At the end of May, there was an electric atmosphere in the South West of the country, as bass-music hub city Bristol played host to the Love Saves The Day festival for another year.
Proceedings set off on a bank holiday Saturday at Eastville Park, following on from a couple of days of hideous and torrential rain. Thankfully, things had cleared up by the time the front gates opened and flooded full of party-ready music fans. The main stage played host to a pair of electronic music’s greatest prodigies, with MNEK and Mura Masa both playing genre-bending sets. Local legends like Roni Size and Krust held things down on the smoke-filled, open plan stage Arcadia, while Bristol promoters The Blast, who are responsible for a host of grime raves in the city, also joined them.
Our main focus of the day however was the Dance Off stage. It played host to a couple of grime donnys; namely badman producer/DJ Rude Kid and Manchester’s own Bugzy Malone, both of who got the crowd shifting with a couple of mosh pit inducing sets. Afterwards things took a slight turn, with garage pioneers DJ Luck and MC Neat, as well as Artful Dodger, getting hips moving.
While Saturday was fun, it was the next day where things really kicked off in full blown Southern style. The sun had come out in all it’s blazing glory for the sold-out crowd. It’s safe to say the Red Stripes were flowing.
Shy FX stole our heart with his Cloud 9/Party On The Moon stage. He had curated a set list that read like a who’s who of music royalty. Nadia Rose performed her viral hits like ‘Mufasa’ like a seasoned performer, despite the fact she’s still new to this. Giggs turned the dance upside down, as he rallied through fan favourite verses like ‘Man Don’t Care’ and ‘Talkin The Hardest’, as well as some deeper cuts like ‘Slow Songs’ too. He was followed by (an unmasked) CASisDEAD and his mob, who interacted with the crowd by eating pills thrown at them.
Although Stormzy was headlining, Croydon and the South of London got a good rep from Loyle Carner, who delivered an energetic performance of his lo-fi hip-hop. Section Boyz also tore up the Paradisco stage in the early evening, as their hour long set felt like one extended mosh pit. Decent bass music was in abundance on the Saturday too, with (more) local legends like My Nu Leng and Redlight spinning some gun-finger worthy tunes, while Chase and Status, Flava D and more all also manned the 1’s and 2’s.
Don’t get it twisted though, the main stage was still popping. Stormzy performed to one of the largest crowds of the night, running through his growing list of hits like ‘Shut Up’, ‘Wicked Skengman Part 4’ and latest banger ‘Scary’. He brought out his cousin Nadia Rose, for her second appearance of the day, cementing her as a future mainstager herself. In what was probably the best moment of Love Saves The Day though, was during Stormz’ rendition of his and Chip’s “Hear ‘Dis”. Impressed by one member of the crowds recitation of Chip’s verse, he swiftly wheeled it up and invited the young lad on stage. Together they ran through the song again, as Stormzy proved himself once more as a man of the people.
The night was getting on and the sun was setting come the end of his performance. The atmosphere certainly hadn’t dissipated though, as Dizzee Rascal closed out the festival on the main stage. He catered for all the kinds of characters at Love Saves The Day, as he went through day one grime songs, as well as his chart topping pop singles. With such a diverse range of sick acts on the line up, the organisers clearly have their fingers on the pulse of youth culture. Things are only set to get bigger and better from here on out, and we can’t wait for Love Saves The Day 2017.
Words: Alex Griffin
Photo credits: Shot Away