. For those seeking something rougher, The Dance Off teamed up with Bristol-based label Gutterfunk. Throughout the day, head honcho DJ Die, Addison Groove, Manchester’s Zed Bias and Trigga showcased their ‘no rules’ attitude to music.

As the drinks flowed, it was only a matter of time before everybody was searching for food. Love Saves The Day had organised a tempting array, the tastiest treat on offer happened to be Nigerian chicken and plantain. There also appeared to be many happy customers at the Mexican street food vendor, and the surprisingly satisfying chicken ball shack. For a Stokes Croft staple, many followed the queue and waited for a Biblos wrap as the evening drew to a close.

Déjà vu as everybody waited to be searched on Sunday, trying to finish their mis-judged bottles of queue drinks. Those brave enough to arrive early were treated to an even shorter wait and a laid back atmosphere to ease into. For hip-hop and jazz heads, it was a rare opportunity to hear BadBadNotGood live. Another hugely successful band, Fat Freddy’s Drop, headlined the main stage again, and DJ/producer Shy FX kept dub and reggae fans happy.

The best overall vibes, sound system and lineup was undoubtedly Brouhaha, where Hold Tight hosted dubwise sets from Egoless, Numa Crew, Parly B, Killa P and more with the Lionpulse Soundsystem sounding sweet. For more Jamaican flavours elsewhere, Radio 1’s Toddla T smashed apart The Blast stage with fellow northern mic men DRS and Coco. Everyone’s favourite dancehall and bashment act The Heatwave were upgraded to the Main Stage this year, along with Jus Now; a soca group consisting of Bristolian and Trinidadian musicians. There was of course jerk chicken on offer as well, for that authentic St. Paul’s Carnival feeling. Drum & bass fans had plenty to drool over on the always bonkers Arcadia stage. Accompanying the pyro technics, DJ Hype, Hazard and Friction lead the way via the alien-looking 360 degree stage. Elsewhere, Redlight returned to his home ground as Clipz for some nostalgic jump up. Garage and bassline fans were sorted from start to finish thanks to the legendary Heartless Crew, Zinc, My Nu Leng, TQD, Conducta, Holy Goof and NYTA.

Of course, the grime acts stole the show, with the genre at such a peak of popularity it has made its way onto the Main Stage; thanks to young gun AJ Tracey. Bristol boy OH91 spun some tunes for Londoners YGG, while Kano also headlined The Blast stage, joined by another veteran D Double E. Trigga also must have stayed over with the Manchester guys, as he joined the party with Levelz later on. After two packed days, the sun finally set and it was time to either head home to nurse your wounds, or to find the next party. This festival hosts an awesome amount of music for the price, especially for those who were smart enough to book super early birds back in 2016. Many will be back for Tokyo World in September, and before long it will be time to get covered in glitter once again at Love Saves the Day 2018.