If you lived in Yorkshire and didn’t head to Leeds Fest with a weekend ticket, more glitter and disguised vodka than food, and a tent that would not return – were you really a teenager?
Every August, partiers flood to the 600-acre festival site, donning outrageously skimpy clothing and pairs of wellies. There is a pop-up supermarket, a full funfair, clothes stalls, cinema, fast food, and, of course, over ten different stages for visiting artists.
Regardless of your music taste, Leeds Festival hosts a spectrum of upcoming and headlining talents. Eminem, Megan Thee Stallion, Wolf Alice, Rage Against The Machine, The Arctic Monkeys, Dave, and Bugzy Malone have all stepped onto the Leeds Festival stages. And, with multiple stages running simultaneously at different schedules, it is safe to say you won’t get bored.
Once the curtains close, it’s off to LS23 or the Piccadilly Stage you go. The DJ sets at Leeds Festival carry on way into the early hours of the morning. Bonus points for seeing the sunrise.
So, Leeds Festival is clearly worth a visit. But to answer all your questions, I’ve compiled a complete guide to Leeds Festival with helpful answers to common questions. Enjoy!
When is Leeds Festival 2023?
Leeds Festival 2023 is set to take place from the 25th to the 27th of August.
Where to find the Leeds Festival lineup?
Easy! Leeds Festival announces its lineup over six months in advance, updating it continuously as more acts are confirmed. You can find the lineup on their official website. Speaking of which…
Where (and when) to buy Leeds Festival Tickets?
You should only buy Leeds Festival tickets from reputable websites. For the safest bet, only purchase tickets from the Leeds Festival website as there are many ticket scams – especially amongst people re-selling fake tickets.
If you want to snag a weekend ticket, purchase tickets in December during the pre-sale. Otherwise, if you aren’t fussy, you can buy tickets at the general sale in early March.
How much are Leeds Festival tickets?
Leeds Festival tickets range from completely free to £265.45. I’ve compiled the 2023 rates into a table below. The rates have remained similar since I first attended at sixteen – nearly five years ago! So, the prices below should remain a fairly reliable guide.
|Weekend ticket||Day ticket||Under 13s day ticket|
|Ticket price (£)||265.45||90-100||Free|
I’ve also compiled a table of extra purchases you can add to your standard ticket. If the thought of festival toilets makes you retch a little, you might want to consider adding on the luxury loo or ‘refresh retreat package’.
|Coach travel||Refresh retreat lockers||Refresh retreat luxury loo||Refresh retreat silver package||Refresh retreat gold package||Campervan pass|
|Price (£)||*departure location dependent*||20||35||50||65||107.50|
Where is Leeds Festival held?
It may be called Leeds Festival, but it really is in the middle of nowhere – so don’t imagine trying to stroll there from Headingley.
Leeds Festival is held in the 600-acre Bramham Park, Northeast of Leeds City Centre and, slightly obviously, next to the village of Bramham.
When it isn’t being used as a festival ground, Bramham Park also hosts the incredibly renowned Bramham International Horse Trials. Plus, the 1698-built house is available to explore by appointment all year round for a price of £15 per person.
How to get to Leeds Festival?
You have a few options! Choose to drive, grab the shuttle, splash out on an Uber, or book a place on the Big Green Coach. I’ll break them down into more detail per option.
Parking is included in all ticket prices at Leeds Festival – so, if you can make sure you aren’t over the limit driving back, driving might be a good option.
There are eight car parks surrounding Bramham Park perimeter. Make sure to pick the car park closest to your preferred camping zone because it is a fair walk to get into the festival!
Also, note that sleeping in your car is prohibited.
The shuttle bus runs between Sovereign Park Square and Bramham Park multiple times daily throughout the festival.
The shuttle bus is a great budget and accessible way to reach Leeds Festival. Sovereign Square is right outside Leeds Train Station, so you can easily catch a train to Leeds and then be at Bramham Park within 45 minutes.
The latest recorded prices were single tickets at £6.50 and return tickets at £12.
Uber or taxi
Okay, sometimes a little luxury is justified. If you catch an Uber or taxi, you’ll be dropped off in the designated taxi zone, which is entered via the red gate.
Expect prices to be higher than usual due to spiked demand and grid-locked traffic in sections. While prices from Leeds City Centre to Bramham Park tend to start at around £30, I’ve seen prices rise to near £100 for the same trip.
Think of it like the stock market, with volatile fluctuating but oh-so-tempting rewards.
Big Green Coach
The Big Green Coach is partnered with Leeds Festival and transports partiers from over 35 UK cities. Whether you are coming from Glasgow, Hull, Wigan, or Liverpool, the coach provides a reliable long-distance service.
You can choose day return or weekend return options. Prices are a little steeper than you might expect from the National Express but compared to super-high train fares, it might still be a shout to save your budget.
As general guidance, a weekend return ticket from Leeds Festival to Liverpool costs £50.
Which camping area should I stay in?
I always choose Red. It is closest to a car park, so less of a walk with all your bags, close (but not too close) to the forest raves, and has a party atmosphere. However, I’ll take a balanced approach to all the areas below.
Orange has a definite party atmosphere, and I’d recommend it for students and those looking to drink late. Like Red, it is next to the forest rave section, although you can choose to pitch up further away for less noise disruption.
The downside to Orange is that lots of it are on a slope. Plus, you have to walk up a very steep hill to reach it from the stage section. If it rains, the slope quickly becomes a slippery nightmare, which is particularly hazardous when you’re drunk.
Perfect for: Hardcore partiers.
Yes, you still have to conquer the slippery hill, and it is a little further to walk to from the stages. But, the top end of the Purple area is a lot quieter if you prioritise a good night’s sleep. And, if you want to be close to lights and action that has a reasonable curfew, the lower end of the Purple area has the funfair.
If you want the rowdiness and craziness of camping at Leeds Festival, skip staying in Purple. But, if you’d like a slightly more relaxing experience and a good night’s sleep – go for it.
Perfect for: Partiers who like their sleep as well.
Green is close to the Brown Gate, so great if you don’t want to lug your bags across the whole site. Green is also one of the Eastern-most camping areas, which offers some seclusion and less noise if you want a quieter camping experience.
Green is a fairly good option for families, and you shouldn’t experience too much noise (with reasonable expectations, of course) during the night. There will be much fewer people passing through the Green area than Red and Orange.
Perfect for: Families with older children and those wanting a quiet camping experience.
To be honest, I’ve never heard of anyone actually staying here. It is a LONG walk from the Main Stages, so I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you desperately want to avoid noise or are a family wanting a peaceful experience.
Announcing you are camping in Brown is a bit like announcing a move to Svalbard.
Perfect for: Those who want to be as far as possible from the noise and action.
Blue is one of the most popular camping areas and fills up very quickly. It is the closest camping area to the stages, so ideal if you want to roll out of bed and jump straight in front of the stage, your favourite artist is headlining.
Noise disruption shouldn’t be too bad, as the main stages close at around 12 am, and the party shifts to the DJ stages.
However, I would warn against pitching your tent along walkways. Tents on the walkways in Blue and around the DJ stages in Orange and Red often get tripped over, urinated on, or robbed. So opt for a nice central spot.
Perfect for: Partiers wanting to be central.
Families, Yellow is here to answer your prayers.
Out of all Leeds Festival’s camping areas, Yellow is one of the most renowned for being family-friendly. Similar to Brown, it is out of the way from the forest raving scene, yet, unlike Brown, it is close (next door) to the Main Stage. You can walk a short distance back to your tent but also have a quiet night’s sleep – bingo!
For anyone wanting a party scene, a) don’t ruin it for those who don’t, and b) get yourselves to Orange or Red.
Perfect for: Families and those who want a good night’s sleep AND a good location.
Pink Moon Camping
Okay, you know you are looking at festival accommodation when ‘clean toilets’ are a selling point.
To stay in Pink Moon Camping, you’ll have to book ahead of time, and prices range from £245 to £1,480. Butttt… you’ll get access to pamper parlours, HOT showers, charging points, clean toilets, and 24-hour security. Plus, tents are ready installed – so no faffing around trying to put your own up.
Perfect for: Those looking to splash out on luxury camping.
The Accessible Camping zone at Leeds Festival has entirely accessible facilities, 24-hour security, and a professional access team.
You’ll find a changing place with a hoist, wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers, a charging point for electric wheelchairs and scooters, and even a fridge for medication storage.
While the rest of the park is not suited to wheelchair and mobility scooter users, making the trip between the Accessible Camping zone and the stages are perfect!
Perfect for: Guests requiring accessibility-friendly facilities.
Quiet camping is quite self-explanatory.
In theory, this should be good for families. But, in reality, if the idea of trying to keep your kids quiet as soon as night drops gives you the shudders, I’d suggest considering yellow.
The quiet camping zone is also quite a walk from the stages, which might be a bit tedious over the course of a weekend.
Perfect for: Those most comfortable with little to no noise.
Who attends Leeds Festival?
It sounds cliché, but literally everyone!
Anyone over sixteen years old can attend alone, so the festival is popular amongst students celebrating the finishing of GCSEs. As a general age bracket, most attendees are between sixteen and thirty.
However, you will find partiers in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and older. Since Leeds Festival hosts both large and upcoming artists, you will find visiting attendees desperate to see one artist or another – and music cult followings don’t discriminate against age.
The festival is also family-friendly, despite being stereotyped as quite an open (illegal) drugs and drinking event. My thirteen-year-old brother was instantly adopted in the Main Stage mosh pits – being lifted onto an older attendee’s shoulders so he could see better amidst the crowd. He came back with a grin from ear to ear and quite literally buzzing.
Families can also choose designated quieter camping areas or attend during the day for less of a hardcore party atmosphere. There is also a funfair and cinema to enjoy during the day and night. My advice: don’t miss out on those under 13s getting in for free!
Leeds Festival is easily my favourite festival in the world. For a friendly rave culture, you really can’t look much further. Have you been before and got some extra tips? Drop them in the comments below.