Tuesday, August 31, 2010

London to Leeds Festival

Catching one of the many regular National Express bus services to Leeds from London, I faced a four and a half hour trip, but considering the 14hr flights we have become accustom to, this was nothing. 

Arriving at Leeds Coach Station I experienced my first dumb tourist moment – got into a cab and told the driver where I needed to go. He said it’s not far so he would cut me deal, not turn on the meter and I could just pay 5 pounds. Well stupid me for agreeing to trust him because not only did he take me to the wrong hotel but the amount he charged me was much more that it should have been. Jerk.

Eventually go to the RIGHT hotel around 2pm, checked in and arranged to meet with Dan to head into the festival. For 17 pounds we got an unlimited bus pass that took us too and from Leeds Festival as much as we wished, bearing in mind that the last buses leave at 1am (something I forgot to factor in on my final night). 

Check points getting in to the festival were brief, only two in fact - one leading to the campsite that checked bags for glass bottles and our arms for wrist bands, and the latter heading into the festival grounds, supposedly checking bags and persons for any other grog. With the amount of people going though this section the searches were not thorough and almost every second person got drinks in. Brilliant – saved some dosh there!

Friday’s weather was pleasant, although the masses had prepared with wellies and raincoats on the off chance the sky would turn. The layout of the festival was well planned and getting from main stage to the other areas was a breeze. Bars were plenty as were the food outlets, offering a simular selection to Latitude with just as steep prices…but you get that at every festival.
Musically your options were
Leeds Mainstage – headline acts
NME/ Radio 1 stage
Dance/Lockup stage/ Cinema 

The Alternative stage – occasionally offering comedians and entertainment of the sort 

Festival Republic Stage – the company that runs many of the festivals over here
BBC introducing stage – supporting up and coming local talent. Many band who play here go on to play the bigger stages in a few more years

Festival fashions were a bit of a mixed bag. Many chicks seem to just layer things on to keep warm (side from the ones getting around in denim shorts) but still manage to look good. Guys on the other hand were less capable of pulling it off and trackies and hoodies were a popular option. I keep forgetting that on this side of the world most festivals are all ages – it makes for a more energetic crowed but also more immature and idiotic. Mainly referring to the cups of piss that get thrown through the crowd by little dick heads who think it’s funny. If your manning a spot for your favourite band and you have been there for hours – guys feel free to piss in a bottle and drop it, hey chicks would too if we could. But there is no need to throw it forward. You would see it hit someone and they would wipe the wetness and smell it – sometimes it was only cider and the look of relief on the faces was apparent. Either way I’m thankfully I never got hit.

We have been told the vibe is way different to Reading and of coarse everyone here says Leeds crowd is better - friendlier and more chilled out. I have to say the people were a lot of fun, very welcoming and easy going. I’ll get back to you on the vibe difference if I ever get to do Reading.

Enough dribble… now for the music…. (still on its way)
Bec Clark

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