Leeds Festival is part of the Reading and Leeds pair that takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend. It is the smaller of the two, and it attracts an older crowd, mainly university students instead of the school leavers that tend to go to Reading. The festival has a mostly Rock line up, but it also includes, Metal, Punk, Electro and Indie music.
The event consistently manages to organise all star line ups that include some of the biggest names in contemporary music. While tickets don't sell out before the event starts, it is recommended that you don't wait to long to buy them because it is still a very popular festival.
The line-up includes Blink-182,Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons and many more.
Click here for the full line-up.
In recent years Reading and Leeds Festival has gained the reputation of being quite a young festival, popular with teens who have recently finished GCSE's or sixth form, students and other types of young adults.
As mentioned on the main website, this festival is not recommended for young children. With no family camping area or child facilities, parents are advised against bringing children to this festival.
The campsites at Reading and Leeds have a reputation for hosting multiple parties after the festival events conclude each day. Consequently the campsites can be loud with parties continuing until the early morning.
Stages and other entertainment
2013 sees the introduction of the BBC Radio 1xtra Stage showcasing the best in UK grime and hip hop and the BBC Radio 1 Dance stage, where big names like Dizzee Rascal and Azelia Banks will be playing. with a whole new proposed layout.
Beyond the Main Stage, other stages include the Lock Up stage for rock, the Festival Republic Stage, and the BBC Introducing Stage. There is also the Alternative Stage for live stand up and beat boxing.
At the festival there is cinema tent, that plays films throughout the night, with the chosen films detailed in the programme that week.
The festival also hosts the popular and infamous Silent Discos where attendees were Wi-Fi headphones that play different types of music.
5-a-side football takes place on every day, if you are interested in registering a team, you will need to email your team name and players to [email protected].
Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster UK
In regards to VIP tickets or areas, there seems to be no particular choices apart from boutique camping choices.
The official Reading and Leeds Festival website states that this is not a suitable event for younger children.
These festival provide some access for people with disabilities. Most stages have a viewing area for people in wheelchairs for example.
The in August is usually fairly pleasant, although attendees should prepare for sun, heat, cold and rain as the British weather is prone to daily changes.
The Leeds site is set at Bramham Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
The Leeds festival location is more secluded, and further away from the centre then Reading.
The nearest airport is Leeds Bradford International Airport. The most popular route to take from the airport, is to travel to Leeds Railway Station and to then catch the shuttle bus to Bramham Park. You can get to Leeds Railway Station by the Metroconnect 757 which provides a direct bus service to/from Leeds, stopping off at Leeds bus and train stations, Kirkstall, Horsforth, Rawdon, Pool and Otley. If you'd like to avoid using the Metroconnect service then a taxi from Leeds Bradford Airport to Leeds Railway Station should cost around £13 - £15.
The nearest train station is the Leeds Railway Station, From which you can take the shuttle bus to Leeds Festival. To make things even better,First TransPennine Express have teamed up with the shuttle bus company. All you have to do is buy a shuttle bus ticket alongside your train ticket! This can be done online from First TransPennine Express, Don't forget, if you sort your travel in advance you could save yourself some money!
By Shuttle Bus
Most public transport is based around the frequent shuttle buses, providing a hassle-free method of getting to Bramham Park - which otherwise is slightly off the beaten track! The buses will be running from Leeds City Railway Station and Leeds Coach Station. If you're travelling from York then there is a Shuttle Bus service from York Station on Thursday and back to York Station on Monday. For more information on the Shuttle Bus service visit Leeds Fest Buses or tel 0113 263 9491.
The shuttle bus fares are as follows:
- £4.50 day single from Leeds Railway / Coach Station to Bramham Park
- £7 cheap day return from Leeds Railway / Coach Station to / from Bramham Park available Friday to Sunday only
- £8.50 open return from Leeds Railway / Coach Station or York to / from Bramham Park (£8 if booked in advance)
- £18 multi-journey wristband - as many journeys as you like to any of the destinations from Wednesday to Monday.
- £4 day return to Tescos (only available for sale onsite at Yellow Gate)
- Mercue Wetherby
- Britannia Leeds
- Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa
- Best Western Plus
- Bridge Farm Hotel
- Quality Hotel Leisure
- The Wrens Hotel
What to wear
Many people at this festival wear old Reading and Leeds Festival line-up t-shirts from past years. Many other people will be wearing band t-shirts, jeans, shorts, or costumes such as fairy outfits. Grunge, Emo and Goth styles are popular with this crowd.
- The Brown Campsite is the designated 'Quieter Campsite'
Food and drink
Over 18’s must collect a certain wristband that will ensure they are served alcohol. ID must be shown to qualify for a wristband. Children under 16 MUST be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.
- TRIVIA: In 2012, the event organisers offered all attendees a free pint and burger at the festival. This was most likely a publicity stunt provoked by poor ticket sales that year.
Perform at the festival
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Volunteer or work
For more information check here
Drugs and security
In 2012 police began to use bicycles to patrol the festival.
Despite a police presence at the festival, many people are using (and selling) drugs. Cannabis fudge, cakes and other edible materials are usually available in most campsites.
This festival began as The National Jazz Festival in 1961. After several moves and name changes, 1971 saw the event decide on the permanent name, Reading Festival.
1970's: In the 1970's the festival focused heavily on heavy metal, blues and progressive-rock.
1980's: The festival was temporarily banned in 1984 & 1985 due to the Conservative Party reclaiming the festival site for development and providing no alternative site. When Labour regained the council, Reading Festival was given permission to use the fields opposite the original site. In 1986 Reading Festival returned with a predominantly "classic rock" line-up with bands such as Alice Cooper and Status Quo performing.
1990's: In the 1990's the festival began to host rap acts such as Ice Cube, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. Many Britpop and Indie bands also began to dominate the bill. In 1992 Nirvana played the festival, with Kurt Cobain performing from a wheelchair. This was a dig at the media's constant portrayal of Cobain as a junkie.
In 1999 the festival secured a second site in Leeds.
With the festival running since the 60's, promoters and organisers are always looking for ways to keep the lineups fresh and interesting, sometimes this has worked to their benefit, other times it has been detrimental to their reputation. When lineup additions have not proved popular, the crowd tends to throw bottles at them, to show their dislike. Sometimes these bottles will be full of urine.
Although not at the same level of mass-participation as it was during the 1970's and 1980's, bottling at Reading and Leeds still happens during very bad performances.
Famous incidents include:
- 1988: Bonnie Tyler performed a whole set regardless of the bottles and turf audiences bombarded her with, that same festival Meat Loaf was bottled of stage 20 minutes into his set.
- 2000: After two songs, Daphne and Celeste had to leave the stage after constant bottling, as you can see below. (Watch the clip here)
- 2003: Good Charlotte performed a whole set through bottling, even stopping at one point to encourage fans to chuck their bottles at the same time.
- 2004: 20 minutes into 50 Cent's bottling he chucked his microphone into the crow, whereas The Rasmus left after one song.
- 2006: The Panic At The Disco Set was stopped temporarily while Brandon Urie received treatment after being struck on the shoulder, the band continued to play from the point the song was interrupted.
From time to time big name acts will appear on smaller stages under different names, much to the audience's surprise. in 2007 the Kaiser Chiefs appeared in the Carling Tent at Leeds using the name Hooks For Hands.
The 2013 line up includes: pioneering punk rockers Green Day, multi-platinum rapper Eminem, iconic 90s rap/rock act System Of A Down, Nine Inch Nails who brought industrial music to the popularity, dub-step master Skrillex, ASAP Rocky who is blowing up in a big way right now, indie rockers alt-J with their wistful melancholy sound, and many more.
Foo Fighters, The Cure and Kasabian are the confirmed main headliners, with the likes of Paramore, Bombay Bicycle Club, You Me At Six, Florence + The Machine, Kaiser Cheifs and many many more. To view the full line-up as it is confirmed, click here.
My Chemical Romance, Muse, Pulp, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Strokes, Elbow, The Offspring, The National, Interpol, Beady Eye and Peter Doherty.
For more details on the 2011 line-up and past line-up highlights click here.
For full information on the festival please visit the main Reading and Leeds Festival wiki.