Category Archives: Festivals

Live at Leeds

Friday 4th May. May 4th on Friday. The 4th of May which is a Friday. Either way you look at it, its the same thing, and its going to happen. To many people it will mean nothing, to others like me, it is the day us third years have been waiting for, for coming up to three years. It is the day we hand in what has been the parasite that has eaten away at our sanity second after second, simmering at the back of your mind, and laughing in a shadowy corner rubbing its dirt filled hands together in glee. This is the day we are reunited with our freedom, with our social lives, and our loved ones. But it will also be a day in which many students in Leeds will unite to create a crowd of thrill thirsty children ready to suck at the nipples of Leeds excitement again. Dozens of students will be gasping for air after successfully surviving the tidal wave of deadlines, and what will be there on the shoreline to rescue us? The 4th of May happens to be the start of Live at Leeds, only the best music event to scatter its life all over the best venues of Leeds; Big or small, Dark or light, dingy or up class, its going to be massive…


For just 20 flipping pound you bag a wristband that grants you access to a host of gigs with some great names in music, such as Marina and The Diamonds, The Enemy, Ghostpoet, Ladyhawke, The Subways and many more, with a long list of up and coming bands ready to get you dancing all your stresses away.

Live at Leeds is an annual music event stretching over the first bank holiday weekend every May, in which not only opens the door for budding musicians and bands, but also ensures that those of us with music addictions, or just in search of a celebratory blowout to wave goodbye to University work, fulfill every musical need to have you regenerated in no time.

Look at all this talent!


To kick off this amazing weekend Live at Leeds is holding what is referred to as The Unconference on Friday 4th May, this gives practical advice on how to enter the music industry with information provided from a host of experienced professionals ready to give you all the advice you like!


Whats more, if you fancy a good kick-about the 5- a- side tournament returns to Goals on Kirkstall Road.

For any information on tickets, or to dip you feelers further into this amazing weekend of musical fulfillment click on this link to be taken straight to the Live at Leeds website.


For only a twenty note, this is one hell of a bargain!


Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.



Leeds Fest 2012 Anyone?

So it’s that time of year again, where every breath I take is a gasp of anticipation at the question of whether or not I can afford to be part of the underlying culture in which binds all students, and music enthusiasts in Leeds into a compound of ecstatic zombies hungry for body tingling beats. You can almost hear the subject vibrating in your ears, echoing through the library corridoors, and student residences, smell the moisture of mud in the air, living in fear at the thought of millions of wellies and bare bodies sliding through pools of its produce to the hypnotising sounds simmering in the humid stench of sweat and alcohol. Many a student spends their nights tossing and turning, trying to persuade the fear of not being able to afford a ticket to this event to return to the back of their minds, shivering in worry, and the subject of this highly contemplated fire of ear kissing sparks threatening to distract one from their studies.

The event to which I am referring to is of course none other than Leeds Festival, of which is returning for another year of eclectic fascination and one hell of a big hat full of tricks prepared to blow the socks well and truly off it’s willing followers.


Each year this festival offers headliners that fulfil’s the impossible, and out does the previous years selection of amazing talents. When I first stumbled across the poster for 2012’s offering, I almost frothed at the mouth in eagerness, who could ask for more than a weekend spent in the same company as The Foo Fighters, Katy B, Metronomy, The Cure, Paramore, Kasabian, and many more? I know I couldn’t.

Seven stages providing the satisfaction of your musical thirst once, twice, three, ten times over, and one massive reason to let all of your beautiful hair down and let the cold shivers of fascination rush all over your body. This event is not exclusive to Leeds lovers, the people at Leeds Fest welcomes everyone with open arms, in the mutual appreciation of great music.

Aswel as pulse raising music, Leeds festival also offers football tournaments, a cinema tent, bars, late night entertainment, food stalls, a pharmacy, toilets and showers, and many more facilities, even a Pink Moon camping package- for all those Glampers out there!

If you thought Leeds Festival 2011 couldn’t be beaten, you really need to check it out this year, it is going to be massive. Best start saving for this ticket then…

Tickets are available now from;

Selected HMV stores.

Online on; SeeTickets, Gigantic, LMDC, National Express,,,  Stargreen, Ticket Factory, Ticketline, Ticketmaster, Tickets Scotland.

And in person in selected music stores in primarily Sheffield and Leeds.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.

Beach Break Live 2012

So it’s nearly that time of year again, festival season. Well… maybe not quite but line-ups are being released and in this cold weather what better way to look forward to the summer than by looking at festivals. Beach Break Live is the UK’s Student Festival held in Pembrey Country Park, South Wales between 14th and 18th June 2012. More details can be found on the website  but here is an overview of Beach Break Live 2012…


First off, the main reason people go to a festival, the music. 2012’s headline acts are Chase and Status, Dizzee Rascal and Friendly Fires. Other artists include Nero, Maverick Sabre, Labrinth, Ben Howard, Wretch32, Delilah and Ghost Poet to name but a few. Having seen Dizzee Rascal at a festival in the past, I can safely say that he will not disappoint and is brilliant live. With their growing success in 2011 and 2012 the other artists will provide a varied and entertaining line-up.


Beach Break Live is, as indicated in the name, set on an 8 mile stretch of beautiful sandy beaches ready to party on and situated just in front of 500 acres of woodland behind the dunes. In 2012 Lonely Planet has voted the region where Pembrey Country Park is set as ‘Best Region in the World’. In terms of getting there Beach Break have made it very easy, they provide national express coaches from many universities which you can book when you book your ticket. Alternatively there is also a shuttle bus which operates from the nearest train station to the festival so if you prefer you can just get the train there.


Like most other festivals Beach Break offers lots of alternative activities other than just music. There is a Roller Disco, Zumba classes, learn to beatbox, Burlesque dancing and workshops, extreme games and even inter-mural university extreme sports. From March you can sign up teams to play football, beach volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, touch rugby and beach cricket if you can muster the energy!

So, what better way to begin the summer than chilling out on a beach, listening to some big acts, whilst having fun with thousands of other students. Beach Break only costs £109 plus booking fee for the whole weekend and camping, great value for a festival. Most universities also have reps who can offer ‘mates rates’. At the University of Exeter RAG are selling tickets for a lower price directly. Even if festivals aren’t really your thing Beach Break has lots of other things to offer, including a hot tub which overlooks the incredible coastal views. What more of an incentive could you really want…

Manchester’s infamous Warehouse Project


Warehouse Project (or WHP as it is affectionately known), is an renowned Manchester hotspot, hosting gigs from some of the biggest dubstep, grime and electro artists, like Skrillex, Jamie XX and Aphex twin. Ever since my first year of uni, it was the place to go. So by the time it got to my third (and final) year, I had to give it a go.

The first (and very important) rule of WHP is to get your tickets early. Most of the big nights will sell out fast, so you need to get on it. After this point, there’s always going to be tickets floating about – as long as you’re willing to pay extortionate prices buying from cash-strapped students. Most WHP tickets are around twenty quid, and let me tell you, it is more than worth it.

At the time of my arrival, WHP was located, quite literally, in a Warehouse on Store Street. Who’d have thought? Raving below the streets of Manchester is rather different to any other clubbing experience. The venue is pretty massive, and very raw. If you’re all about the leather upholstery and swanky VIP booths, this is definitely not the place for you.

The same goes for the people inside. This is no 5-inch heel wearing, booty-shaking crowd. It’s more along the lines of sweaty, shirtless guys and girls, quite literally letting their hair down.  Unlike many of Manchester’s clubs, WHP has no time for pouting and posing. It is, quite simply, a place to let go. An atmosphere of euphoria buzzes through the air, with a bassline that is deafening in the best possible way.

This is a BIG night, and as awesome as it is, chances are it’s going to knock you out for a couple of days. Not a good choice for the night before a lecture/any event requiring any level of brain function.

After my first visit to WHP, I was hooked, and have now raved to the like the likes of Knife Party, Subfocus, True Tiger and Benga. However, last year, organizers announced that WHP would be changing locations, causing a flurry of panic that our beloved Warehouse would shuffle of to London. But despite our fears, WHP is staying in Manchester, in a currently undisclosed location. It is set to return in September of this year, although a special one-off Easter night will unveil the new location.

If you’re prepared to let down those civilized, sane-person barriers, get a bit sweaty, dance like a crazy and maybe snog a randomer, then Warehouse Project is the definitely the one for you.

Easter Sunday tickets here –

Written by Sarah Davis, Manchester Uni

Exeter Safer Sex Ball

The time of year has come again, the leaves are falling from the trees, permanent drizzle surrounds us and SSB fever has once again hit Exeter. So, the Safer Sex Ball is probably Exeter University’s biggest legend. In case you don’t know what it is or what all the fuss is about here are the basics:

–          8th December 2011

–          4,000 students ALL dressed in as little as possible (and I mean AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE)

–          One HUGE venue- Westpoint Arena

–          Performances from some big names (still to be announced) and the University’s Dance and Pole Dancing societies.

In my first year by the end of Freshers’ week we all knew what the SSB was and were determined to go. The queuing began OUTSIDE in freezing cold November at 2am, and we only just got tickets, people arriving at 2.30am missed out (after queuing for 7 hours)! That is how popular the Safer Sex Ball is, luckily they changed the system and as of last year you now purchase tickets online through the university website. The ball might be a little pricy (£40 a ticket this year with £1.50 booking fee) but from my experiences of the last two years it is definitely worth the money. In Exeter there aren’t many opportunities to go to balls, and especially not in your underwear so even if you go just for this reason, it will be worth it.

The SSB has been voted in FHM’s Top 100 things to do before you die.  I can assure you there is no other student event like it. Although it is a brilliant time to meet members of the opposite sex (if you know what I mean), there is also a really great cause behind it. Not only does the SSB raise awareness of HIV but proceeds go to the Eddystone Trust, a Devon-based HIV charity. You will be involved in an event which helps to raise £40,000 for charity, an incredible amount! Proceeds from the Safer Sex Ball will also go to Headway Devon, Refuge, Clic Sargent and World Child Cancer.

So the finer details… Tickets go on sale Thursday 10th November at 9am. Although if you miss out ask around as quite often people have tickets to sell nearer the time if they can’t go. The theme this year is Fantasia, the world of magic, myth and fairytale. Think Midsummer Night’s Dream, Little Red Riding Hood, or even the Three Little Pigs if you’re so inclined!

More up to date details about the event and the link to the ticket selling site can be found on the Facebook group here:

The legend of Leeds (and Reading) Festival

Perfectly procrastinating, I was engaging my ears in the lullabies of some aptly named unknown band and doing some research for this years dissertation. In truth, I was desperately trying to distract myself from the fact that at that exact time I should have been covered in mud, embracing the stranger next to me who had an apparently naturally instilled smell of booze, and gazing in adoration at the four men on the main stage in front of thousands of smelly dirty maniacs.

I should have been there

Unfortunately, my bank account did not agree with this wish and therefore I spent the weekend of  the 26th to the 28th of  August sulking in a tiny bubble of  frustration and feeling sorry for myself. However, a handful of my friends were lucky enough to afford this weekend with an endless list of talented, triumphant musical Gods, ready to hypnotise the crowds with the ammo of riffs, vocals, fireworks, and balloons sweeping over the blanket of mud. This year, acts such as Muse, My Chemical Romance, Pulp, Noah and The Whale and many more, braced the threatening clouds hovering over Leeds, and impressed the warmth of a tropical destination on to the crowds with their historical sets.

Muse at Leeds Fest.

But Leeds Fest 2011 was sooooo last year. We need to prepare ourselves for Leeds Fest 2012, we only have a year you know,and it will be even better than this years. So to help all you guys out there that are new to Leeds, or Leeds Festival, or just fancy getting a bit of homework on Leeds Festival, here’s a few short insights into the history and birth of Leeds Festival;

The Reading and Leeds Festival are annual festivals taking place on the weekend of the August bank holiday of every year. The Reading festival being held at Little Johns Farm on Richfield Avenue in central Reading, and the Leeds Fesival being held at Bramham park. both day tickets and camping tickets are available. The Reading festival being the oldest, not only of the two festivals, but the oldest popular music festival in existence. The Festivals are ran by Festival Republic, a UK music promoter founded in 1982 by Vince Power. The Reading festival originated from the National Jazz Festival with acts such as Hawkwind and Thin Lizzy blessing the crowds with their music. The Reading festival draws other inspiration from many American festivals, and at first changed names and destinations before becoming grounded at Reading.

Reading Festival in 1975

During the 1970’s a pattern of Heavy metal, blues and progressive Rock became evident within the Line-up of acts invited to play at the festival and therefore enticing a large amount of crowds. Large flocks scuttled their way to the festival with the experimentation of the festival introducing new Punk bands, sparking clashes between the different fans, this caused the change of line-up in the 1980’s to which the Punk bands were known to play on the opening days of the Festival weekends.

Highlighting the Festivals oozing ‘coolness’, when the festival attempted to channel a more commercially pop level of acts it resulted in Meatloaf being bottled offstage. In the following decade,  many Britpop acts such as Suede and Nirvana played to the crowds, earning a more acceptable label with the fans.

In 1999, the Reading festival gained a second leg in Leeds, where V Festival had previously been held in 1997 and 1998 when it was clear that the Reading base was far too small for the demand of the fans. The acts of Reading played Leeds the day following their sets on Reading festival thus the birth of Leeds Festival was evident.

Now the history of Leeds Festival is a popular phrase that echoes through the mouths of Leeds youths, and illuminates the dull expectations of normal day life, with the promise of witnessing some of the most legendary bands of today and tomorrow. Dont be a fool and get yourself there in 2012, I will be! Tickets are on sale now for this years price!

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.

Leeds Pride

In a time when the collapse of your own society is imminent, with thugs and hooligans scuttling  the streets on the lookout for any freebies in which they can grab in the war like zone of riots, it is worth clasping on to the positive side of your community. Leeds Pride is more than positive, it is oozing confidence, and freedom for all, not in the ‘I’m here to claim my taxes back’ way either. Whether you are straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, transsexual, or just fancy a brilliant day out, Leeds Pride caters to you.

In the six years it has been running, Leeds Pride has proven popular with the crowds, bringing in 23,000 people on to the Leeds streets, and earning it’s fantastic colorful status. With the marchers proudly waving the rainbow flags of diversity, the atmosphere is exceedingly high. It is times like this in which you stop, look around, and finally see the true meaning of acceptance, and, once again, I fall further in love with the city of Leeds. The rush of solidarity seeps through the streets of Leeds City Centre with the march, and the enthusiastic vocals of the acts on show provide an even louder voice of achievement, and diversity. This event will never have one bored with popular DJ’s, entrancing cabaret, and celebrity drag acts to name but just a few of the events exciting goings on.

Walking through the wet streets of Leeds, under the ruling of a grey blanket in the sky, you almost want to crawl back into your bed, to the guaranteed warmth, however, as you get closer to the centre, and the streets start to become wallpapered with rainbow flags, it is hard to remain frown faced, as the feeling of ease in which many of the Leeds Pride followers feel, is inspiring. It is increasingly rewarding just to see such feeling of contentment on every individuals face in these crowds. With fantastically outrageous outfits, this years theme for the festival is ‘Glam and Glitz’, and everyone competes for the most shiny, glamorous outfit.

This event is free, meaning that you have no excuse not to join to in with the fun, even if, like me, it is just to show your support to the LGBT community. In this day and age, it is great that we can all celebrate our differences, because afterall, it our differences that tell us apart, and make us all special, Leeds Pride knows this, and not only shows the pride in their individuality, it celebrates individuality itself, hell it is the emblem of individuality! So come on down, and join in on a great day, you have a whole year to prepare your jazzy outfit for the next Leeds Pride, but you also have a whole year to make sure you grab a day off to join in on the fun. Take my advice and do not miss out on this event, bring your friends and make the most of such a bright, sunny day, no matter what the weather.

Written by Charlotte Owen, Leeds Metropolitan University.