Is it your first time or are you a seasoned pro? Ten Live at Leeds pointers for their tenth year, mostly from experience…

Now, I suppose you could say having ventured to Live at Leeds from the start I have collated a few ‘tips’ across the years. Nothing too fancy and hey, you don’t even have to consider them but in its tenth year, here are ten tips for Live at Leeds 2016.

  1. Go steady with the drink, alcohol that is

I learnt this throughout the first few times I went to Live at Leeds. All day event, music, have a beer (or two) at each performance. By 5.00pm you’re tired, unsure whether you’re still drunk or if it’s a daytime hangover and you start debating whether to stick around and be a misery or slope off home (Bed is so appealing right now).

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1.00pm is a bit too early for these

Alternate your drinks and keep the water levels up. I’d say take a water bottle but we know some venues don’t allow water bottles in… (I’ll save that for another time).

  1. Remember to eat

It sounds stupidly obviously. However you’ll be surprised in the excitement of the day you’ll have reached 4.00pm, had a bowl of cereal at about 9.00am and suddenly feel very, very weird. We’re fortunate that Leeds is such a compact and cultural city, opportunities to find food are endless. Taste of Leeds have collated just a selection of these locations and a hand guide to where they can be found in relation to music venues.

  1. Take a break

I can see it now, you’re shaking your head in disbelief. It’s true though, much like the ‘drink’ and ‘food’ pointers, your body needs to physically sit down throughout the day. Even if it’s for a quick coffee. Use it as time to re-group and plan ahead for the rest of the day. Your body will appreciate it, as will you when you’re dancing into the early hours of the morning.

  1. Communicate

With your group, with other people, whoever. The beauty of the event is that people are all there for the same purpose. They want to discover new music and share that with other people. Some people will come along with friends, others by themselves. Have that chat about the heavy metal band you have just seen at Holy Trinity Church (Extremely unlikely but hey, just an example). At the very least, it’s a conversation. Who knows, it could lead to new career opportunities.

  1. Layer up

It’s all well and good setting off at 10.00am in just a T-shirt, but when that temperature drops by 11.00pm and you’re waiting for the last bus back, it’s no longer fun. So basic, but even a lightweight waterproof is better than nothing. Bearing in mind we’ve just had snow, maybe a thermal coat and gloves?

  1. Pick a random band

Any band. Like the look of the name? Pick them. Realised it’s the only band you can get to within the next hour? Go for it. It can be an experience and allow you to hear a band or artist you would never have chosen. We can’t guarantee if you’ll enjoy them, but at least you gave it a shot. I stumbled upon a little-known band called Bastille a couple of years back – I guess it can’t be all bad!

  1. Try a new venue

Venues has closed over the years (Please don’t get me started…) but others have reopened in their place! Different venues tend to host different style bands. Usually. Therefore I do recommend trying to visit a range of venues, you may just find your new favourite. The Social/Slate Courtyard and Hyde Park Book Club look interesting choices for this year.

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Hyde Park Book Club

  1. Take a notebook

Maybe it’s the writer/aspiring journalist within me, but there’s nothing that can replace a good ol’ notebook when you want to jot down that obscure fact about the 3.00pm musician you have just seen. Aside from that, linking back to communicating, it’s always useful to have a pen and paper for impromptu networking conversations.

  1. Take a camera

Take drunken selfies with your friends, or by yourself. Well, you can do. It’s also useful to have for those quick snaps throughout the day be it for a blog, a book of memories or just to upload on Facebook. I also find lesser known bands appreciate the interaction and knowledge you came to see them perform.

  1. Enjoy!

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Does this one really need an explanation?

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