Friday at Leeds Festival 2016

2 Sept 2016

I have loved Reading & Leeds Festival since I first went way back in 2009, and I probably always will. I won't lie, I did think the line up was pretty poor this year in comparison to others, but I desperately wanted to go on the Friday, so I could see Raleigh Ritchie, Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro. So you can imagine how excited I was when I received Friday tickets for my birthday! The last time I had been was 2012, so I almost had a little cry about it!

Originally, Reading & Leeds were rock festivals, but they have branched out a little more over the years, and now a lot of dance and rap acts play there. It really is a mixed bag of genres, so there is usually at least one act that people would go to see. I've only been to Reading Festival once, but I just can't imagine that anything will beat the atmosphere of Leeds. I don't whether it's because it's up North or what, the vibe of the whole place just feels so electric to me.
So J and I left the house at about 8:45, and we arrived at the site at around 10ish. Every time I saw a sign that pointed us to the festival, I would let out a little squeal. I actually J was getting pretty annoyed at how excited I was, spoil sport. As we pulled up, I was thanking my lucky stars that I'd bought wellies a couple of days earlier. Because of the rain the day before, the ground was so churned up and muddy, and I just couldn't believe that there were people walking around in trainers and Converse. Each to their own! We didn't realise that the gates didn't open til 11, so we ended up having to stand in a queue for over an hour. This wasn't so bad, as the weather was absolutely glorious. I totally forgot to pack any suncream, so I ended up catching the sun quite a lot on my chest and nose.

Once we were finally in, we headed straight through the campsite to the arena. I was so so glad that we didn't have weekend tickets, because the mud was like liquid in the campsite and a lot of tents had actually started to sink into it or collapse. It took us a little while to get to the arena, as I was terrified of falling over, so we had to waddle pretty much all the way there. I didn't fancy having a muddy bum for the entire day!
The first thing we did when we got inside the arena was look for food. Even though it was only just after 11 am, we were both so hungry, and during the journey, I'd said that if there were no churro stalls, I was going to be very disappointed. There wasn't just one churro stall... there were 3! So of course, they were the first things I ate. We got a cup of churros and a chocolate dip to share whilst we wandered the site to scope out what we'd like to do and where we'd like to go. They were so crispy and delicious, and the guy running the van had slathered them in cinnamon sugar, just how I like them.

As there weren't really any acts that we wanted to see until later on in the day, we dotted between tents and found dry patches of grass to sit on to soak up some rays. We were so lucky that the sun stayed out all day, and that it didn't rain. I can't even begin to think how awful the mud would've been if it rained! In this time, we also went to get some lunch. I went for a chicken fajita, that was absolutely loaded with peppers and guacamole. It was gorgeous! After much deliberation, J went for pizza, but was a bit disappointed as it wasn't that great. We also looked around the clothes stalls, and I got completely sucked into a vintage tent. At this tent, you could have any item for £15 or 2 for £20, and I discovered a genuine, vintage Levis denim jacket in my size. I want to start collecting patches and pins, and I just thought that it would've been perfect for attaching them to, but I couldn't see myself wearing it much (but now thinking about it, I probably wouldn't want to anyway). Honestly, I stood in that tent for so long, holding on to the jacket and talking myself in and out of buying it, but in the end, I left it behind. I still say to J now, "I wish I'd got that jacket," but hopefully I'll find one that cheap again another day!
We watched a little bit of Deaf Havana, State Champs, Coheed and Cambria, and Five Finger Death Punch, but the first act that we watched in full was Raleigh Ritchie (4:50pm, Radio 1xtra Stage). We are both such huge fans of his, so we were reeeeally excited to see him perform. Some of you may know Raleigh Ritchie as Greyworm from Game of Thrones. Did you know he does music? Now you do! Take a look at Stronger Than Ever. It's probably his most famous song, as it's been on a ton of adverts and Radio 1 played it a lot. He is probably one of my favourite live acts I've seen so far this year. The energy he has on stage is amazing, and the way he gets the audience going is seriously incredible. He would be smiling from ear to ear when the audience sang the words back to him, or cheered after a song finished, and you could just tell that he was having a great time. I was sad that his set was only half an hour long, but it was great from start to end.
We headed over to the main stage after Raleigh Ritchie, and we stayed there for the rest of the evening. We watched The Vaccines, who I loved when they brought their first album out, but I won't lie, I'm not a fan of the newer material. I was pleased that they played a lot of old songs, like Wetsuit and All In White, but I just wish they'd kept that same sound with their newer songs. I'm all for bands changing their image and style, but with The Vaccines, I just think that first album was their peak. But right after The Vaccines was the band that I was most excited about seeing, Fall Out Boy! I have been a shameless FOB fangirl since the age of about 13, and my love for them just never seems to die. I never get bored of their music, Their set was incredible, and so theatrical! There were aerialists, women with samurai swords, flamethrowers, and a whole host of pyrotechnics. It was so much fun to watch, and by the end of it, my throat was so sore from singing along.
By this time, it was getting quite late, so we went to go get something for tea. J opted for a bratwurst hot dog with lashings of onion and mustard, which I must admit, looked pretty darn delicious. But my tea definitely won overall, as I went for a large Yorkshire pudding filled with pulled beef, mashed potato, stuffing and gravy. It was soooo good, and the beef was absolutely on point. I felt as if I needed to do 1000 sit ups afterwards, but my gosh, it was bloody beautiful. We then headed back over to the main stage to catch Biffy Clyro, who J had been gagging to see. They were so powerful, and absolutely commanded the stage. I couldn't believe that they were that good live, and I fancy Simon Neil just that extra bit more now. We didn't stay right to the end of their set though, as J had to be up early the next day for work, so we missed a few of our favourites, sadly! We could hear them as we walked back to the car though, so we did have a little sing along.
I've never been to Leeds and not had a great time, and this trip was no exception. Despite the leg workout from walking in the mud, I had the best day and I wish that I could do it all again! I'm so excited to see next years line up, and who knows, if its really good, I might decide to do the whole weekend!

Did you go to any festivals this summer? Which would you liked to have gone to?

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