Returning to its usual May bank holiday weekend slot after a late summer outing in 2021, Bristol’s two day bonanza of pop, house, disco, grime and everything in between returned in fine, if somewhat damp form earlier this month, taking place just prior to the Jubilee weekend.
Set against the backdrop of its new home, Bristol’s Ashton Court, having temporarily relocated to Clifton Downs in September last year, Love Saves The Day’s dependable blend of genres ensured that there was something to cater to fans of all tastes.
Thursday saw the Love Saves Stage playing host to the house stylings of Ross From Friends and Jayda G, as well as disco legend Folamour who shirked expectations by denying fans one of his infamous ABBA moments in an otherwise bouncy set of dance hits. The stage also saw a standout performance from Caroline Polachek in her UK festival debut, belting out a slew of pop treats, including recent single 'Billions', peerless banger 'So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings' and an intoxicating cover of The Corrs’ 'Breathless', which has to be heard to be believed.
Elsewhere, Chaos in the CBD rounded off things at the Shambamber stage, while a last minute flight cancellation for The Blessed Madonna led to Artwork taking the reins on the Center Stage. Meanwhile, Bicep drew proceedings to a close on the Love Saves Stage, closing out the day with a euphoric rendition of their standout single, 'Apricots'.
Dismal weather conditions had other plans for Friday, with torrential downpours leading to Arlo Parks’ set being axed entirely, but there were still delights to be found. Bristol legend Batu sounded off the day over at the Hidden Corners stage, while I. Jordan headlined the Lost Gardens and Palms Trax drew things to a close over at the Paradiso Stage.
Friday’s outing may not have been the smooth experience that organisers Team Love had hoped for, but with one of the strongest lineups in years and plans already afoot for a return to the Ashton Court site in 2023, Love Saves The Day still proves itself to be more than capable of delivering the goods as one of Bristol’s festival highlights.
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Words: Paul Weedon
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