Video: 2013 Leeds Festival’s mud, sweat and beers!

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This year’s Leeds Festival got off to a somewhat predictably soggy start as tens of thousands of music fans headed to Bramham Park.

Heavy rain overnight had left parts of the site flooded, even causing the music on the Thursday night to be cut short as thunder and lightning rumbled above.

PIC: Mark Bickerdike

PIC: Mark Bickerdike

Torrential downpours began around 9pm on Thursday, causing organisers to close the Dance to the Radio Stage early, meaning Manchester band Dutch Uncles were unable to play their headline set.

The band tweeted afterwards: “Words can not describe how gutted we are to have been cancelled tonight.”

The rain also saw parts of the backstage area flooded and much of the main arena damp under foot, with the traditional festival mud making an appearance early on.

However, Leeds Festival-goers are made of hardier stuff and a bit of rain and mud was not going to stop any of the 80,000 crowd having a good time.

Early on yesterday large queues formed outside the nearby Tesco supermarket at Seacroft, where helpful staff washed down the muddy wellington boots of music fans before they came into the store to stock up on beer and food.

And the music properly got under way across a whole host of stages from lunchtime onwards, headlined by Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro.

Among those enjoying themselves was Neil James, 29, from Horsforth, who was attending the festival for the fifth year in a row.

He said: “The weather on the Thursday night was biblical. The campsite seemed to escape the worst of the rain but I hear some other areas weren’t so lucky. It’s not the Leeds Festival without rain.”

Among those playing on Friday was Leeds-based Hawk Eyes, fresh from supporting American metal band System of a Down – who play the Main Stage today – on their recent European stadium tour.

Elsewhere, fellow Leeds-band Hadouken! played to a cast of thousands on the Main Stage at 2pm with frontman James Smith name-checking local venues The Faversham and The Cockpit during their set.


The music continues on Saturday at Bramham Park with American punk rock act Green Day to headline the Main Stage, supported by fellow Americans System of a Down.

Green Day, who headlined the festival back in 2004, will close the Main Stage while UK dubstep DJ and producer Skrillex will headline the NME/BBC Radio One stage.

Other acts set to appear today include Peace, Dry the River, Frank Turner and Frightened Rabbit.

Sunday sees US hiphop star Eminem headline, as well as UK indie band Foals and British rap artist Ghostpoet perform.

Jonathan Wilson

Gig review: Jonathan Wilson at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds