Live at Leeds is a long-standing city centre music festival that takes place over May bank holiday weekend across Leeds city centre. Originally launching in 2007, it has gone on to become one of the highlights in the musical calendar. Having been to it pretty much every year since it launched, I know first-hand what an amazing day it is. Here’s my five reasons why Live at Leeds is quite simply the best festival going.
- It starts early, and ends late. And that means lots and lots of bands playing (more than 200 over 20 venues, in fact). Amazing value when you consider the £27.50 ticket price – that’s around 13 pence (if our workings are correct) per band.
- There’s no mud and it doesn’t matter if it rains. The main drawback of an outdoor festival is the constant threat of rain, mud, cold wind, you name it. Not so at Live at Leeds, which is all indoors. That means if the dark clouds start gathering, just head into the nearest venue, café, bar, restaurant and stay there.
- Mixing with the shoppers. Not so much of a problem at noon, but when it hits 5.30pm, and you’ve been out all afternoon drinking, it can get a bit surreal as you mix with ‘normal people’ on Briggate coming out of Trinity.
- Big acts on in the middle of the day. Traditionally Live at Leeds has put on a few big acts mid-afternoon to get people out early doors. In the past this has included Lightspeed Champion, The Pigeon Detectives and this year, we’ve got the pleasure of Gaz Coombes from Supergrass playing a 1.30pm set in the O2 Academy.
- The next big thing. The ethos of the festival has always been to celebrate the best in upcoming local bands alongside more established national acts. Over the past nine years, they’ve had the likes of Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran, Jake Bugg, Hurts, Bombay Bicycle Club, Pulled Apart By Horses, George Ezra, Rudimental and The 1975. Last year’s big hitter (playing mid-afternoon) was Royal Blood. Who will it be this year?
For tickets, visit the Live at Leeds website.
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