Love Saves the Day festival has been a staple event for Bristolians almost since its conception and this year was no different. Out of all the UK festivals, LTSD was definitely in our top picks for this season and we most definitely did not leave disappointed.
Based in Eastville Park, the stages were aptly spread across the field and each one brought a unique look and vibe to the festival. The Lonely Hearts Stage returned with its iconic vintage cinema look with many of the other smaller stages also baring the same outlandish and vibrant themes as previous years. A small update to the main stage was a nice touch, its aesthetic reflecting the overall theme of the festival; Love.
However, the Paradiso Stage design was a favourite. Curated by CRACK magazine for the Saturday, it almost resembled a greenhouse and served as a brilliant backdrop for Slowthai, our favourite guest of the Saturday. Slowthai put in an enigmatic performance for his historic festival debut. Performing to one of his biggest crowds, Slowthai rallied off the crowds’ energy and performed a slew of tracks that, judging by the reactions, all seemed to be fan favourites. For an artist to deliver a festival set to a screaming crowd, with nearly everyone knowing the words to every song, is nothing less than iconic – especially for an artist whose album is so freshly released.
The Sunday brought even more energy to the festival with the Main Stage playing home to our personal highlight, Octavian. Playing to his self-proclaimed “biggest crowd”, Octavian owned the stage and won over his audience with some of his biggest hits and everyone was singing along. What made it so enjoyable was watching him have fun with it and he kick-started a great run of acts on the main stage including Ray BLK with her beautiful, soulful vocals and Not3s with his high-energy crowd-pleasers.
After moshing or dancing the day away to DnB on the Central Stage, you’re bound to be hungry and luckily LSTD offers some of the best quality and variety of food vendors that I’ve ever seen at a festival. With a plethora of independent Bristol restaurants hitting the road to bring their tasty talents, it was a joy to see almost every cuisine represented – from Asian to Caribbean to your classic American burger and chips. The queues were worth it and the quality AND quantity of the food was amazing, particularly referring to Asado which delivered one of the best festival burgers I’ve eaten. Bonus: pricing wise it was also not as wallet-busting as some other UK festivals. Result!
It’s easy to forget to evaluate the extra amenities that festivals bring, but with LSTD it cant go without mentioning. The amount of toilet facilities, free water stations, food outlets, bars and stores was absolutely spot on for the size of the festival. The central positioning of most of these was also ideal, meaning you were never too far from the loo or that much-needed refill for your water bottle. The VIP/Guest area was also outstanding with a chilled and comfy environment achieved with plenty of sofas, beanbags and a private bar.
For next year there are a couple improvements we can think of: firstly, the admission system needs to be reassessed as it did feel quite slow, inefficient and overcrowded at times, especially on the Saturday. Additionally, the layout of the festival could also use some revamping; the areas in-between the stages got way too crowded because certain stages could only be accessed via one route, which also happened to bypass the bulk of the toilets. However, other than the crowds at the entrance and those caused by congestion, the festival was flawless! A massive improvement has been seen this year already as the previous audio quality complaints have clearly been addressed and none of the artists’ vocals seemed drowned out as they had in previous years. We can’t wait to see what LTSD has in store for next year.
With a few staging updates like extra lighting, pyrotechnics and backing visuals, LSTD could secure its place as one of the best mid-sized festivals in the UK, but already this festival is steadily securing its place as a must-attend event in the calendar, especially for Bristol residents and anyone who doesn’t have to travel far.