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!
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.
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
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