Red Hot Chili Peppers sizzle in Leeds Festival finale

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American rock idols Red Hot Chili Peppers certainly know how to turn up the heat.

Universally speaking, the thick swathes of mud didn’t manage to dampen the spirits of Leeds Festival fans.

But the Californication rockers managed to bring the celebrations to a red hot finale for the event which attracted 85,000 music fans.

Since it was first staged in 1999, the Leeds Festival has become a showcase for some of the biggest musical acts in the world.

But the man who has masterminded this year’s festival has maintained he remains committed to ensuring that Yorkshire’s emerging talent remains at the heart of future events.

Festival boss Melvin Benn said: “Yorkshire bands are always getting favoured status. And that’s really important to me.

Red Hot Chili Peppers on the main stage. PIC: Mark Bickerdike

Red Hot Chili Peppers on the main stage. PIC: Mark Bickerdike

“It was important to me from the very first day that I created the Leeds Festival.

“At that time Leeds was a smaller music market and people wondered whether it would work and whether there was room for a proper music festival in Yorkshire.

“Maybe because of my Yorkshire bias, I wouldn’t hear anything against it.

“I was certain we needed to give local bands an opportunity.

“For me it’s been a joy and it’s worked and there are plenty of bands that have had that first start here at Leeds or Reading.”

This year’s festival featured hugely popular acts such as Biffy Clyro, Fall Out Boy, Foals and Disclosure.

But it underlined its burgeoning reputation as a springboard for new emerging talent from the region by showcasing lesser-known bands including The Wired, Fighting Caravans, Faux Pas, Liberty Ship and The Sherlocks. And Leeds band Dusk – Nathan Francey, 21, Holly Matthews, 21, and Dominic Reed, 22 – played the BBC Introducing stage.

Holly said: “It was such an amazing experience, with so many people coming who we didn’t know, as well as a lot of familiar faces.

“To have played Reading and then here, it was so nice to be home.”

Mr Benn, who is the managing director of Festival Republic, claimed that about five per cent of the bands who appeared at the weekend’s event were from the Yorkshire region.

He added: “There’s no reason for that not to increase. It’s not difficult to find them, there’s so much talent out there.

“If that figure gets up to 10 per cent I’d be delighted because the people of Yorkshire really respond to local bands here.”

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