The final day of a festival is always bittersweet but you still have that last bit of adrenaline to push you through.
Our final day at Leeds started with a little hiccup so we didn’t manage to catch any bands until mid afternoon but what a great first act of the day to choose in Madison Beer on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. This was the busiest the tent had been all weekend, each bit of canvas packed within an inch of its life and she did not disappoint, her sassy pop vibes perfect for a festival setting
The Alternative Tent played host to more heavyweights from the comedy circuit but we only manage to catch two acts on Sunday; Tez Ilyas and Joanne McNally. Both pulled a decent crowd but the majority of the attendees on Sunday were camping in their spot for the huge Arctic Monkeys set.
We didn’t spend as much time in the Festival Republic tent today but we did catch insane sets from Kid Brunswick, Cassyette (who brought out KB for a song) and Carole’s Daughter. These acts maybe didn’t pull the biggest crowds of the weekend but their stage show should’ve been seen by more. In particular, Cassyette is one of the artists to look out for in the future, she has done the festival circuit this year so she knows how to captivate an audience. Her grunge infused pop mixed with emo is exciting and her whole performance had great vibes. The final act we saw on that particular stage that weekend was the incomparable Ho99o9, their spooky vibes perfectly rounding off the weekend in the tent.
The Main stage dual headline slots were dominated by two Sheffield bands but we’ll get to them later. Enter Shikari did exactly what they do best on Main Stage West and hyped the crowd up for the upcoming headliners. Their politically charged set in which they called out Yorkshire Water for not doing good enough in sewage drainage (something he had tried to mention at Reading the day before but coincidentally they suffered from technical difficulties… classic BBC). Bringing out Wargasm to perform their new track The Void Stares Back and performing classics like Sorry You’re Not A Winner, they’re the perfect sub-headliners and maybe could dual headline the festival in the future?
This wasn’t the last time we saw Enter Shikari at the festival as they warned us in their set that they were to join a secret band on the Dance Stage around 7pm.. and we were not disappointed by the reveal of the secret band.. PENDULUM! After a few years break, the Aussies were back to perform their unique mix of drum and bass and electronic rock blended together. Their heavy breakdowns had everyone headbanging and losing their shit, a perfect addition to the lineup.
So, closing out the festival were a double header of Bring Me The Horizon and Arctic Monkeys. Both from Sheffield and both with a point to prove; are BMTH big enough to headline and are AM still good after that last iffy album? In short, yes.
Bring Me The Horizon had all the production that you want from a headline set, they even had backing dancers…! Tell any BMTH fan 15 years ago that!!! Even though we didn’t get Ed Sheeran as a special guest, the South Yorkshire bunch brought out another local lad in Yungblud for their collaboration Obey. The lads played a set full of their “newer” music which wasn’t as heavy as the bands original material but everything just sounded huge. Closing with the anthemic Throne, there’s no further questions, we’ve found one of the next generation of headline bands in Bring Me The Horizon.
There were definitely more people packed into the field than the last two days and after a short dash inbetween stages and the thousands of people we managed to get there in time for the start of the Arctic Monkeys set. The first riff of Do I Wanna Know echoed around Bramham and there felt an overwhelming sense of relief, the Monkeys are back. We were treated to newer songs from upcoming album The Car but the set was packed with classic AM tracks. The swagger of front man Alex Turner never gets boring, in fact it adds to the charm of the set. Highlight of the hour and a half stage show was the stunning 505, the song is beautiful and holds a special place in the hearts of all AM fans. Closing the show with R U Mine? The Arctic Monkeys are back and will no doubt headline Glastonbury next year, a triumphant set from the Sheffield bunch.
Overall the weekend was a huge success, the use of two main stages is a different vibe for UK festivals and does seem to work, the only downside being you lose some of the more up and coming acts who would’ve been on a “2nd stage”. We loved attending this year, please invite us back next year Leeds Fest!!!