It’s important to know (and I say this as someone who lives in London and grew up dreaming of doing so) that the capital is not always where it is at. Cities across the UK are bubbling with creativity and musical delight, and in fact the more succinct style of many cities means that as a genuine hub and collective for musical creativity they function better than the expansive and competitive London. Leeds is one such example, and Live At Leeds, an annual festival since 2007, celebrates the local whilst not being so narrow minded as to presume that the rest of the UK is devoid of talent, uniting the best upcoming local bands alongside more established national acts.
Taking place over May Bank Holiday, this year the weekend kicks off with The Unconference , a schedule of seminars and talks on the music business. Curated by whiskas (¡Forward, Russia!, Dance To The Radio, IMGNTN) and supported by Leeds Metropolitan University, the focus this year will be around networking and the landscape of music consumption in the digital landscape, a pertinent issue for creators, consumers, and everyone in between.
It’s this that I like about Live At Leeds ; it’s not just about stumbling from bar to bar lagered up (although I love that too), but about a genuine love for music and how to make it sustainable and exciting for everyone involved. Oh yeah, and the fact that it is only £22.50 for over a hundred bands, including Little Comets, Tribes, Maybe She Will, Sons & Lovers, Theme Park, Wolf Alice, Darwin Deez, The 1975 and Yorkshire favourites Pigeon Detectives.