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Love Saves the Day: An unforgettable weekend

URB’s verdict: 4.5/5

Last weekend, URB had the privilege of attending the highly anticipated Love Saves the Day; a festival that kick-started summer in Bristol with a euphoric weekend of music, love and plenty of sun! 

From the moment we entered, we were enthralled by the immaculate attention to detail, bringing a seamless experience to the entire weekend. LSTD gave us a carefully crafted line-up with some of the global music industry’s hottest names; Fatboy Slim, Mall Grab, Nia Archives, Overmono, 4am Kru, Four Tet, Hedex, Hybrid Minds, Dr Dubplate, Interplanetary Criminal, Knucks, KETTAMA, Girls Don’t Sync, Sugarbabes, Shy Fx, Andy C, Folamour, Katy B, Main phase, Oppidan, Kings of the rollers… the list goes on. 

On top of a boastful lineup, it was hard to ignore the spectacular stage design. From the main stage to the smaller more intimate stages hidden in corners, each with their own elaborate design and unique sound. Despite hosting 55,000 people over the weekend, we found that crowd sizes at many of the acts were much smaller than anticipated. For us in the audience this was great, each act felt intimate, we had room to dance, space to breathe and it meant we could hop between stages easily to catch the lengthy list of acts we wanted to see. However, on the other side of the decks, we heard from one of the big names that they missed the large audience that they usually attract. Even having spent the entire weekend there, we didn’t manage to reach every stage. Perhaps there were a few too many stages for the size of the event? This is something we are still undecided about.

One thing we can say with certainty was that the sound systems made the weekend. The sound embraced you, breathing new life into the songs we already know and love, creating pure auditory bliss. The audience became an infectious instrument of movement, a beautiful energy and an overwhelming feeling of euphoria carried us through the weekend; we hold the sound responsible for this joy. 

Our brief interactions with fellow music lovers only elevated the entire experience. Being given the chance to interview and learn more about strangers’ music preferences, accompanied by light-hearted laughs and comfortable awkwardness was unparalleled to some previous festival experiences. Where animosity and aggressiveness within crowds have been common elsewhere, LSTD offered a welcoming atmosphere, where all that was present was a shared passion, leaving differences to dissolve and genuine connections to form.

A particular highlight of the Saturday was the Lost Garden ec2a takeover, showcasing the best talent from the label and beyond. The stage provided something for everyone; with a special b2b from none other than Main Phase and label owner Dr Dubplate, and an energetic live performance from 4am Kru. In collaboration with Keep Hush, these sets are now all available to watch on YouTube. For those of us who attended, we have the opportunity to relive some of the jaw-dropping moments and find those all-important track IDs, and for everyone who missed out, we highly recommend a watch!

We travelled to the festival on the “Love Bus,” which dropped us off at a nearby park and ride before a short walk to the gates. While the overall arrangement was slightly different from previous years, there is still room for improvement in getting people home at the end of the day. Having experienced the smooth departure process at Forwards Festival, also run by Team Love, we were a bit surprised by the slightly clumsy departure from the LSTD site. However, given the festival’s capacity, some hiccups are understandable and expected.Nonetheless, Love Saves the Day has undoubtedly proven to be a testament to the power of music. This event transported us to a realm of pure musical ecstasy and has imprinted an indelible mark on our souls, where one could entirely forget the sore knees from dancing.

And lastly, thank you to Lana El Zein and Alex Hards for your compelling collaboration with this review!

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