Imagine: Leaving life as you know it and spending a weekend encapsulated in a dreamscape of mud and mosh…
A dreamscape that fulfills your wildest, rockiest desires — your desires to boogie down (to the ground), to rock out to your favorites bands, and to feel musical fusions reverberate through every fiber of your being.
Leeds Music Festival
Feels pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, this summer, from August 22th until the 25th 2019 in Leeds, England, these dreamscapes come to life at the spectacular Leeds Music Festival! The festival takes place in Bramham Park, in the beautiful countryside of Britain.
Image by By Nicholas Puglisi
In years past, punkadelic hordes have thrown up their rock fists to musical extraordinaires such as The Beastie Boys, Green Day, and Franz Ferdinand. This year’s headliners (and head-bangers) are sure to be equally satisfying;
they include the likes of Kings of Leon, Fall Out Boy, and Kendrick Lamar. Keep an eye out for Sum41 and Panic! At The Disco amongst a hundred other gigs expected to melt faces.
In 2019 there is no shortage of top artists. See the list below:
Leeds Festival is so popular. Really, it is. In fact, it’s so popular that it’s actually split into two different twin-site festivals. The other location, the original festival, is located in the south of England in a town called Reading Festival.
Cleverly, this festival’s name is Reading Festival ,and it shares an identical line-up to Leeds. This way, come August, wherever you are in England, you are too close to one of these festivals to rationally miss out. . . Rock-infested dreamscapes await —and surround— you.
By Eva Rinaldi
So Why Leeds Music Festival?
Remember that rock-infested dreamscape you imagined earlier? The one where all of your wildest, rockiest desires came to life and you held hands with the Followill’s of Kings of Leon and rap-battled with Kendrick Lamar? We know you’ve been drooling about it, and you owe it to yourself to bring it to life.
Be prepared to manage the rain and mud! If there’s rain in Britain, Leeds is almost guaranteed to be get some of that wet action. Mud is an integral (and some people’s favorite) part of the festival. Bring a rain-jacket, an umbrella, and/or a pair of tall boots!
#2 Get A Map
Arm yourself with a map! Getting around the festival grounds can be a little disorienting (even if you’re sober) and possibly exhausting. While the festival grounds aren’t huge (by festival standards), flags and banners are banned, making it a little difficult to identify your surroundings amongst the masses of tents.
#3 Be Wise In Choosing Your Camp
Choose your camp wisely. Some camps are lively, while some are downright madness. A general rule to choosing a camp at Leeds (that wasn’t just made up while writing this article): “the closer you camp to the arena, the more you’ll need the medicina.” If you want to be able to sleep, stick to the campsites further away from the arena.
What To Do?
Leeds, Britain’s third most populous city, is filled with historical sites to see, unique activities to do, and a nightlife sure to tickle your fancy.
The famous sites
Leeds has a number of historically significant towers from Britain’s Industrial Revolution, including Tower Works, consisting of 3 monolithic towers located on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Fans of architecture should be sure to check out Temple Works, an Egyptian-styled tower with a remarkable construction story.
Other major towers in Leeds include the industrial museum at Armley Mills (at one point the world’s largest textile mill) and the modern Bridgewater Place.
If you’re looking for entertainment, Leeds is a center for artistic talents of all types. Attend an opera show at the Leeds Grand Theater.
Catch a play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, or laugh until you cry at City Varieties, which features dry British stand-up comedy acts and pantomimes.
White Rose Shopping Center
The city also offers recreational urban activities and a diverse nightlife, including an assortment of boutique shopping malls at the White Rose Shopping Center.
If the Leeds Festival left you wanting another dose of dance and drink, peruse the bars and clubs at Millenium Square and Call Lane.
Northern Monk Brewery
Beer enthusiasts should be sure to sample Leeds’ Real Ales at the Northern Monk Brewery. Real Ales are brewed with multi-century old fermentation techniques, and the brewery boasts it’s unique concoctions as one-of-a-kind brews.
Tall Boys Beer Market
But if this local craft beer doesn’t meet your standards, you can visit the Tall Boys Beer Market and purchase premium beers imported from all over the world.
Where To Stay?
Camping at Leeds in an enveloping experience. The festival provides a few different camping choices, from standard campsites to luxurious “glamping” (glamour camping) options, and even car camping options.
Hardened festival campers will be delighted know that the campgrounds are supplied with lockers for rent, portable toilets, and (tested) drinking water (so leave the shovel at home and put your rain-catcher away).
If you’re worried about access to showers, toilets, and electricity, the festival’s Pink Moon Luxury camping option gives you unlimited phone charging capabilities, unlimited clean showers, and unlimited use of clean toilets!
Leeds has Loads of Accommodation
If camping isn’t quite your style (don’t worry, we understand), fret not — the city of Leeds is fully equipped with accommodation to suit any need.
We recommend you booking your accommodation ahead of time, though, using a website such as booking.com.
From the Leeds railway station (in the city), there will be a shuttle bus taking people to the festival. As well, there will be a shuttle bus taking people from the festival grounds to the Seacroft Tesco superstore in Leeds.
Looking for a Luxurious Stay?
Now, if you are looking to rest-up and peacefully recuperate in style, the top-rated Quebecs Luxury Apartments, located in the City Square, are a favorite amongst travelers.
It will be sure to satisfy. At $199 a night, you will receive 5-star comfort and dazzling service.
Or Perhaps Simplicity?
If you are looking for something simple, charming, and affordable, look no farther than the Boundary Hotel B&B.
With cottage-like touches and a cheery staff, $69 a night is a great value for your money (especially if split among friends).
On a tight budget?
If you are traveling alone and/or are on a budget, the Art Hostel in Leeds is a fantastic place to rest, with a fun social atmosphere and funky decor, for only $39 a night for a dorm bed.
What To Eat?
Delicious food at the festival
The festival will be stocked with delicious festival food vendors… at festival prices. If you aren’t planning to leave the festival grounds and are on a budget, you can bring your own food to the festival, and into the arena.
The Salvation Army will have a food truck in the village, providing soup and a bread roll for 1 Euro to end the famine in your stomach.
If you are willing to leave the festival grounds to eat, or are exploring the city, Leeds has a variety of food options that are sure to cure your insatiable hunger.
Want to Try Local Cuisine?
Ira B’s and Town Tavern Hall are a few of the best, moderately priced restaurants that offer local cuisine, including fish’n’chips and beef pie.
What About Dining?
Leeds has a spectacular selection of fine dining options. The Man Behind the Curtain is a 5-star rated restaurant serving only the most exquisite food.
The restaurant’s high popularity will require you to make a reservation at least 2 months in advance.
Crafthouse and Gaucho Leeds are other local dining options that serve “legendary” steaks and lobster Bisque.
Leeds for Vegans
Does the thought of sinking your teeth into the flesh of a dead animal seem uncivilized, barbaric and unappetizing?
Out Of This World
Fear not, Leeds provides. Out Of This World is a vegan supermarket and deli with delectable pre-made sandwiches, a variety tofu, milk alternatives, and coconut yoghurt, amongst other vegan ingredients.
Leeds also has popular street food options that will keep your wallet full.
Offers bountiful Middle Eastern variety, including delicious Halloumi wraps. Humpit is a Mediterranean joint with vegan options like salad, and pita with hummus (and falafel).
How To Get There?
The fastest way to get to Leeds is to fly into Leeds Bradford International Airport.
By car from airport
You can drive to Bramham Park (the festival grounds) in about 40 minutes from the airport by heading south on the A65 for 3 miles, connecting to the A643 for about 1 mile, and merging onto the M621 for 2 miles. Finally, exiting at junction 6.
Taxi to the train
Alternatively, you can take a taxi to the Leeds Railway Station for about $30 and catch the shuttle to the festival grounds, or enjoy a 4 hour walk!
Perhaps the easiest way to get to the Leeds Festival is by shuttle, which will drop you off inside the festival grounds. The Big Green Coach provides shuttle services from 39 pick-up (and drop-off) locations all over the UK, including Glasgow, Liverpool, and Coventry.
Head south on the A1 for about 123 miles and continue on the A1(M) for 83 miles, following signs for Durham. Keep right and continue on the M1 for 8 miles, following signs for London/Leeds/Manchester.
At junction 44, take the A639 exit and continue for about .5 miles, taking the 3rd exit at the roundabout to continue on the A639. Take the first exits at the next 2 roundabouts, continuing from Savannah Way to Wakefield Road/A61.
Continue on the A61 for 1.5 miles, then turn right onto Thorpe Lower Lane/A654. Follow the A654 for about 1 mile, then turn right on Towcester Avenue.
Make the 2 following right turns onto Badminton Drive and Bramham Park Court, and continue to the Leeds Festival! 222 miles of seaside driving, taking approximately 4 hours.
CrossCountry operates a line from Edinburgh Waverley Station to Leeds Railway Station, leaving every hour.
They take approximately 3 hours and will cost between $100 – $150. From Leeds Railway Station, the Big Green Coach will be taking festival-goers to Bramham Park.
The bus takes about 5 hours from Edinburgh Bus Station (Stances 1 and 2). MegaBus UK operates a bus-line, departing 3 times a day, that will cost between $30 – $55.
National Express also operates a bus-line, departing twice a day, that will cost between $19 – $25.
The Leeds Railway Station is a little less than a mile away from the Leeds Bus Station and is easily walked, or you can take (almost) any bus to the Railway Station, from where you can take the Big Green Coach to the festival grounds.
There are 2 main routes from London to Leeds.
The shortest route is to follow the M1 for 180 miles, which will take you straight into Leeds.
However, the recommended route (to avoid traffic) is about 20 miles longer, and will take about 4 hours. From London City Center, head east on the A13 for about 5 miles, and merge onto the North Circular Road/A406 from the left lane.
Continue on the A406 for about 6 miles and use the left 2 lanes to continue on the M11. Follow the M11 for about 60 miles, staying right at the fork at mile 35.
The M11 turns into A14 near the town of Cambridge, continue straight on the A14 for 17 miles. The A14 merges into the A1(M), and the A1(M) merges into the A1 after 11 miles.
Continue on the A1 for 96 miles. Keep right onto the A1(M), following signs for M62 for about 2 miles. Merge onto the M62 towards Manchester/Leeds, and follow the M62 for 7.5 miles.
At junction 30 take the A642 exit towards Rothwell/Wakefield. Follow the A642 for about .5 miles, then turn right at Castle Gate and continue for 1.3 miles. Turn left on Green Lane/B6135 and follow it down for 1.7 miles.
Continue on Middleton Lane/A654 for .7 miles, and turn right on Towcester Avenue, followed by a right on Badminton Drive, and another right on Bramham Park Ct. Your destiny (and destination) is down the road!
There are multiple train routes from London to Leeds, but the quickest, cheapest, and most convenient is with Virgin Trains East Coast.
They operate a line, leaving twice an hour, from King’s Cross Station in London to Leeds Railway Station.
The ride takes about 2.5 hours, and will cost between $35 – $130, depending on when you book your tickets (book early!) The shuttle will be there to take you from the Railway Station to Bramham Park.
National Express operates a bus-line, leaving every 1.5 hours, from the London Victoria Coach Station to the Leeds Bus Station.
The bus ride is expected to take 4.5 hours, and tickets cost between $19 – $24. The Big Green Coach will be providing shuttle services to the festival site from Leeds Railway Station, and is a short walk or bus ride from the Bus Station.
From the city center, head north on A576 and merge onto the M60, approximately 5 miles out of town. At junction 18, use the middle lane and exit towards M62, and take the 3rd exit at Simister Island onto the M62 ramp following signs for Leeds.
Continue on the M62 for 33 miles, staying right at the forks at mile 30 and mile 33. At junction 28, take the A653 exit towards Leeds/Dewsbury. Use the right lanes to merge onto the Tingley Interchange, and turn left onto Bradford Road/A650.
Follow the A650 for .5 miles, then turn left on Thorpe Lane/A654. Continue for 1.5 miles, then turn left on Towcester Avenue.
Shortly after, turn right on Badminton Drive and turn right onto Bramham Park Ct. Proceed to fulfill your dreams, after this hour long drive, spanning 43 miles.
TransPennine operates a line from Manchester Victoria Station, leaving every 30 minutes, to Leeds Railway Station. The 45 minute ride will cost you between $19 – $26.
NorthernExpress also operates a line, leaving every 4 hours. This route will take about 1.5 hours and cost between $15 – $23.
NationalExpress operates a bus-line from Manchester Central Coach Station (in the city center) to Leeds Dyer Street Coach Station.
The ride will cost between $8 – $12 and take approximately 1 hour. From Dyer Street, you can either drive or taxi directly to the festival, which is approximately 15 minutes south.
Another option is to bus to the Leeds Railway Station (about 1 mile west) and take the shuttle from there.
The first Leeds Festival, held in 1999, was created as an expansion of the Reading Festival to manage overwhelming crowds and growing popularity.
The lineups are identical to the Reading Festival, but the vibe has a few differences. While the crowds are typically a little smaller, the general consensus is that the crowd is a little rowdier.
The beginning years were filled with riots that made the Reading Festival riots look like child’s play.
However, since the festival’s relocation to Bramham Park in 2003, the riots have calmed considerably, as the new venue better meets the needs of the people. Remember to bring your plastic bottles and throwing arm…
it is still acceptable to throw bottles at the acts that fail to entertain you at Leeds, and it is likely your peers will be barraging boring acts off stage.