With the first headline acts Muse, Major Lazer, Bastille, Etc. released for Reading and Leeds festival 2017 this week and with summer 2016 feeling like a distant memory, the craving for the festival season is more prominent than ever. But with controversy over the recently released lineup, is Leeds fest really the best?
⚡️ “Reading & Leeds controversy”https://t.co/d59a9ZleWa
— Nia Parry (@NiaParry98) December 15, 2016
The twin music festivals ‘Reading and Leeds‘ simultaneously take place over the Bank holiday weekend in August. Being one of the biggest rock festivals in the UK, celebrating the most famous acts in the industry and the latest up and coming talent, the festival has something for everyone. The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Arctic Monkeys are amongst the masses of artists who have performed at the festival. Although throughout the years the festival has focused heavily on genres of music including Rock, alternative, indie, punk and metal, this has begun to broaden over the years to branch out to a versatile range of music tastes, attracting larger audiences and a wider variety of people.
My first Leeds festival experience was in 2015. To this very day, it is up there with one of the best weekends of my life. With acts such as Metallica, Royal Blood and Mumford and Sons drawing me in and fulfilling my passion for music, it is an experience which I will remember forever. The festival experience is not only addictive but it is unique. The carefree ‘anything goes’ atmosphere will keep you hooked for years to come. Although the experience is not for the lighthearted, once you have the ‘festival fever’ it will be hard to cure. My personal favourite act at Leeds festival was Catfish and the Bottlemen, excuse my extremely pathetic attempt at videoing (I was having too much fun).
As the festivals host the same acts but on different days over the weekend, it makes logical sense to attend the one closest to you. For me, Leeds festival was the closest of the two, being a car journey of only 2 hours away. For me, I decided to choose the weekend camping ticket in order to get the full festival experience, but there are multiple packages on offer. If camping isn’t really your thing, then you can choose just a singular day ticket, the “Seat of luxury” (which aims to revolutionize your festival experience with luxury toilets, hot running water, hair dryers & straighteners) or even if you have a campervan a campervan pass. Below is a map which will help you see where the festivals are held and maybe even to see which is closest to you.
My best festival advice (learned from personal experience & my own mistakes)…
- Be prepared. Bring your wellies, bucket hat, factor 50 and your emergency poncho. Being prepared for any weather conditions will make your overall festival experience better. (Do not assume the weather will be glorious and forget your waterproofs)
- Make a list of your favourite acts, ones you will forever regret missing if you don’t see them. Ensure you know the time of their set and at what stage they are playing.
- The festival environment is one of the only places nearly EVERYTHING is socially acceptable. Wear what you want, be controversial, forget about your everyday life and responsibilities.
- Enjoy it. Laugh. Go with the flow, experience new music, be spontaneous and most importantly have fun.
So is Leeds fest really the best?
Leeds Fest. A thrilling, exhilarating and magical weekend which is yet to be topped by any other festival I have attended. Is it the best? I’ll leave that for you to decide.