The Leeds Festival, Bramham Park
August Bank Holiday Weekend 2004
By Steve Rudd
One of the finest rock-orientated festivals of any given summer season, this was the second time that
the massive 3-day event was held at Bramham Park, which is a beautiful site on the eastern fringes of
Leeds - and that has previously been used for horse trials.
When the festival used to be held at the equally-as-agreeable Temple Newsam site, the weekend became
notorious for the riots that seemed to be part and parcel of the final night's post-music entertainment.
But after the trouble caused at the 2002 event - when an astonishing amount of stinking
portaloos were literally blown sky high by yobs (sorry, but I can't think of a better way to
describe the people involved in such riots) - it was decided that the event would have
to move elsewhere, away from the local residents living in the Leeds suburbs near to Temple Newsam.
There was even speculation that Leeds had lost the festival for good, so everybody who lives and
breathes all the positive aspects of the festival were relieved when a replacement site was found.
Still, there seem to be major problems with the Bramham Park site when it comes to getting in to the event,
especially if you are travelling by car from an easterly direction along the A64, for this route entails a
ridiculous 15 mile detour (that takes you in a full circle around the site and into the outskirts
of the city before you reach the main entrances).
And all because you can't do any right-turns across the road.
Once inside and the music has started though, you can't really complain.
Many people feel drawn to the huge main stage because that's where the vast majority of the most
popular and well known bands play, and where I caught storming sets by the likes
of The Streets, Greenday, The Offspring, The Darkness, Franz Ferdinand, Ash,
the New York Dolls, The Roots, The Libertines and Morrissey.
Away from the main stage there are a number of big circus-style tents inside which you can
see some of the brilliant upcoming bands that tend to be busting through the underground
music scene and into the mainstream, and where the likes of Swedish rock 'n' roll
wonders The International Noise Conspiracy, Leeds' own one-man sample-saturated hard
rock machine Robo-Christ (aka the hugely talented guitarist Chris May, former frontman
of anthemic punk rock 'n' roll band Catalyst) and anthemic Emo-metal
boys Funeral For A Friend wowed all those people who were lucky enough to be in attendance.
In years past, the Leeds Festival really did seem to be one of the foremost 'rock' festivals around,
but these days there is a far more intense variety of music on offer, a ploy which obviously
attracts even more people to the event. Indeed, given the amount of hip-hop and pop-punk acts
on the 2004 bill, this was the first year that the festival has sold out in advance.
When the price of a ticket per person is £100, there's no wonder either, because with so
many amazing bands playing, you cannot fail to get great value for your money.
Which is more than can be said for once you are inside the main arena, especially if you
want to eat or drink whilst watching the bands you love. See, the snag is that you aren't
allowed to take your own drinks into the main arena.. so if you are thirsty then you've got to
pay their prices.
The bad news is that the a pint of a beer on the inside costs the best part of £3, a fact
which out-rages many avid festival-goers who argue that the corporate sponsors
of the event (chiefly Carling) are really out to get as much money out of
the punters as humanly possible.
In the sixties, for example, such a notion would have seemed outrageous.
Back then, music festivals really were ALL about the music and the atmosphere,
the free love and the new people that you met.
Sadly, as we make headway into the 21st Century, the so-called festival
spirit revolves more around making money..
But I don't intend to continue moaning, because this year's event on the
whole was fantastic - and, somewhat incredibly, the weather held up brilliantly
save for Sunday night's shower which put a damper on The White Stripes main-stage set.
The Leeds weekend also has a sister festival down in Reading and all bands on the
Leeds bill play there too over the same three days. Bizarrely, two of the acts on
were actually bottled off-stage in Reading, the unfortunate victims being
The Rasmus (who I thought put in a great pop-Goth-rock based set in Leeds,
complete with their recent In The Shadows anthem) and hip-hop superstar 50 Cent.
I hate it when this happens; it might be a laugh for some of the people in the crowd,
but it's awful for the acts themselves, and for those people who really admire
them and want to see them. If you don't like a band, you buck up and shut up..
grit your teeth and take the strain if needs be until they're over. But there's
no excuse for people chucking bottles at the acts.
That's just sheer immaturity on the guilty punters' part.
That gripe aside, the weekend - as always - was exhausting.. but only in a good way.
And, what's more, given the speed that tickets sold out for this year's event, a
limited number of tickets for next year's event went on sale straight away.
So if you can get a hold of both yourself and a ticket, do yourself a favour and go.
It's just a shame that we have to wait another whole year for another weekend of such
fab music and rampaging fun.
Going Down -
The V Festival 2004 By DJ Chris Plant
Well, I managed to get 2 tickets for me and my friend Alex on Ebay
for £140 (including camping on the campsite next to V Campsite).
We set off at 7am on Friday 20th August to beat the early birds and to
make sure that we had a good place to pitch the tent.
We packed loads of stuff
Going Down -
Grassroots Festival 2004 - 450 photos of Saturday 28th/ Sunday 29th August Events
Checkout this years photograph galleries for the fourth annual Grassroots Festival 2004.
It's my second report on Grassroots and after being so impressed with last years festival I was keen to get going.
I invite you to browse these galleries and send in anything you would like to say about the day's events.
Going Down - Oak Leaf Gathering (or Carry On Pagan) By Rich Mills
Oak Leaf gathering is an annual event, bringing together pagans from all over the country for a weekend.
In the setting of Lime Tree farm, the whole thing had an air of mystery.
Not just the wonderful stone circle, or the fantastic Iron-age round-house,
not even the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside that surrounded us.
Going Down -
Grounation Hull Jazz Festival 31st July By Jane Foster
Grounation were the first and the final act to go on today, and they didn't disappoint.
They're a jazz-funk-hip-hop outfit consisting of mainly Hull born musicians.
Apparently they got together specifically for this year's Jazz festival, but they
intend to carry on as a band, they told me.
They've got a good combination
Going Down -
African Spectacular Albert Nyathi & Imbongi Hull Jazz Festival 31st July By Michelle Dee
Oh what a treat the highly acclaimed Zimbabwean poet and his stunning group Imbongi
(praise poets) performing at the Hull Jazz festival 2004.
It was a grey drizzly day in Queens Gardens, the sky threatened us with a downpour
but my spirits would not be dampened.
The musicians from Imbongi started to play.
Going Down -
Grounation Hull Jazz Festival 31st July By Hollie Peck and Michelle Dee
The Hull-based jazz outfit opened the Jazz Festival in Queens Gardens in fine style.
An audience of about 200 -300 jazz enthusiasts came to listen to Grounation's
unique fusion of Jazz/Funk/Hip-Hop musical stylings.
The four permanent members of Grounation have being rehearsing together for