Day festivals can sometimes be a little overwhelming; there’s crowds overstuffed into small arenas, soundsystems overlapping as the space competes with its urban surroundings. There’s the desire to squeeze a weekend’s worth of hedonism into one ten hour slot, hectically buying two overpriced Red Stripes at a time, ultimately to find yourself untimely intoxicated – and quite frankly dysfunctional – at strange daytime hours. Yet on Bank Holiday Sunday, as thousands flocked to the outskirts of Bristol to Eastville Park, part two of Love Saves The Day struck the perfect equilibrium of size, sound and spirit. For a festival still in its early youth, the curatorial geniuses behind it crafted the ultimate start to the summer.
The day’s selectors brought a wide ranging musical language across all corners of the festival. Upon arrival at the sun-soaked site mid-afternoon, Erol Alkan’s mix of cool, detached beats provided a quick respite from the heat. His comparatively sparse crowd was of great contrast to those who congregated outside for Stormzy. Onstage for no longer than thirty minutes, the grime pioneer shot out track after track in rapid fire, the crowd particularly frenzied during Know Me From at such an early hour. It was from this point that the rest of Shuf’s day was characterised, flitting between grime heavyweights and eclectic underground turntablists.
As daytime drew to a close, Daniel Avery provided the ambiance to shake off any sun-induced weariness and welcome in the night. One of the UK’s most exciting and distinguished DJs of recent years, Avery’s selections were strikingly crisp, delving into the industrial, the acidic and the unusual as the evening drew in. With Floating Points closing the Paradiso tent, Skepta rounded off our day with a predictably hyped set. His dynamism is infectious, and cuts like That’s Not Me and Shutdown granted momentous receptions, making it blindingly clear that this is a man at the top of his game.
11pm rolled in and the crowds flocked to Motion for Four Tet b2b Floating Points. The unwavering stamina of the entire room was a testament to their expansive repertoire; with rattling beats as the backbone, the pair blended the obscure with better known bangers in a set that spanned genres and continents. Unpredictable as ever, the wide-eyed crowd were kept thoroughly on their feet until the house lights came on.
Team Love certainly know how to throw a party. With experience stemming from Glastonbury’s Wow! Stage, Global Gathering and the In:Motion series, Love Saves The Day felt like a victory lap that celebrated the sounds and the energy of their home city. Collaborations with Crack Magazine, Futureboogie and Who Cares flaunted the cherished gems of Bristol’s music scene, and despite its increased capacity the festival lost none of its intimacy. Even after forgettable amounts of beer and a considerably boozy breakfast its pace and its energy just kept on giving. Love Saves The Day thrived with in charm, creativity and escapism. Put plainly, it was a resounding success.
Words: Josie Roberts