Leeds Festival Introduction
[Please note this page is being updated regularly]
Leeds Festival offers 80,000 music fans a chance to see the hottest rock bands and acts from around the world. The Leeds event is held in Bramham Park, near Wetherby, the grounds of an historic house. The dates for Leeds Festival are often on the bank holiday weekend in August.
Leeds Festival is often seen as the Reading Festival “little brother/sister”, just don’t mention that to the regulars or a Yorkshireman! The Leeds and Reading festivals are run by Festival Republic, which was divested from Mean Fiddler Music Group. Leeds Festival is the newer northern leg that started in 1999 in addiction to the long running Reading Festival. In 1999, the Reading Festival gained a second leg at Temple Newsam in Leeds, where the V Festival had been held in 1997 and 1998, when it was clear that the Reading event had become too small to deal with the increasing demand. For promotional purposes during 1998-2007 they were known as the Carling Weekend: Reading and the Carling Weekend: Leeds.
Leeds Festival Location
It moved site to Bramham Park near Leeds in 2003 after having previously been at Temple Newsam in Leeds since being established.
Leeds Festival Tickets
Weekend tickets are generally priced around £210, plus booking fees, and postage fees
Day tickets Friday, Saturday, Sunday are priced £66.50.
Leeds Festival Stages
The Leeds festival typically has the following stages:
Main Stage – Major rock, indie, metal and alternative acts. Headliners are often exclusive
NME/Radio 1 Stage – Less well-known or up and coming acts, building up to an alternative headline act. The odd secret set to be found on this stage.
Dance Tent – Dance music acts to state the obvious, having previously sharing a day with the Lock Up stage, now a stand-alone 3 day stage.
Lock Up Stage / The Pit – Underground punk and hardcore acts. If heavier music is you thing, this stage is often where its at
Festival Republic stage (formerly known as the Carling stage) – Acts with less popular appeal and breakthrough acts.
1Xtra Stage – New stage for 2013 that stages Hip-Hop, RnB and Rap artists.
Alternative tent – Comedy and cabaret acts plus DJs in the evening.
BBC Introducing Stage – Typically unsigned/not well known acts. (Formerly known as the Topman Unsigned Stage at the Leeds site). Sometimes the BBC host a larger act that will be broadcasting live on the radio.
The Leeds Festival Camp-sites
The campsite will open on Thursday morning at 3am, and early bird permit holders have access from 2pm Wednesday.
If you want to plan where to camp with friends before you arrive, these are the names of the campsites.
BLUE VALLEY CAMPSITE
YELLOW BUBBLE CAMPSITE
Where should I camp at Leeds Festival?
YELLOW BUBBLE and BLUE VALLEY CAMPSITES – They’re the closest camp-sites to the arena and market area so understandably they fill up pretty quickly, generally with people with early passes. Pre-2007 these camp-sites were all the Yellow camp-sites. White, yellow and blue are known for there party atmosphere, and traditionally its residents enjoy staying up late. By far the most sociable camp-sites.
Avoid these camp-sites if you want a decent nights sleep.
Walk to Arena – 2-3 minutes (Yellow/White) 5 minutes (Blue)
RED CAMPSITE – Red is your in-betweener campsite: being close to the arena and still lively, still very sociable, but you maybe able to get a few hours sleep while being close to the arena and market areas. Parts of the Red campsite can be quite hilly and can be difficult to navigate to your tent after a few shandy’s. This site can get quite crowded at times, but not as cramped as Yellow and Blue. Prime spots fill up by mid-day Thursday
Walk to Arena – 5-8 minutes
ORANGE CAMPSITE – Its well known amongst the veterans that when you go orange you never go back. Split into 2 parts and seperated by a “beast” of a hill, you have “Orange” and “Orange Funfair”, the latter named obviously after the fairground attractions you’ll find yourself plonked by the side of. On the other side of the hill is tranquility in the early hours of the morning (once the campsite DJ and Piccadilly Party shut down). However, beware of the mammoth hill leading up into Orange campsite, as much fun as it can be in the rain, it can be lethal on your thighs should you attempt it with a heavy rucksack. Use the path to the left of the hill for access with less of a gradient.
Walk to Arena – 7-8 minutes (Funfair), 10 minutes (Orange)
PURPLE CAMPSITE – The front end is still fairly close to Orange Funfair, meaning you still get some of the noise from the rides and the party, but is a great site if you plan on spending most of your nights at Piccadilly party but still want some kip without the livelier atmosphere of Orange. It houses younger and older campers who want a mix of fun and sleep, though heading back towards Green you’ll find chilled out groups drinking and barbecuing rather than being rowdy.
Walk to Arena – 12 minutes
BROWN and GREEN CAMPSITES – The quiet ones, Brown more so than Green. They’re a fair trek from the arena (about 20 minutes walk), however if you want a quiet night with little disturbances, you’ll get a decent kip here. Brown campsite is more closely aimed at families (and those with campervans) so if you’re a younger group looking for a good nights sleep then your best bet is probably Green campsite. Brown campsite has also increased in size.
Walk to Arena – 15 minutes (Green), 18 minutes (Brown)
(Walk to Arena times are averages based on dry daytime conditions, add extra time when wet, dark, drunk or when in a large crowd)
Can I save a spot for my mate who is coming later?
Depending on when they are planning to arrive you can normally save a spot for 1 or 2 small tents with a group. Obviously some camps fill up quicker than others, so whilst its possible to try and succeed, dont guarantee it! Don’t try and tell people that you’re saving a large space for friends, you will be laughed at and you have no rights to land ownership.
How soon do the camps fill up?
By late afternoon on Thursday you probably won’t get into the big 3 (yellow/white/blue) unless there’s a small number of you, but chances are you’ll get a decent spot in orange or red, both of which are fantastic campsites.
Leeds Festival Night-life
Things to do after the bands have finished, the after-hours entertainment
The Leeds Festival Piccadilly Party is located by the funfair on the Orange camp-site, the site gets rammed full of revellers dancing to loud music, next to fairground rides.