The U.K. festival scene is sadly coming to close for another year and what a summer it has been. One of the highlights of the year and falling on bank holiday weekend, Reading & Leeds is one of the most hyped up festivals on the circuit and rightly so. Whether you’re North or South you know you’re in for one of the best weekends of the year.
Basking is the glorious Leeds sun in the calm surroundings of Bramham Park, I pack away my tent for the weekend. Here’s what I got up to on Saturday at Leeds Festival.
Kicking things off in style were Brighton’s indie rock four-piece Black Honey. From tents to the main stage, this band have worked their way from bottom to top in an incredible way and it really showed when seeing the crowd they brought in at 1pm – kicking things off in the best possible way. From classics to being treated to their latest single Charlie Bronson bursting its way on to our speakers in early August getting the deserved stunning response it did.
From the sweating sun at the main stage to the sweaty pits of the tents – up next was one of the surprise packages of the day that saw me take in a new band – Witch Fever. Gracing the stage in one of my favourite places, The Festival Republic Stage. Looking at the bill for the day, there were several stand outs and Witch Fever were certainly one for me, having never seen them before and from what I heard it was a must see set.
You can never tell how an early afternoon set will go but the Mancunian’s brought the party to an incredible 30 minute set in a very busy tent. The crowd were engaged from the offset from dancing to moshing it was certainly a happy safe place to be.
Sticking with the Festival Republic Stage, up next was the unbelievable Scene Queen. Jetting in from Ohio, Hannah is known for her ‘Bimbocore’ style that’s a subgenre of metalcore with more feminist themes. She rose to fame through Tiktok gaining over 500,000 followings along with her debut E.P Bimbocore dropping in April this year.
This was certainly a highlight of the day bringing in one of the biggest crowds to the tent – its a set that had some surprises. I love a mosh pit as much as the next person does, but Scene Queen’s take on this really takes things to a brand new level – you’ve heard of a circle pit, now we have a twerkle pit – the clue is literally in the name and something insane I’ve never seen before. We were treated to brand new single dropped the day before the festival, Barbie & Ken – a proper violent and vibrant take on the iconic relationship between dolls.
Indie hero’s Circa Waves were next to take to the stage over on the Main Stage West – no strangers to a festival bill you know for certain you’re in for a fun and active set from the Liverpool outfit. Kicking off proceedings with the massive Wake Up with an intro that’s made to set the crowd into a frenzy.
An amazing set that saw a great mixture of the new and we can’t say old, they are more classics – from recent drops like Be Your Drug & Move to San Francisco to the songs from album one in Fossils and the ultimate festival anthem that was really fitting for the scorcher we had, closing a killer show with T-Shirt Weather that saw the inevitable chaos in the crowd and the multicolour of smoke come from the various smoke bombs on the go.
From indie kings to pop punk royalty – I take a hope over to Main Stage East where I caught All Time Low take the set of the day for me. The surprise intro to Dear Maria, Count Me In before jokingly saying ‘yeah we finish with that’ with a great kick into Lost in Stereo with explosive confetti start.
A truly wholesome set filled with bangers, pyro & comedy that really just perfectly sums up a classic ATL show. Songs from their most recent album Wake Up, Sunshine – Sleeping In and Some Kind of Disaster made their way on to what was a superbly chosen festival set – if you hadn’t seen the band before, this set was for you giving a mix of what they have to offer.
Minus guest vocals from Heather from Pale Waves, the band drop 2021 single PMA that was the perfect midway song before powering through the second half of the set with classics Weightless, Somthings Gotta Give and Dammed If I Do Ya (Dammed If I Don’t)
Covers are rare at festivals, but Alex and co changed the rules and gave us an insane cover of The Weekend’s Blinding Lights before closing off what was top show with Dear Maria Count Me In – no jokes here this time, it was sadly the end.
Back to the Festival Republic we go, Brighton pop punk outfit As It Is – bringing an extensive catalogue to a rammed tent, this was certainly where you needed to be. Nonstop sing-a-longs that had the neck hairs on end – opening with The Wounded World a real no nonsense start straight into Hey Rachel and then IDGAF. The biggest sing along of the night was a song that for myself and many others hits on a personal level – The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry) echo’s round the tent sang with great voice and feeling from fans alike.
I pretty much had residency in the Festival Republic stage – The Interrupters were next on the list bringing the fun to the festival – if you wanted a late night dance to a mixture of ska and punk this was the show for you. This really was one of the highlights of the day for the experience alone – the American 4 piece had it all, the feel good vibes in that tent just summed up what the band are all about and really closed off the day in the most amazing way.
There you have it, a day in the life of the Saturday at Leeds Festival – it’s really hard to cram in everything from one day dashing from stage to stage but really what an incredible day I had, from the people I met to the bands I seen – Leeds really is a special place even if it is just for one day.