For many people, the last weekend of May signifies the start of summer. For us festival lovers it marks the start of an intense three month journey full of colourful and melodic wonderlands.. And, for pretty much everyone in Bristol it means it’s time for Love Saves The Day.
Though inner city festivals can have a bit of a bad rep, LSTD most definitely stands on a pedestal of its own. Managing to combine some of the best local and national acts, with creative stages and just all-round good fun, this event has the goods to provide the ultimate party, even though it ends at just 11pm (with official and unofficial afterparties aplenty across the city).
We arrived at Eastville Park early afternoon on Saturday, and as per usual the queues were well managed and full of jolly folk, buzzing for a beer and a dance. The moment you walk through the gates it’s like you have been thrown into a kids colouring book and it’s easy to become mesmerised not only by the creative stages and performers, but also just by Bristol’s unique fashion intellect.
For many people The Arcadia stage has the wow factor… I mean humans are naturally drawn to flames right? But there is so many other things going on in this usually bland space of green. You could pop on a pair of skates over at the BUMP roller disco, while jamming away to the likes Hot Buttered Soul and the Noods radio gang. You could party in the Lost Gardens with one of our personal favourite party throwers Bitch.Please! and even question your mangled morals over at the inflatable chapel.
Although we could have easily spent the whole of Saturday hopping from stage to stage, we couldn’t resist names like Crazy P, Elder Island and Mura Masa on the main stage. Though Crazy P was almost an hour late on stage (no idea why) they all put on a top show that ended with the incredible Little Dragon. I would note that I tend to find Yukimi’s voice slightly better as a recording artist, though their stage presence and performance as a band is second to none and the whole audience was completely enchanted.
After a wee bit of sleep we arrived back at Eastville park for part 2 on Sunday. Tickets had sold out well in advance for Sunday, and even before getting anywhere near to the entrance it was clear it was much busier and people in the queue were definitely tired and less than friendly. Hundreds of people disregarded the queue barriers a pushed through rails. Unlike the well-known festival camaraderie we are used to, this showed a real selfishness in a large amount of attendees and left a slightly sour mark of disappointment in many of our heads.
Once we finally got in, those thoughts were quickly rubbed out as we danced away in the Lost Gardens, skanked away to Gardna with Kreed and Parly B over at Brouhaha and we even managed to catch the end of My Nu Leng over at Cloud 9.
As evening fell, we were all of a sudden reminded of another issue.. the clash. Badbadnotgood, Kano & Fat Freddy’s Drop were all on at the same time!
Luckily/unluckily Fat Freddy’s Drop threw out a couple of bangers early on but their extended instrumental left us enough time to cut our loses and head over for a bit of Kano… Looking back it could have been a bit of a badbad decision, but ey, sometimes you just got to go with the flow and Kano always brings a good show.
Photography by Michael Njunge & Jake Davis for Here & Now