Leeds Festival 2014

This weekend I returned to Bramham Park for my third time at Leeds Festival. After going to two other festivals this year I was still just as excited to get my camping stuff out again to go see a brilliant line up at Leeds.

I was so impressed with the line-up this year that I decided Leeds would be too good to miss. There were loads of bands I’d seen before and a few that I hadn’t so I tried to prioritise the ones I hadn’t seen when picking which bands we should see.

We headed down to the site on Friday morning because we are old now and don’t want to spend extra nights in a tent when it can be avoided. As there was only me and my fellow housemate Tor (who went onto being called Thor, Paul and Jack over the course of the weekend) we only had a two man tent so headed down to the blue campsite and found a small spot on the corner of a crossroads which was really close to the main stages. Once we found out that beers were £4.70 a pint we heavily relied on heading back to our tent between bands for a few more drinks.

Friday we saw Clean Bandit, You Me At Six, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Blink 182, obviously. Clean Bandit were the first band we saw at the festival who were a great start to the weekend, despite the hyped up 16 year old starting mosh pits during the most unnecessary times. We then went over to see YMA6 who I had seen before but they were a bit of a let down as they seemed to expect the crowd to be going wild for them which they weren’t.

One noticeable thing that was strange at Leeds this year was the crowd, which YMA6, Jimmy Eat World and The Hives all commented on, was how quiet the crowd was. I’ve never seen crowds be so still and not applause at the end of songs. We couldn’t work out if it was because the attendees were all teenagers and too busy taking selfies and being cool to jump around like idiots to their favourite songs like we used to or if they were just generally bored.

Saying that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis came on and got the crowd really going. Macklemore had such a great energy that everyone was going nuts for him. He even nicked a guy from the crowd’s fur coat to wear for half of the set and had some really cool dancers with them as well.

Blink-182 were amazing again. I’d seen them at Leeds festival when they last played but I think I enjoyed the set list they played this year more. Travis Barker is an amazing drummer and the three of them all seemed to have a great time on stage burping and making gross jokes like they were still teenagers.

The next day we had some time to kill between bands and after seeing the standard people there collecting cups we decided to give it a go. As the beers were so expensive we thought we could enjoy a  nice cold pint if we gathered a few cups to cover the costs. I used to judge people who did cup collecting thinking they were a bit strange but once we had done it once and cashed in 130 cups for £13 after going around the dance tent for 15 minutes we were hooked. The abuse of being called a scrubber and being told to get a job and hearing people saying times must be tough were all worth while when we were £40 up on Saturday night, just from collecting cups. Cup collecting also lead you into this strange community of cup like minded people who admire how many cups each other have. We made friends with a bunch of South Africans who were almost as obsessed with the cup collecting business as we were.

Another thing that made Leeds festival different for me this year was the Relentless stage that was found among the trees in the campsite. Last time I came to Leeds there was only the odd DJ stations dotted around campsites and then the Piccadilly stage to go to once the headliner had finished but this year they had a mini Shangri La-esque area, where we watched Zane Lowe, Netsky and Wilkinson perform on Saturday night which was really good.

Other notable bands that were worth mentioning were AlunaGeorge, Deaf Havana, Royal Blood and Sunset Sons. I don’t get why people are such fans of the Arctic Monkeys. There were double the amount of people on site on Sunday with day tickets to see them. I had seen them at Leeds Festival last time they were there and I thought they were pretty crap as they were all wasted but I was determined to give them another chance as their last album was so good. The only thing worth mentioning about their performance this year was Alex Turner’s jacket which had white Yorkshire roses on it. He seemed to be smashed once again, but still managed to sing and play well so I can’t knock him for that. There was minimal crowd interaction and he just came across as arrogant in my opinion but as they have so many good songs I still enjoyed the performance.

Having seen Paramore twice before I thought I knew what to expect from them but they delivered a performance on Saturday night which may possibly be up there with one of the best I’ve ever seen. As well as performing backflips with guitars and pulling a lucky fan on stage to sing Misery Business, Hayley Williams has an amazing voice and a great stage presence.

Thoughts from this week:

  • Very sad festival season is over
  • It also feels like Summer is now over
  • I have lost my voice once again from singing too much
  • Loved the Leeds Fest wrist bands this year, they’re blue and pink
  • Feels like this is going to be another week of recovery for me

Photos to follow


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