I’ve split it up into days as it’s a pretty long post so if you don’t read it all in one go, you can go away and come back later and read the next day.
The group of people I went with seemed to differ quite a bit this year as it was mainly couple based, Alex and Stacey went again but this time brought Simon and Sapphire and Tom and Josie. I knew the boys previously but this was the first time I’d met their women. Then a guy who Alex works with, Liam came this year who is notorious for being an animal (by that I mean loses any sense of being civilized) after a drink, so it was promised to be entertaining!
Greatly saddened by the fact that many of the people from last year didn’t go again this year but they all had reasons either due to money problems or the fact they realized they didn’t festivals. Ah well, screw them.
Rather than drive to Leeds this year I opted to take a mini-bus with the group I was going with, worked out at around £30 return so it wasn’t that bad, plus I only had a two seater car now so it’s not like I could drive us all there. I drove to Sheffield, left the car there; the bus picked us up at about 7am and then did the rounds picking everyone else up and we were away to Leeds.
I took much less stuff this time, last year not only did we have a 9 man tent to contend with, I had bought a load of food with me, which was heavier than any of the other stuff I brought. Then I had my rucksack, my sleeping bag, a bag full of clothing and a camping chair to carry!
I’d fucked myself up before I even began, but lesson learned, this year I brought minimal clothing, because who even wears that much stuff when it’s only going to get dirty anyway? As long as I brought a change of underwear and fresh socks that’s all ya need! I also brought a second pair of jeans and a few t-shirts.
I put the sleeping bag inside the big bag so it was easier to carry, the camping chair went over my shoulder and no food! Boom.
Liam brought practically nothing because anything else wasn’t essential, that included fresh underwear.
Simon and his girlfriend brought a massive suitcase, rammed with God knows what. He thought he was being clever because he could just wheel it there, and it worked out well right up until one of the wheels fell off and the other one seized due to grass getting into the innards. Then he and his girlfriend had to try and drag that along with everything else they brought to the camp site. Foolish!
We set up camp next to some of Liam’s friends who were working there as volunteers, one of them was a lesbian, but I soon discovered she was only a Bisexual so that’s a plus. Then more friends of friends showed up and pretty soon we had our own community going on. Good times!
We were camped next to the fences where all the men in the area piss against, still, it was closer to the entrance, much closer than last year and it wasn’t that far from the main area where all the music was.
We were also camped near a big group of Geordies (people from Newcastle), a few of them came and introduced themselves, they seemed nice enough, they asked us to come over and have a drink, but I wanted to get my tent up and chill the fuck out, not socialize, plenty of time for that!
Upon buying the tickets we’re told that we were to get a free beer and a burger for every day we’re there (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and soon it was obvious they promised too much and it became three cans of beer upon entering the camp site and a voucher for a breakfast bap. I had low expectations for the breakfast baps as soon as the free cans of beer turned out to be “Skol” Lager, which is 2.4% alcohol, pretty much cat piss. Still, it saved us buying proper beer as everyone pretty much threw their cans away, ready for us to go and pick them up.
Later that night, we went out to the main arena area, got drunk, went back, bed for 12am. No being awake for 44 straight hours this year!
So Friday came and my fears about the breakfast bap were warranted, you could either have a choice of an undercooked bacon sandwich, an overcooked sausage sandwich or an egg and mushroom sandwich. I opted for the overcooked sausage. What a let down. Plus you had to go and get the sandwich between the hours of 7am to 12pm, so if you were out partying until 6am the night before, then don’t expect to get free food, unless you don’t need sleep.
Not only that but we also discovered that the beer in the main arena had increased in price this year, some compensation this turned out to be! £4.50 for a pint of beer or cider, if someone in a pub said £4.50 to me, I’d punch them in the face.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to let that spoil my fun, it was the first proper day of the festival, and I saw a lot of awesome music. We were forecast rain for the entire weekend, so after I conned some idiot that I used to work with at one of the branches of that infernal camping store into giving me a discount for some wellies I was set for rain. Luckily Friday was a pretty awesome day. Sunny for pretty much all of it.
One of the girls from Newcastle came over, drunk at such an early time or at least I thought she was, asked us where the toilets were, the girls pointed them out to her and she said, “I might just piss behind this tent.”
Pointing at my tent I said, “You fucking won’t, you piss on that tent, I’ll piss on you.”
To which she replied, “Oh aye, are you chatting us up like?” I couldn’t help up shudder, “Yous a dirty one you, I like it, I’ll be seeing you later.”
I made it my personal mission not to see her again and I didn’t.
During some point Thursday night, one of the guys that we hung around with snorted some drug called MCAT which is apparently some sort of fertilizer and passed out, Stacey helped him to the medical tent and she spent hours trying to find where the tent was on her own. I told her I’d have left him, but that’s because I’m not compassionate towards people that choose to do drugs. He too managed to make his way back to his tent at some point.
It was funny, I checked on him and he was curled in a fetal position in his tent, but he had to because he’d mistakenly brought a childs tent that fit “two men”, he was longer than his actual tent was. Sucked to be him because it also rained during the night and his tent ended up not being waterproof either.
The first band I’d seen was a band called “Howler”, never heard of them before and too be honest, I can’t even remember what they sound like so they must have been pretty forgettable, but we were wasting time to see Reginald D Hunter perform some stand up in the comedy tent; he was as awesome live as he is on TV, definitely one of the best things about this year.
If you haven’t heard Reggie D before, search for him on YouTube, you won’t be disappointed!
Then after that me and Alex caught some reggae band called The Skints, never heard of them before either but my God, they were one of the best bands I saw all weekend. Gangsta Pete definitely was in the neighbourhood! The female doing vocals was gorgeous and just picked up random instruments and played them with perfection.
The drummer then started doing vocals during one of the songs, picture perfectly while hammering the drums, it’s a rare sight. The bass player said nothing, just swayed wearing his sunglasses and hat, definitely the coolest man I’d ever seen.
I was gutted to discover I had missed out on All Time Low who were playing the main stage, but I caught Bullet For My Valentine, Kaiser Chiefs, The Black Keys who were all as awesome as you’d expect, then Foo Fighters who were headlining who were truly spectacular, they had a two and a half hour set; as opposed to Muse last year who going got a 2 hour slot. And in those two n half hours, never played The Pretender. Still, they pretty much played everything else.
Liam who had only brought one pair of boxer shorts with him that entire week and clothes on his back ended up taking an ecstasy pill along with another guy who was camping with us, the other guy ended up having to be taken to the medical tent, Liam threw up all over himself and shit himself at the same time. Used his one pair of boxers to wipe his ass along with some wet wipes and managed to find us before then passing out on the floor.
True to my word, I left him there.
After they’d finished most of us went back to the camp site, I for some reason was in bed for midnight most nights this year, think it was because there were less people that I knew that actually wanted to get drunk until the early hours. Nay mind. Friday was a good day.
Up at 8am, with a sore throat from all of the smoking I did the previous two days and the shouting over music and whatnot. Went for the overcooked sausage sandwich again; the two couples stayed at the campsite for most of the day.
Such a waste of money staying there, yeah they can drink the alcohol they brought with them but they’re missing out on everything they paid for.
We on the other hand made our way to the main arena, I went to see Angels and Airwaves, then met everyone else at the NME Stage where we saw The Hives and the Blackout.
Today was the day where I opted to wear my wrestling mask once again, Liam had brought a ski mask with him and for some reason we decided to have a wrestle, he’d got a lucky one in and managed to trip me up, then I don’t know what he was intending to do but the next thing I know I’m clasping the back of my head while watching stars and people are asking me if I’m alright.
He says he was trying to put his foot on my head to claim victory but I’d tried to get up at the same time and he managed to kick me full whack in the back of the head with the heel of his boot. He helped me up and apologized profusely, I think because everyone was guilt tripping him. I then pretty much missed anything that was playing for about three hours because I had a splitting headache.
Josie was kind enough to give me some painkillers and that dulled the pain for awhile. A bit later Liam tapped me in the back of the head with an empty water bottle.
That’s fucking it.
I said, I took everything out of my pockets and handed them to Alex, I charged at Liam, he managed to leg sweep me and trip me up again, but I wasn’t being punked out a second time, I suprised him by jumping up to my feet as quickly as I went down, managed to climb on his back, get him in a choke hold, rolled onto my back and wrapped my legs around his waist and pulled and squeezed. He started tapping out but I just told him there is no tapping out.
When his arms began to go limp, that’s when I let him go. It was the first time I’d ever attempted a rear naked choke but it seemed to work well.
Don’t worry though, he came around quickly and after he tried to convince me he “could have gotten out of it any time” even though I was wrapped around him line a vine, we went about our day.
By this point Paramore were playing, they were pretty shit when I saw them two years ago and they weren’t much better this time around either. Don’t get me wrong, Hayley Williams is a hot piece of ass and I like a few of their songs but they just don’t seem to be all that good live.
Then the headliners were on, The Cure, old school band who I didn’t know all that much about but they were the headliners so I felt obligated to watch them. They barely played any of their well known songs, didn’t converse with the crowd like Foo Fighters did, just played track after track and too be honest, they were quite boring.
We left before the encore and went off to get drunk for awhile before going back to the tent. I still had a splitting headache and went to bed as soon as I got back. Passed out and that was it for Saturday.
Woke up at 1pm to quite a lot of worried faces, my voice had totally gone by this point, it went the night before but it had gotten worse as I could barely say anything.
I woke up almost in tears, my head felt like it’d been smashed in, I reached over and grabbed some painkillers, took an excessive amount; I couldn’t barely move my head was that bad, I crawled out of the tent and was told that my friends had been trying to wake me for the past four hours to no avail.
Still fully clothed, even shoes I was face down; Alex came in to see if I was alright, apparently he punched me in the ribs a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t faking, then Stacey came in and tried several times to wake me, she was saying how worried she was and was thinking about maybe getting someone to come look at me. Liam was the typical bloke and said to leave me alone, I was obviously tired.
Not 13 hours tired though! But too be honest, I’d have done the same if it were him. The only explanation I could fathom was the kick to the head was the culprit, once I’d fallen asleep I had a hard time waking up and it wasn’t the first time I’d had a severe knock to the back of the head.
Plus the fact I hadn’t eaten in 27 hours was probably a factor. I pulled myself together and went to the main arena where Alex bought me some food and fed me; I have such nice friends. After something to eat and some fluids that didn’t contain alcohol I started feeling better though I was zoning out for much of the day.
Sunday is still pretty hazy even now, but I remember wasting time to go and see comedian Gary Delaney who just came out with one liner after one liner and if you didn’t like one joke, or the next joke, there were about ten after that that you would like. He was pretty good.
Then we hung around outside the stage for a bit, then I lost everyone when it started raining so I went back and watched Al Murray back at the comedy tent on my own. I’d seen him live before and he’s just great. Definitely quick witted and definitely English.
After he’d finished I stuck around the comedy tent for the next couple of acts which brought me to about 6pm, I then luckily found Liam and a couple of other friends at the NME stage where we watched Billy Talent, Mastodon where a friend got injured (self inflicted) in a mosh pit. I laughed at his foolishness.
After Mastodon I went and watched Young Guns at another stage on my own, you could tell security didn’t like them as they said security have had an easy time so far and encouraged people to do some crowd surfing, I didn’t partake of course.
Once they’d finished we all eventually met up for the last band of Leeds 2012, headlining the main stage, Kasabian, who had a short set than the previous two headliners, but were easily the best band of the whole festival.
Never paid them much attention before, I’ll know most of their songs but I never went out of my way to go and buy any of their records or anything but all of that is going to change after their performance at Leeds, the area was rammed, Stacey had finally gotten drunk and spending three days moaning that Alex had drank her vodka the first day and that they didn’t have any money. But she was at that stage of drunk where you know, it’ll end in tears.
Most women, give them enough to drink, they’ll be so happy and hyper and eventually end up with beer tears.
After Kasabian the plan was to go to the silent disco, but I lost everyone when I went to buy some cigarettes, so decided to head back to the tent where I had a few beers with the guys that’d already gone back. A load of people decided to go home after the final band, they were packing up their tents all over the place; I scored a whole crate of beer so I dug into that.
Soon after the other guys went back to bed, Alex and Stacey come back and you guessed it, Stacey had the beer tears. Kept crying about Alex promising to help her into bed and helping her get to sleep so she didn’t have nightmares, Alex just ignored her so she went to bed alone, then started screaming she couldn’t zip the tent up. Then she went mental and almost ripped the zip off; oh how we laughed.
She cried herself to sleep and me and Alex just sat around a camp fire until 3am drinking free beer.
I woke pretty early and packed my stuff up, I’d made a conscious decision to leave the tent there, it had began to leak over the course of the weekend, the weather had mostly been alright, the rain usually hit during the night. The two man tent I was in had it’s day and I couldn’t be bothered to pack it up anyway so I just set it on fire.
Alex also decided not to take his tent back either, too much stuff to carry. I just had my backpack and my big bag with my sleeping bag and clothes in it. For the second year running I managed to not poo for four straight days, avoiding the extremely unpleasant cubicle toilets. Thought I was going to have to go Sunday, but I managed to keep it squeezed in.
The mini-bus that was meant to be picking us up was stuck in traffic apparently, it was meant to pick us up at 1pm, Liam opted to get a lift with the lesbians and the other volunteer that we were camped with and that was the last I’d seen of him.
The “friends of friends” people went their separate ways, the guy who passed out on the first night actually disappeared Sunday afternoon and never came back. He’d gone to his mums house in Leeds. Such a bitch.
What was left of us packed our stuff, I found some abandoned disposable BBQs and tinned food, like spaghetti and hot dog sausages, which ended up being pretty tasty. Then we used three abandoned pop up tents to put our stuff inside and drag it to the car park, it was a hard task because it was also raining and such a long way but we eventually made it.
The three couples all got in a pop up tent each and I was left outside in the rain until I dived in Al and Stacey’s tent and just chilled out until the taxi came, an hour and a half late.
We eventually made it back to civilization, I took a shit in Alex’s toilet and went home, took a long shower, put on some fresh clothes, did some more packing and three hours after getting back, headed for Scotland!
And so that was Leeds Festival over with for another year, not sure if I’ll be going next year, they seem to be raising prices every year when other festivals like Glastonbury are a lot cheaper and it goes on for much longer.
I don’t know, I’ll probably go. Also I was the only person who went last year who’d kept their wrist band on for an entire year, I currently have last years and this years on but they’ll be coming off at some point. My wrist will look so naked.