This week in Bristol and Me, we speak to Dave Harvey, director of Team Love
We’ve just released the line-up for the Downs Festival and the feedback has been fantastic. Lauryn Hill and Grace Jones are both artists we’ve been thinking about for years; Grace Jones is a proper one-off, there’s no one else like her. When it became apparent we were going to be able to get her, the bill built out from there. Idles are about as hot as you can get at the minute, especially here in their hometown; for us, it’s brilliant to see the way they’ve grown from small pub gigs. Neneh Cherry also has strong Bristol connections, and is another force of nature. Her latest album, Broken Politics, is quite out there, but it’s really got a groove.
Before that, we’ve got Love Saves the Day in Eastville Park. We always try and keep the line-up as broad as possible; people know they can enjoy multiple bits across the site, not just go for one thing. This year’s line-up includes Lily Allen, Goldie, Maribou State, IAMDDB, Denis Sulta, Little Simz, Chase & Status, and Bonobo. We work with several people in Bristol who help us keep the line-up as fresh as it is.
So much goes into a festival: licensing, liaising, production, there are so many things to stay on top of; it’s a huge monster, once you get to this level. Our team work on licensing and logistics all year round. There are moments at every event where you’re watching the stage, or stood on it, and you think “This is what it’s all about”; it makes all those sleepless nights worth it. Watching Paul Weller at last year’s Downs Festival was pretty magic.
We’ve got a really good relationship with Bristol City Council. They’re very pragmatic about things, and they get it – they understand what these festivals bring to the city. Also, financially, in a time of austerity, they need these kinds of events. We’ve proved to them that we’re not complete idiots and aren’t going to set the town on fire or anything.
Love Saves the Day takes place in Eastville Park on May 25–26: lovesavestheday.org
The Downs Festival will be held on August 31: thedownsbristol.com