The Saturday of Bristol’s hotly anticipated Love Saves the Day had already exceeded expectations before even arriving at Eastville Park. What was expected to be a muddy and miserable afternoon proved to actually be a warm, bright day, setting an appropriate precedent for what was to be a brilliant weekend.
Arrival was smooth, with many attendants to help the thousands of flowing Bristolians move towards the arena. It became immediately clear that the fantastic lineups across the eight stages left us spoilt for choice. We headed to the main stage, where the chilled Maribou State drew a sizeable crowd of revellers. Maribou State had been a revision-playlist staple, so it was fitting that the duo kickstarted our experience of the festival. We stuck around to catch Mura Masa’s upbeat, electronic sounds, then moved on to investigate what else the festival had to offer.
By the inflatable castle, there was a tent pitched up with dressing tables, changing rooms, and a long rack full of colourful and extravagant dresses. Edging closer, we were greeted by a glittery vicar who told us that he was booked up for the entire weekend and so could not marry us. It was a chapel! Despite this, he still let us try on some of their many dresses, and succeeded in getting a picture with him – to us, that still counts as an official wedding ceremony. The roller-skating area nearby was also packed with people, high on life as the sun blazed on.
We spent the remainder of the evening by the Brouhaha stage, a small yet colourful stage wonderfully designed by local art foundation students. Beneath strings of odd pairs of shoes and other artistic oddities, we danced to the likes of Antal and Felix Dickinson, both of whom delivered incredible sets combining disco, funk and house to keep the hippie-looking crowd content for the rest of the day.
As the night drew to a close, we drunkenly sang along to Hot Chip’s electro version of Springsteen’s classic Dancing in the Dark by the main stage, a moment which we will forever associate with the festival and the summer. By morning, we were ready to do it all again.
Sunday was noticeably busier than the day before, and the park filled with students. It was noticeably hotter than on Saturday, but after refreshing ourselves with a beer and a slightly overpriced Twister from the ice cream van, we set off to the main stage again to catch reggae legend David Rodigan and his Ram Jam. Although performing earlier than billed, he still produced as cracking a set as he did back in January when we caught him at Bristol’s notorious Motion. His drum ‘n’ bass infused reggae sound kept the huge crowd entertained as the sun beat down on our burning shoulders, before Chinese Man took over with their jazzy, funk and hip hop sound. As the set kicked off with I’ve Got That Tune, I caught eye of some festival-goers doing the Charleston, a definite highlight of the day.
Catching Stormzy was doubtless on most people’s itineraries for the day, and it was noticeable that the crowd became increasingly rowdy in sweaty anticipation of grime’s rising (if not already risen) star. The male-dominated crowd erupted when Stormzy performed Solo 45’s Feed Em To The Lions along with his own tracks. Fully energised, we caught jungle legend General Levy on the Brouhaha stage as the sun set. Levy has been a nightlife staple in Bristol this year, and the crowd were both familiar with and excited for his set. As with all good things, LSTD had to come to an end, and eclectic electronic duo Chase and Status did not disappoint when they closed off our festival experience. After such a spectacular weekend, all we can say is bring on Tokyo World, Eastville Park’s next event.
Words by Amy Joseph and Ella King