My ideal Live at Leeds: Andy Smith (Head Booker)

Andy Smith is the Live at Leeds and Futuresound Events head booker and been programming and running the festival since it began 12 years ago. Who better to recommend his ideal day at Live at Leeds this Saturday!


Andy: Firstly I’d get myself a wristband, essential for entry into all the venues so recommended to get it done early, our wristband exchange opens at 9am at Leeds College of Music, and if you’re hungry I’d highly recommend heading next door to The Wardrobe which is open for breakfast from 9am.


12pm: First Band! Idles, returning to the festival after being one of the hottest new bands of last year they’re opening The Dr Marten’s stage at The Wardrobe, the perfect wake up call and it’s likely to go completely nuts!


1.15pm:  After that I’d stick around in the venue and see The Blinders, who are a new band I’m excited about.  Visceral, political punk with loads of energy and recently sold out their last Leeds and Sheffield shows with us.

2pm:  From there I’ll be moving on to the Trinity Stage (which is a new pop up stage for 2018, in Trinity Leeds on the Lower Ground Floor) to see Far Caspian, a band really new to Leeds but already turning loads of heads.  If you’re into Local Natives, Half Moon Run or Foster the People it lands somewhere in-between those and well worth checking out.


3pm:  Jalen N’Gonda will be the next show I’ll catch over at the NME Stage at Headrow House (similar soulful tunes to Leon Bridges but from Liverpool!) followed by a quick taxi down to the Brudenell Social Club to catch Boniface over on the NEU stage in the Community Room.

4pm:  I’d stick around at The Brudenell Social Club for the DIY Stage where I’ll be watching Whenyoung who play a more contemporary postcard-records type indie-pop and recently supported Peace and The Vaccines on national shows.

4.30pm:  Another buzz band who’s name has been on everyone’s lips since Christmas is Stereo Honey, they played our LAL One’s to Watch show back in the Autumn and I’m really excited to have them return to Leeds for the festival. Not dissimilar to Wild Beasts (RIP) they are going to sound incredible in the beautiful surroundings of Church, which is the home to our Dork Stage this year.

5pm:  A quick run back to see Pip Blom at the Brudenell who are an indie pop outfit with a twist and are coming all the way from Amsterdam!

If you’re getting hungry mid-festival you can grab a quick dinner at the Brudenell, they do Pie Minister pies throughout the day!

6pm:  Next I’m at Dermot Kennedy at O2 Academy on the Leeds Festival Stage.  He’s got huge streaming numbers and a huge voice.  His shows have been selling out for us and around the country so I’m really looking to seeing him playing to a larger crowd in a setting like Church.

7pm:  One band that have been impossible to avoid in the office due to their omnipresence on Spotify playlists are Vistas.  I’m not complaining, they’ve got a sackfull of tunes so I’m going to see them close the Trinity Stage on Saturday.


7.30pm:  If you pass through Trinity you can use the Trinity Kitchen discount that comes with your wristband…but by this point I’ll be at Sea Girls at Dr Marten’s Stage at The Wardrobe. Sea Girls first played a show for us on the Live at Leeds Ones to Watch and they’ve since sold out The Brudenell and landed Radio One playlists.  Another band that know their way around a good indie-pop tune I’d expect a lot of excitement in the room for these fellas.

8pm:  By way of Taxi I’ll be at The Brudenell in time to catch Boy Azooga.  We listen to a lot of 6music in the office and their tune ‘Loner Boogie’ has carved it’s way into my head after repeated plays.  It’s like a more English version of Queens of the Stone age or The Dead Weather with loads of live feel to the recording so I can’t wait to see it recreated.


9pm:  The day wouldn’t be complete for me if I didn’t get to The Vaccines, our late announcement for the top of the Leeds Festival stage bill.  We’ve worked with this band a number of times and they always put on a big show!

10.30pm:  I’m still going, and I’d need plenty of energy for the Circa Waves set at Stylus.  I predict it going off in a big way for this band, they’ve got the perfect summer festival tune in ‘T-shirt weather’ and we’re the first festival of the summer so it couldn’t be a better fit!

11.15pm:  My end to the day (before the afterparty at the Wardrobe of course) would be Pale Waves.  Their recent Leeds show sold out in no time, they’re a huge buzz band this year and rightly so as their tunes, aesthetic and live show are all on point.  A really exciting act to be hosting at The Brudenell this year and I can’t wait to see them do their thing.

12am:  It’s not over! Afterparty at The Wardrobe!

Final tickets for Live at Leeds are available from Lunatickets HERE.

Sam Robson