Leeds Festival and Other Cool Places In Leeds

I can’t go to Reading Festival this year. Partly because I am not utterly convinced that it is the place for a two-year old, but mostly because my by then 18 year old daughter is going. She won’t want me there, and frankly the less I know about what she gets up to at a festival with her mates the better.

If I could magic up a weekend of childcare I could head to Readings twin festival in Leeds though…..anyone want a two-year old and a ten-year old for a long weekend? Leeds is the newcomer of the two festivals, being launched as a Northern sibling to the older Reading festival in 1999.

I tend to think of Reading and Leeds as being aimed at a younger crowd, but these days plenty of us are still very into our music well past the time when we should have grown up. Not sure I fancy sharing a campsite with a horde of under twenty year olds though – I would end up being Mum to them all, holding people’s hair back while they are sick and wiping their tears when their hearts get broken. Nope, if I was going to Leeds Festival this summer I would be checking Hotel Direct and getting my self a nice warm hotel room in Leeds, complete with a shower to sluice off the days mud!


leeds line-up


The twin festivals share a line-up, with the bands bombing up and down the country to play different nights. Topping my list of people to check out on this years line-up would be Queens of the Stone Age, The Hives and The Fat White Family, though there are loads of great acts. I know my daughter is excited for Paramore, You Me At Six and Sleeping With Sirens amongst others.

So which is the best? Well, rumour has it Northern crowds make the most noise, and certainly it wins on location, being set in beautiful Yorkshire countryside. (Not that many there have gone for the hiking!) Leeds parties until later too, as being in the country means less strict noise restrictions, but at Reading you have the advantage of being able to easily nip into town for supplies, and we all need to go to sleep eventually so maybe the earlier curfew isn’t all bad!

For me on the south coast Reading is far closer, so if I was going to make the trek up to Leeds I would make a week of it and check out a bit of the surrounding area while I was there. A few things on my list would be:-

The Yorkshire Sculpture park – don’t look so surprised, I can do culture too, and this place looks brilliant. Set in 500 acres of gardens just outside Wakefield (20 miles south of Leeds), and hosting iconic works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and many other renowned sculptors. There are around 60 outdoor works to track down, plus special indoor and outdoor exhibitions, lots of signposted walking trails, a visitor centre and cafe.

yorkshire sculpture park

The Mojo Bar in Leeds – This bar looks just my cup of tea pint of beer.  A fantastic combination of New York dive style chic, cocktails and Rock n Roll from the last five decades.

A couple of my favourite bands, The Wedding Present and Kaiser Chiefs, are from Leeds, and I would definitely be sniffing out some old haunts from their musical past, and if I happen to find Ricky Wilson, then all the better.

I  love the look of the Corn Exchange – a flamboyant, domed building from Leed’s Victorian heyday –  billed these days as ‘the home of boutique shopping’, and a rather gracious interior refit serves as the backdrop for a whole host of independent, creative boutiques, jewellers, craft stores and gift shops.  And if shopping is your thing you could also check out the original home of Marks and Spencers, there is even a guided heritage tour to learn about the history of this household name with it’s roots in Leeds.

Maybe next year – You did say you would babysit didn’t you?

Love Miss Cisco XXX

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.



  1. May 22, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    Oh leeds. my husband is from Leeds. I have to go to that Mojo Bar next time I am visiting!

  2. May 22, 2014 / 8:38 pm

    You had me at Arctic Monkeys!

    I’ve only ever been to Leeds once and that was with work so I didn’t have much time to mooch about, but I did love it.

    Really want to go back, it’s hipper that York I think!
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  3. May 22, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    The line up looks amazing. I have never seen the Arctic Monkeys live and am a huge fan. I am not keen on the ‘in a town’ vibe of Reading so Leeds looks like a good option.
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  4. May 22, 2014 / 9:27 pm

    I remember my sister going to the first ever Leeds festival and now this makes me feel old! Cracking line up though – don’t suppose I can find anyone to have a 4 year old and a one year old though…
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  5. May 22, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    This made me laugh… the first festival I went to was Reading at the age of 17 and LOVED it. And then I went to Leeds a few years later and stayed in a hotel 😉

    If the same person who has your kids could also take a 2 and 3 year old, let me know!
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  6. May 22, 2014 / 10:08 pm

    I need to visit Leeds at some point there is so much stuff going on that I am missing out on

  7. May 23, 2014 / 9:30 am

    I had to read this post since I am from Leeds!!!! I haven’t been back there for years though, but it is a pretty cool town. The very first festival I went to was Reading, and I was aged 18 too, it was a lot of fun (Bjork, New Order and The Butt Hole Surfers and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds played if I seem to remember), and you are right; it is a festival for a younger crowd. X
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