A long queue formed a human moat around Bristol’s Castle Park on Sunday for the city’s inaugural Love Saves the Day festival. Attire ranged from coats and wellies to shorts and vests as the castle was laid siege to by the rain. Onto my second pair of socks for the day my fingers were crossed that the big lineup could indeed save the rather moist day.
Getting in I went to inspect the Just Jack stage, keen to see if they could live up to all the whispers that had made their way up North. Within five minutes they had me feeling a different kind of moist, nice moist. I found myself glued to the spot as Huxley, Miguel Campbell and Amirali – whose live set meant he was literally singing in the rain – dropped sunny beat after sunny beat to a crowd who looked like a bad scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral; everyone was filled with love and oblivious to the rain.
Disclosure’s live set over at main stage was a definite highlight of the day. Tracks from their new Face EP worked nicely with a little live percussion and Jessie Ware even made an appearance to sing over the sensational Running remix, which surprisingly noone managed to slip over to amongst the ruckus.
The location itself was perfect, in the city centre it had all the accessibility of somewhere like Camden Crawl but had all the frolicks of an outdoor festival. Everything was in close proximity meaning you could have quite easily caught a bit of everyone if you wanted to. Some extra portaloos and bars wouldn’t have gone amiss though, the look on some people’s faces emerging from the bar tent seemed to bare the genuine anguish of having faced a battle.
We swung by Mr Scruff’s tent where he was nicely in the middle of his 4 hour set, the shared body heat was a bonus and his dubby selections were the perfect warmup for the Tokyo Dub stage (which was of course was complete with a reggae flavoured barbecue). Here DJ Die was applying his funky hustle to the subs, his set was mellifluous with enough surprise double drops to blow the water from your soggy head.
Best for last, main stage had transformed into a sea of umbrellas, the extra protection was definitely needed for the bass deluge Joker was providing. His dark selections fitted in perfectly with sundown, it’s only downfall was that it was a little too good. So much so that the closing act Foreign Beggars seemed a little lacklustre in comparison. Wellies overflowing it was probably time to make the walk home anyway.
For its first run – and at its price of less than £30 – it was a pretty sensational event, the city’s pride of holding the festival was seen in the friendly atmosphere that did nation proud on the queen’s jubilee. Perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had in the rain!