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Live at Leeds: Festival Review

Music sub-editor Lizzie Harley reviews the day

In celebration of their fifteen years running, Live at Leeds Festival unleashed an amazing scope of artists for its first time back after lockdown.

With approximately 160 artists taking to the stage on Saturday 16th of October, the Future Sound Group did not disappoint in providing a variety of must-see musicians for any music fanatic. From your classic indie artists Circa Waves and Vistas, to 220 Kid's electronic dance, there was an artist in Leeds for everyone.

And what a diversity of venues - you could attend intimate concerts of the likes of the cushy and cool Belgrave Music Hall, or even experience the immensity of the O2 Academy's iconic main stage. Whatever kind of live music event is most suited to you, Live at Leeds could accommodate it perfectly.

Not only was it a day to finally see some favourites after the restrictions of lockdown, but what a chance it was to encounter flourishing artists to add to your everyday Spotify playlist. When taking a break at Belgrave, I discovered the incredible talents that were Lola Young and Bow Anderson.

Bow Anderson ignited the pop energy of the evening with her recently released single 'New Wave'. Its catch and energy echoed the optimism of her lyrics, making everyone in the room unite in her exuberance of joy for not only the subject of her song but the atmosphere of freedom in the room.

Live music was back.

Lola Young's illuminating voice transpired poetic melodies so effortlessly, I could not help but absorb the emotion of her music. The crafting of her personal heartache into a beautifully pitch-perfect performance: one could only fall in love with her compelling sound.

It was also so exciting to hear new music from Kawala as they debuted a new single, 'Searching', to be released Monday 18th October - making their final performance of the year even more special. Their comedically liberal presence only emphasised the summery paradise of their music, creating an atmosphere transcending us all into a sunspace of pure joy.

The day climaxed with the incredible performance from Circa Waves, as they took to Leeds Beckett's stage. An ominous beat placed the crowd on tenterhooks for the band's entrance, when we were instantly plunged into the depths of their bass-rich set. With the crowd going wild for the tremendous intensity of the Circa Wave's distinctive sound, the day closed with a fulfilled fix of live music, making everyone want more.

If you did not manage to attend this year, keep an eye out for Live at Leeds when it returns next year - you will not be disappointed.


Words and Images by Lizzie Harley


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