Features / Bristol festivals

The man behind some of Bristol’s best festivals

By lowie trevena, Tuesday Jul 9, 2019

With under two months until north Bristol is filled with the sounds of The Downs festival, it looks to be a busy summer for Dave Harvey and Team Love, organisers of some of Bristol’s most-loved festivals and music events.

Dave is the director the company, which runs some of the city’s best festivals – Love Saves The Day and The Downs.

The Love Inn, a music venue in Stoke Croft, Love International in Croatia and Simple Things Festival in Bristol are organised by the company as well.

Dave Harvey discusses The Downs Festival“I’ve been in Bristol for about 20 years,” says Dave. “I’ve lived in a bunch of different areas. I had been in Leicester for uni and then I came to Bristol and went to the Ashton Court festival. I was like ‘wow, this place is amazing’.”

The team has run the Downs festival since 2016, which this year has grown to cover two days, something Dave is particularly eager to talk about, saying: “We’re really excited to be bringing Ms. Lauryn Hill and Grace Jones to the city, plus we’ve just announced Madness to play on the Sunday, it’s exciting.”

Conversation turns to Dave’s company, Team Love, which was co-founded with his friend Tom Paine: “Myself and Tom were doing events together and working on stuff. We ended up getting a stage at Glastonbury and they were trying to organise a budget for us and we were like ‘we don’t have a company’, so we came up with one.”

‘The Igloo’ was the festival’s first all-night venue, gradually morphing in ‘The Wow Stage’, which they still run each year.

Tom Paine and Dave Harvey are co-founders of Team Love

Team Love’s focus is bringing the best music to people: “It’s a big unifier I suppose – if you want to look at it in a more macro level. It sounds a bit grand but it definitely brings people together and it’s inspiring. It brings great joy.”

The company started small, but quickly grew: “The parties got bigger and bigger.”

They had been bringing artists and bands to the city for some time but decided to take it a step further in 2012 and organise Love Saves The Day festival. Their own venue, The Love Inn, followed in 2013 and Love International, a festival in Croatia, came soon after.

After running The Downs successfully for two years, the team expanded to one-day festival to two days for 2019. Dave is busy with phone calls and final preparations to make the festival the best it has ever been, and his commitment to unifying people through good music is clear to see.

Read more: Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry and Idles first act confirmed for Downs Festival 2019

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