LaL is just round the corner now – and we’re going to focus on the most important part – getting the most out of the fest. There are scores of great bands and local talent to check out, but the important thing is tying it all together. Here are our tips for what will prove a very eventful day.
Nothing too mad and detailed here, we don’t need to cook up a Von Schlieffen style agenda for venue hopping. But you will need to think ahead. The great thing about Leeds is that you can walk across the city centre in half an hour. However the venues supporting Live at Leeds are spread out over a wide area. You’ll need to consider who you want to see and when you’ll have to leave to get there.
It’s all well and good leaving the O2 to catch a band at Leeds Beckett – but if you want to see someone out at the Brudenell, or onw of the bars near Lower Briggate, then you’ll need to tee it up. Music festivals may be all about free love, free expression, and moderately priced drinks deals, but a bit of planning never hurt anybody.
Know Your Venue
There is a dizzying array of venues participating in Live at Leeds, from 1,000 cap performance spaces to cramped bars. Here are just a few that you ought to be aware of:
The Brudenell Social Club (33 Queen’s Rd, Leeds LS6 1NY)
The touring circuit would not be complete without it. Dingy as it is, the Brude is an institution and a fantastic performance space. Also a bit of a hike, so give yourself plenty of time.
Hosting: Mini Mansions, Easy life
The Wardrobe (St. Peter’s Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS9 8AH)
Not as poky as suggested, The Wardrobe is hugely popular with local bands. It will host two stages: the performance space downstairs and an acoustic stage in the bar.
Hosting: VANT, Swim Deep
O2 Academy Leeds (55 Cookridge St, Leeds LS2 3AW)
Every city has one so fittingly identikit, however they easily have the best sound set-up. Generally one of the busiest venues due to it’s prominence on the gig circuit.
Hosting: Sam Fender, Sundara Karma
Church / Chapel (177-179 Woodhouse Ln, Leeds LS2 3AR
Two venues sat atop each other in a converted church which used to be a grimy student night. Good location near the Uni stages and O2.
Hosting: Cassia, Seafret
Head For Supplies
Remember to eat and drink – no one wants to die of exposure at a Sherlocks gig. There are loads of options throughout the day with many vendors directly in or in conjunction with gig spaces. The Pizza Bus at the Brude is a good shout, as are the eateries in the Leeds University Union. However several headliners are playing here so expect a rush on food. Trinity Kitchen is right in the city centre and close to Trinity Church, Headrow House and Belgrave.
See It All
This really is an all-day fest. The first performers take the stage at 12:00am with the first headliner at just 5.00 (Sam Fender). The last performance is Easy Life at 11:15pm (Brudenell). Then there is the after party at The Wardrobe. If you want to get the full experience, you’ll need to be gigging for twelve hours straight.
But that’s easy, because you have a plan, right?