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Heaven sent help for music fans at Leeds Festival

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A TEAM of volunteers will once again be on hand to watch over thousands of music lovers at next month’s Leeds Festival.

More than 100 Leeds Festival Angels will be at the three-day event at Bramham Park to offer help and assistance to revellers set to descend from August 22 to 24.

Last year the angels handed out sun cream and bottles of water to thirsty crowds when temperatures soared at the start of the festival weekend.

And when the rain came they provided spare sleeping bags and opened up an emergency tent so soaked festival goers could get some shelter.

This year the Festival Angels will be running a lost property tent, a prayer cafe as well as offering help and assistance to anyone who needs it.

Volunteers started helping at the festival in 2011 when event organiser Melvin Benn, of Festival Republic, offered a free pitch for a prayer tent.

The following year Rev Andy Nicholson, vicar of Thorner, Barwick-in Elmet and Scholes, took over managing the volunteers.

He came up with the Festival Angels name because he was impressed with the Street Angels’ work helping people in Leeds city centre on weekend nights.

Rev Nicholson, 45, said: “Last year there were a lot of drunk people and people who were worse for wear, but we are not there to judge people. We are there to be a listening ear.

“Being involved in Leeds Festival Angels is a very exciting part of what the church needs to be doing.

“We’re reaching out to young people and saying that the church is there for them.

“We care about them. That’s such an important message for us as Christians to put over.”

Rev Nicholson hasn’t ruled out watching the occasional band at this year’s event.

He said: “The people I saw last year and really liked were Alt-J and Imagine Dragons.

“The Arctic Monkeys is probably the band I’m most looking forward to this year.”

For more information, visit www.leedsfestivalangels.org.uk or follow Festival Angels on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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