History – Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival


The birth of Leeds Festival originated from the National Jazz Festival, which was cooked up by Harold Pendleton in 1961. In 1971 Reading Festival came to fruition. John Vincent Power founded the Mean Fiddler Group, which is now named Festival Republic; the UK music promoter took control of the Reading Festival back in the late 80s. Leeds Festival is now run as a sister festival alongside the Reading Festival, sharing the same line up on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend.

Leeds Festival is essentially an expansion of Reading; in 1999 the first Leeds event began at Temple Newsham. Popularity of outdoor festivals surged in the 90s and the Reading event was selling out faster every year, Leeds was a necessity to stop lots of people from missing out. Predominantly known as a rock festival, the emergence of the Leeds site made room for more indie artists. Hip-hop made a massive appearance at the event during its popularity in the early noughties. During 1998 – 2007 both events were known as the Carling Weekend: Reading and the Carling Weekend: Leeds, the name was abolished in 2007.

If you’re heading to Leeds Festival this August Bank Holiday at Bramham Park, you will have the choice of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The 1975, Chvrches, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and many more. You can expect more than just live music, a cinema tent that plays films throughout the night is pre scheduled so you can decide from the programme what films you want to see. The silent disco is popular and infamous, Leeds also has a 5 a side football match on every day, which you can be a part of if you register. A tradition known as bottling off has become quite popular. If the crowd doesn’t like a performance or the line up is not to their taste they will throw bottles – sometimes empty, sometimes full. Leeds tends to leak extra surprises to the festivalgoers; it isn’t usual for big name acts to appear on smaller stages under different names. In 2007 The Kaiser Chiefs appeared in the Carling Tent at Leeds using the name Hooks for Hands.

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