Leeds Festival 2011

So the long awaited blog, sorry it’s taken so long to get this posted, this week has been HECTIC! Not only didn’t I come back from Leeds absolutely exhausted, I then had to start my new job the day after! Which is going pretty well, but more on that later.

I could tell that this year was going to be extremely different than last year, mostly in part to the rain that destroyed everything in its way!

The bands this year were a lot better than last year, the head liners to even the bands that were on in the day, it was tough on the feet as we pretty much had to stand and walk for 12 hours at least where as last year we could sit down with the sun being out.

Here’s a day by day break down of what went on…

THURSDAY

I woke up at 6am Wednesday morning to go to work, finished my last day at Ventura, said my goodbyes and left, after that I had to go into the town centre to get things done for my new job, after that I went home and packed, wrote three blogs to keep everyone satisfied for the weekend although looking at the stats, not many people have read them! But never the less, I had to set off at 4:30am to pick my friends up, we wanted to set off extra early this year as last year we had a spot of trouble finding a space to pitch two tents, this year we were pitching five and having a gazebo in the middle so we wanted a good space.

I didn’t end up getting any sleep, thought I’d get some while I’m there after we’ve done everything we needed to do. Set off at 4:30am, picked up my friend Jim, most of my stuff already filled the boot of the car but we managed to cram most of his stuff in and put some on the back seat, that man packs like a woman! The thing that I like with Jim (Friends call him by his surname Maskell but I like to be different) is that I won’t see him for ages and when we do we just carry on like normal. The last time I’d seen Jim before Leeds was about two years ago, we picked things up without missing a beat, nothing really changed between us though.

It was horrible weather at 4:45am, the rain lashing down, still dark, barely see a thing! After that we headed to Phil Crossan’s house to pick him up, he had just as much stuff if not more, we managed though, we piled it all on the back seat and buried Maskell. We then set off for Leeds around 5:10am, still dark, the rain poured heavier as I bombed it down the motorway, it was an experience I wouldn’t like to repeat in that car as I couldn’t see behind me so I didn’t know if I had a car up my arse and I couldn’t see out of my blind spots so I couldn’t see if their was any traffic when I tried to switch lanes, all I had were my wing mirrors and in the weather, they weren’t that helpful.

But we made it there alive, the sun had started to come up so at least we could see, we grabbed beer and the 9 man tent and headed for the entrance, instantly muddy so I switched to the boots I’d brought along. We’d got our wristbands, headed towards the Green Camp where we camped last year, it’s a good area to be in because it’s not too far from the music and far away enough from the carnage that’s bound to ensue Sunday night. (Tent burning…)

The others arrived a little later after we had already erected the beast of a tent, once the others arrived we then headed back to the car to bring the other stuff, I definitely brought too much stuff, it almost felt like I was going to die in the middle of a field, but I powered through and got my stuff there, collapsed and had a beer.

After a few hours everyone had built their tents and we had our own little community going! It was epic. The rest of that day was basically spent drinking and smoking, walking around the main area to see what the crack was, went to the smoking bar and there was a band playing, by this point the sun had started to come out so we were in a pretty good mood. The band that were playing, Sandboy was pretty awesome. I’d definitely be on the look out for more of their material.

We had a walk around a bit more, then went back to the camp site later on in the evening, we chilled out and drank more beer, which was pretty much the theme for this weekend. It got to about 2am Friday morning and I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to go to bed, it was a valiant effort but I couldn’t make it 48 hours of being awake, I only lasted a mere 44 hours. As soon as my head hit that pillow I was gone.

FRIDAY

Woke up around 11:30am, so I had a good sleep but I felt like shit, my eyes were aching aswell, probably because I was awake for 44 hours straight. My mate Jake had printed out a time sheet from home with what time the acts were on, we were all looking forward to seeing comedian Tim Minchin, although when I bought an official lanyard it proved Jake’s listed to be nothing more than made up rubbish.

“What time’s Tim Minchin on?”

“Quarter past 4.”

“Oh right cool.”

“Yeah, quarter past 4 tomorrow. Your list is going in the fire.”

And so I threw Jake’s list in the fire where it belonged. The sun came out Thursday but it was definitely having a day off today as we got absolutely soaked, the water proof coat I had turned out not to be water proof, not only that but the 9 man water proof tent four of us were sleeping in also turned out not to be quite so water proof as later in the day after a heavy bout of rain, soaked all of our stuff, including my sleeping bag!

Not a big problem, as only the pods were drenched, the middle part where all my electrics were managed to survive.

I think the first lot of acts I saw were all in the Alternative Stage (comedy tent) where I saw comedians Tom Wrigglesworth, Rob Rouse and Lee Nelson, pretty much went in there so we could have a sit down. The first band I saw wasn’t until 5:30pm when we saw Panic! At The Disco, if you’ve never heard these guys you need to check them out! After then I caught the last part of Interpol at the main stage, Elbow at the main stage then stayed there for the headline act and my favourite band, Muse.

Didn’t really like the fact that Muse were on Friday because it was the band I was looking forward to the most and I thought if they played Sunday it would have been a perfect end to the weekend. Regardless though, they were as expected, AWESOME.

Played most of their well known tracks and even a few new ones I haven’t yet heard, the performance was easily the best of the weekend and the weekend had only just begun! But it set a precedent that no one else could follow. Afterwards we were treated to a nice fireworks display and that was Friday’s music over with.

Despite the fact that it was raining and my feet were killing because I’d been stood up all day, it didn’t matter because I’ve just seen the band I can’t stop listening to when I’m in the car or at home.

After then we pretty much went back to the tent, with all of our stuff wet, Crossan slept in my car for the night, Maskell slept in a dry bit of the tent, my mate Gregg who was sharing a pod with me slept in my mate Jake’s tent and I slept with Alex and his woman Stacey for the night. We had back up tents but no way were we setting them up at that sort of time. I remember Friday being pretty much of a blur, it was like I was a different person in Leeds, I smoked weed, snorted poppers, destroyed a lot of beer, what didn’t go in my mouth went in my nose. It was an immense night. I don’t even remember what time I went to sleep that night either!

My one regret about Friday is missing a band called Floggy Molly in the NME Stage, but they were on at the same time as Muse, so they had no chance.

SATURDAY

Saturday I particularly looked forward to as most of the bands that were on that day at the main stage were pretty awesome. After brushing my teeth with beer, then having a sandwich and a beer, we set off earlier than we had done before to see some actual music!

The first band we saw were New Found Glory, I’ve heard a bit of their stuff but not really a massive fan, but we watched them anyway because they were there, we then headed to the Alternative Stage to see the act before Tim Minchin so we could at least get a good spot to see him, fortunately everyone stood up so there was eventually some room to see.

Tim Minchin is one of my favourite comedians, he’s pretty well known in Australia (being that he’s Australian) and the UK (seeing as he lives here), I’m not sure about the US though, check him out on YouTube, he’s a very funny guy! It’s not just comedy either, it’s musical comedy and is extremely sick on the piano.

After then we got some food and more beer, it was around this time that Alex’s girlfriend Stacey lost her purse, which certainly put a dampener on her weekend, she had previously bought some hand bag which seemed to disintegrate as soon as she bought it, not long after that she lost said purse, which only had £20 in there but it’s a pain in the arse as she now had to cancel her cards and then apply for a new provisional driving license when she got home.

She sulked for awhile, but hey, if I lost my wallet I’d be sulking all weekend! I then went to go and meet up with others to go and see The Offspring, I only knew really of their most popular songs but they were absolutely awesome live and I’m glad I finally got to go and see them. It was around this time last year I was watching Limp Bizket, another band I’d been wanting to see.

I hung around the main stage after they had finished to see another favourite band of mine, 30 Seconds To Mars, they were the other band I was looking forward to seeing this weekend, My Chemical Romance had cut their set short by 30 minutes starting at 9:30pm rather than 9pm so that 30 Seconds to Mars could have more time. The two bands being good friends (apparently). When they started off it seemed like the crowd was a bit dead, but Jared Leto said he wasn’t going anywhere until he made every single one of us cheer and props to the man, he did. By the time he was finished everyone was into it!

There was one point where he stopped to point out some fan in the front row who wasn’t cheering?!

“What the fuck are you doing mother fucker? You’re in the front row and you’re not cheering? Get the fuck on the stage now!”

And that’s what happened, that fan got on the stage for that song and danced with Leto! Absolutely jealous, I’m not gay but even I’d do nasty things to that man! He finished the set with Kings and Queens and pulled around a 100 fans on stage to sing with him, I was no where near the front so I didn’t get a look in but I could imagine how amazing it must of been.

Once 30 Seconds To Mars finished My Chemical Romance were next, I’m not the biggest MCR fan, but I do like them, they turned out to be better than 30 Seconds to Mars performance wise although the firework show certainly helped, it gave them something big to build up to. If I had my way I’d have put 30 Seconds as headliners with MCR supporting them but whatever, it was still a good night and I thoroughly enjoyed the music.

We made our way back to the tent, my feet, yet again raging with agony, we had taken down the 9 man tent and put up two three man tents, I say we, they put up the two tents, I stood by supervising while drinking.

I didn’t do much apart from rest by the fire with everyone else again, until around 4am then headed to bed.

SUNDAY

The last day of music was upon us, Sunday was pretty good because as Saturday drew to a close so did the rain, so everything was starting to dry, not dry enough to wear trainers but dry enough that we didn’t need water proofed clothing. I was pretty much in a “I’ll go anywhere” mood as I had already seen the bands I wanted to see. The only band I was interested in seeing on Sunday were Jane’s Addiction but for some unknown reason they pulled out at the last second.

I spent most of the day with Alex as we hadn’t really hung out all weekend, most of us split off into groups and did our own thing, the only thing that annoyed me about Alex is that he missed 30 Seconds To Mars and MCR and other bands you wouldn’t normally see to see unsigned bands, bands you could spent about £10 to see anytime in England, no one comes to go and see them, it’s about the big bands surely! But whatever, so long as you have a good time I suppose.

The first artist we saw was Seasick Steve, I’ve seen him on chat shows and heard a few of his songs but not really seen much of him apart from that, he was damn good live and his musical instruments are awesome.

We then headed into the crowd once he had finished to see a band called Two Door Cinema Club, I can’t really remember much about this band, I spent most of the time lifting people up onto my shoulders, then a few of us were lifting random people on to our shoulders. There was a great moment when about ten of us hoisted this random guy up in the air, all holding his feet and legs, keeping him steady so it looked like he was standing on the crowd. Then my favourite moment of the weekend when seven people all lifted me up in the air, as you can probably tell I’m no small guy, so this was an awesome experience! I even got my man tits out!!

After Two Door Cinema Club were English legends, Madness which we all actually went mad for, it was great seeing these guys in person, still kicking in their older years.

During all this there were a few comedy acts that I wanted to watch but I totally forgot all about them as I was having fun in the sun for the first time in the weekend.

We then went off for something to eat, had a walk around, caused some trouble, Sunday was Mexican Wrestling mask day and apparently I looked well scary with it on especially with my deep voice which I acquired through three days of shouting. People trying to push their way in the queue at the bar, one guy I just punched in the side of the head and threw him to the floor, expecting a fight, he stood back up and walked to a different bar.

Me scary, aggh.

As the night approached, I did want to see Jane’s Addiction but as I said they had cancelled last minute, so I ended up watching The Strokes and then Pulp, Pulp was always one of those bands that I know of but haven’t really taken an interest of, but Jarvis Cocker was pretty ace in living colour. Unfortunately he had no fireworks display, but whatever, after the bands had finished for the weekend, we went off to drink more.

There was a bit where Alex poured beer over my head so I threw my cider in his face. Apparently it went in his eyes, he wasn’t bothered but his girlfriend Stacey got all arsey, poking her nose where it doesn’t belong, she started yelling at me and considering I was the one that was trying to cheer the mardy traat up all weekend, I took exception to it, I yelled at her back and told her to shut the fuck up and mind her business, all she’s done all weekend is fucking moan I said. Feeling myself about to lose it I decided to walk away from the area and head back to the tent, my feet were aching anyway.

MONDAY

Headed to bed around 4am Monday morning, probably fell asleep around 5am, then at 8am I get:

Gregg: “Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete… Pete…”

Me: “WHAT!?”

Gregg: “Oh good you are awake then, I’m about to put the tent away.”

Me: “You’re fucking having a laugh.”

I refused to move as I had three hours fucking sleep, so he took apart the tent around me and left me in the inside part! I stayed there for another hour then I eventually crawled out.

Maskell had already done a trip to my car putting all of his stuff there so he could help with carrying mine and Phil’s stuff too. The weekend had surely gone far too quickly, I absolutely reeked of smoke from the camp fire, I was covered in face paint, body paint, fake blood and god knows what else.

Not only did I need a long shower but I needed a fucking poo as I actually managed not to go for four entire days. Last year it took around an hour to get out of the car park but this year it just didn’t seem as busy, Sunday night was pretty uneventful, probably the most uneventful it had ever been, there were no tents being thrown on a massive fire or anything of the sort of stuff we got last year, everyone just seemed to be disinterested, maybe it was the weather we had all weekend?

It was a lot quicker getting out of the car park this year too, not only that but the camp sites just didn’t seem as busy this year which was strange as the line-up was a lot better this year than the previous.

After I dropped Maskell off back home, then Crossan, I knew I wouldn’t make it home without crapping myself. So then I drove to my brothers house, bashed him out of the way without saying anything and occupied his toilet for the next 40 minutes. The rest of the day was pretty much rest apart from when I had to go and try on my suit for his wedding this coming Saturday!

All in all there were parts of this year better than the last, the best thing about last year was definitely the weather, if we had last years weather with this year, it would have been the greatest weekend of my life. But hey, there’s always Leeds 2012!

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Author: 'Ard Pete

Hey everyone, my names Pete, friends call me 'Ard Pete because... well, I'm well 'Ard. Currently in Chesterfield, England, currently working as an I.T. Technical Lead for BT Business and Public Sector; it sounds more glamourous than it is but I'm a dab hand with Microsoft products. I enjoy television, mainly any Star Trek, all of Stargate, Lost, anything Joss Whedon has produced, 24 and House. Favourite music includes; Mumford and Sons, Jason Mraz, Eminem, Chris Cornell, Ludovico Einaudi, Goo Goo Dolls, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars basically a wide variety of anything that's real, I hate dance, trance and anything like that, I don't consider that to be music. Not much of a sports guy, I like Professional Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, I can watch Football but only when I'm forced to watch it. Favourite author is Terry Pratchett, favourite film is Armageddon, favourite comedian is Lee Evans, favourite idiot is Karl Pilkington, favourite game is GTAIII, if there's anything else you wish to know, don't hesitate to ask. I'll more than likely not be busy.

12 thoughts on “Leeds Festival 2011”

  1. Hey dude, I came across your blog through my love of MCR. Were they brilliant? I still haven’t seen them live but have always wanted to.

    It sounds like you had a pretty good time at Leeds, ever considered Glasto?

    I’ve been to Glasto with a large group of mates before and found it quite tough – everyone wants to do their own thing and as you mentioned some people go and see bands that you could pay £10 to see. My opinion is that if you love a band and they’re playing at a festival, the whole experience of it makes it worth seeing them there instead of at a normal gig theyd do. Its not everyday you could walk around with a Wrestling Mask – or maybe it is for you?? 😀

    Mark.

    1. Yeah mate they were awesome, if I wasn’t such a Muse fan they’d probably be the best band of the weekend but because I enjoy Muse’s stuff more, they were definitely a close second.

      I have considered Glasto, think we were on about doing that next year, if you love a band by all means go and see them, my friends were seeing bands that they’d barely heard of though, as long as you enjoy yourself though I suppose it’s all worth it in the end.

      1. Yeah I’ve got to admit – I love Muse too. Great music tastes 😀

        True. I feel a bit bad for your girl mate losing her phone and purse – harsh times! Even if you did fall out – always a shit day when you lose something like that. Did no one hand them in?

        Mark.

        1. Agreed, I’d be gutted if I lost either, although I left my expensive phone at home. No one handed them in no, although not surprising as it was a pool of mud, I doubt anyone found them to hand in.

  2. Do you mean Flogging Molly instead of Floggy Molly? Would be a good trick by a new band to trick people into seeing them.

    Seems like you had quite the adventure. I could never do one of these festivals. I would feel too sweaty after an hour and want to murder whoever I’m there with.

    1. Lol! Yeah, I was obviously still recovering when I wrote that 😀

      The worst things are the toilets, seriously, adding to a pyramid of shit is not one of my better moments, that’s why I didn’t go for four days last year, however I fear that I may have to make the sacrifice this year. I don’t remember feeling sweaty last year, probably due to the excessive rain, and it looks like it’s going to be the same again this year too!

  3. Why is Leeds Fest SOOOO Muddy every year? That’s the reason I would never go. But still, it sounds like my middle school/ high school dream bands were there! New Found Glory, Panic!, etc..Fun stuff! I really like Madness too. That would have been super fun.
    I think one of my friends went to Leeds Fest and she said by the 3rd day, she was crying in her tent because she was so exhausted. Haha Good for you for going and toughing it out!

    1. The first time I went in 2010, it was so sunny every day then last year it was constant rain, then when it stopped the mud began to dry up and you have to put extra effort into every step or the ground swallows you, the thought of self foot massage kept me going though.

      Exhaustion hah! I was awake 44 hours straight last year, slept a few then back on it. Some people just aren’t ‘Ard enough.

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