After trudging through a maze of fences and abandoned alcohol bottles, we arrived at Leeds Festival early Friday afternoon. Upon settling ourselves into the campsite, we headed out into the crowds to enjoy the eclectic array of artists performing at the festival. Disappointment had been the general sentiment towards this year’s line-up compared to previous years, but the diversity of musicians playing was something to be commended.
Whilst frontman, Justin Young, scared the living daylights out of us with his crazy eyes, The Vaccines’ set at Leeds was sublime – merging together their latest sounds with classic fan favourites to create a ripple of euphoria through the main stage crowd, despite the downpour of rain.
Up-and-coming band Sports Team, which is made up of 6 members who met at Cambridge University, headlined the BBC Introducing stage. Whilst there seemed to be a bit of a struggle with sound to begin with, the band’s energy could not be faulted. Frontman Alex Rice gave an excellent performance and made sure all eyes were on him, even concocting a speech about cricket half way through the set. We certainly recommend keeping an eye on this band – they’re one to watch for 2019.
The BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage was full to the brim for My Nu Leng who supported Hannah Wants, and the duo created such a smouldering energy. With beats and sounds effortlessly merging together on remixes of ‘Mozart’s House’ and ‘Right Here’, the duo governed over an hour of drum and bass delight too infectious to not dance to.
The vibe on Saturday was even more energetic, with tens of thousands flocking to enjoy the last of the summer sun. Travis Scott performed tracks from his accomplished album ‘Astroworld’ and he certainly did not disappoint. His admirable energy bounced off of each and every onlooker, prepping us for headliners Fall Out Boy. His character was put to the test when a fan invaded the stage – yet whilst in most cases, the performer may wait for security to take over, Scott took matters into his own hands and passed the mic to the fan, letting him relish his moment in the spotlight. The rapper’s reaction to the event made his set all the more enjoyable, and certainly made it feel like we were truly part of his musical journey.
As one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend, Annie Mac’s set was eclectic and imaginative. Mixing it up with funky noughties R&B to Patrick Topping’s monster track ‘Be Sharp Say Nowt’, Annie brought her absolute A-game. The steady grooves of her set were blended expertly together as she smiled and danced with the impressive crowd. The entire experience was nothing short of sensational.
Despite a drizzle that lingered for the whole of Sunday, the vibe was still bright as the musicians continued to draw in the masses. Returning as a live act to Leeds after eight years, Pendulum blasted out the hauntingly epic ‘Ransom’, igniting an explosion of nostalgia through the crowd. The band’s ability to get everyone hyped was unparalleled as we eagerly anticipated each song drop and bounced around like crazy. Our highlight was the classic ‘Tarantula’; with its energetic kicks and heavy bass that set the crowd absolutely wild.
Closing the entire weekend, was worldwide superstar, Kendrick Lamar. His most passionate fans stood for hours waiting to secure the perfect spot, and it was evident that every single of them was thoroughly ecstatic to be there. The video clips that appeared on screen throughout the set were humorous and entertaining; a great interlude whilst the rapper and his crew prepared for the next song performance. The whole atmosphere was electric, and Kendrick Lamar’s passion for the music was incredibly infectious. His last track, ‘B***h Don’t Kill My Vibe’, had everyone in a frenzy as they chanted along with him in what was a perfect end to Leeds Festival 2018.
Frankie Elyse & Sophie Barnden