Organisers of Love Saves The Day have defended the festival after a nearby resident said it has become a “massive hindrance to the community”.
The event took place for the eighth time this weekend and it was the fifth time it has been held in Eastville Park, following three years in Castle Park.
Thousands of people attended the festival on Saturday and Sunday with a varied lineup on both days – but the experience wasn’t quite so enjoyable for those living close by, according to one woman.
Sam Saunders, who lives a stone’s throw away from Eastville Park, said the area is far too residential for a festival of such nature to be held.
‘We have seen people being sick and urinating on our road’
“Me and my neighbours are sick of it now,” said the 40-year-old healthcare assistant
“I actually went away to Portugal this year just to miss the majority of the festival and I’m going to leave the country next year too if it’s held here again.
“It’s just so disruptive for everyone who lives here – how long are we going to have to put up with it for?
“Not only is the music really loud all weekend but the added traffic means it’s really difficult to get home if you leave the house.
“Last year it was a nightmare for me getting back after a late shift at the hospital as the buses weren’t running. I had to get a cab instead which took ages.
“There are portable toilets in Royate Hill for people to use but none around our houses which means we have seen people being sick and urinating on our road after they’ve been turned away from the Shell garage, it’s disgusting.
“The festival also means our phone signal and Internet drops as there are so many people in such a small area.”
Sam, who said she “doesn’t begrudge people going out and having fun”, says Love Saves The Day should pay for her to be put up in a hotel away from the festival site while the event is on.
She said nearby residents are offered day tickets to the festival for £25 but thinks that is far from enough to appease them – adding she only attended once but left after two hours.
In her opinion the event – as well as Tokyo World, which takes place in September at the same location – should be held in a less built-up area instead, such as Ashton Court.
“If you move somewhere like Stokes Croft you know what to expect, but when I moved here 11 years ago neither Love Saves The Day or Tokyo World were happening,” she added.
Love Saves The Day’s response
A spokesperson for Love Saves The Day said: “Being given information by concerned residents really does help us improve plans for future events in an attempt to minimise the disruption as much as possible.
“Firstly, we understand that residents on this road do sustain impact from the event given the close proximity to the park and the main egress route post-event from the festival.
“For our egress on both days we did station our Security and Police Officers down at the junction of Muller Road and the M32 and close to the community gardens as crowd control and we had hoped that this increase in numbers would stop anti-social behaviour taking place.
“If this wasn’t effective we would look to increase staff down there for any future event.
“We spoke directly to Uber for this year’s event to put a geo-fence around the park to stop taxis from using it as a pick up and drop off location so we hope this helped.
“We are set noise levels by the council which we strictly adhere to over the event.
“We did hear of problems with phone signal over the weekend and have been advised by EE that one of their main aerials in Speedwell has been damaged in a fire and this meant that their network was being overloaded by people attending the event this weekend at their remaining operational aerial.
“This had a knock on effect with some other networks and we will speak to them in advance of any future event to check with problems and see if signal in the area can be boosted. They have informed us that residential internet shouldn’t have been affected by the event.
“We thank residents for the suggestion regarding the additional portaloos. We have 16 toilets and 20 urinals positioned at the corner of Muller Road and Fishponds Rd for the egress.
“I feel like we could further boost this further down Muller Road and I will feed this back to the team.
“The vast majority of the attendees at the festival are very considerate people who are happy to attend a music event in Eastville and love the location of the event.
“Unfortunately there is a small majority who don’t treat our neighbours with the consideration and respect they deserve and we do apologise for this.
“We will continue to do our utmost to prevent them from doing this.”
The spokesperson added that Love Saves The Day pays a ‘significant hire fee for the park to Bristol City Council each year’ which goes directly into the central parks budget to pay for the upkeep of parks all over the city.
The festival also raises money for the Friends of Eastville Park group each year for improvements directly to the well-used green space.
When asked if the festival would consider putting up local residents in hotels for the duration of the festival, the spokesperson said: “We are given permission to use the site by Bristol City Council, and many local residents both enjoy and support the event.”
Bristol City Council’s response
A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of concerns that have been raised about the noise from the Love Saves The Day festival which took place over the weekend.
“As yet, we have not received any formal complaints, but people wanting to can submit one via www.bristol.gov.uk/complaints-and-feedback.
“Any complaints that impact on the health and safety of the public may be taken to the Safety Advisory Group for further consideration.”