Leeds festival kicks off as music fans descend on site for huge weekend ahead

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Festival season is now well and truly underway in the UK as we head into this bank holiday weekend.

Broken camping chairs, disappointing weather, lukewarm lager, and great music are all on the menu in Yorkshire, with Leeds Festival sold out following last year's Covid-19 cancellation.

Rock legend Liam Gallagher will be entertaining the masses on the main stage tonight, with Stormzy headlining Saturday and Post Malone on Sunday.

Other big names performing this year are Biffy Clyro, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure, AJ Tracey, and Two Door Cinema Club.

Southampton rock band Creeper have pulled out following positive Covid-19 tests, which should serve as a reminder of the entry requirements for those making their way to Leeds this afternoon.

Those gallivanting towards the gates will need to show one of the following to get through, given they are 11-years-old or older:

  • Proof of full vaccination – you have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since your second jab.
  • Proof of a negative NHS Lateral Flow test – taken prior to travel on the day of arrival at Leeds Festival
  • Proof of natural immunity – based upon a positive PCR test within 180 days of the festival (including a 10-day period of self-isolation following the result).

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Although the music doesn't properly get going until today, some festival-goers arrived at the Bramham Park site on Wednesday and Thursday to secure the best camping spots.

It is also far easier to trek to your pitching area of choice in the week before the neatly cut paths morph into monsoon mudslides at the weekend.

Those entering now will be struggling to pitch up.

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As always at Leeds Festival fans will be able to enjoy a variety of genres and artists, from the mainstream to the obscure.

YouTubers-come-rappers KSI and Niko B will be swapping their computers for a microphone this afternoon.

And BBC Radio 1's Dance Stage will be boasting an array of dance music over the weekend including the Jungle beats of Shy FX, Liquid Drum and Bass with Hybrid Minds, House music with Solardo, and old school Baseline from Crucast.

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Unfortunately, the festival's organisers have had to push a warning about potentially dangerous MDMA pills that have been circulating at the site.

They warned of blue and orange 'Tesla pills' and pink 'Netflix pills' which are "giving adverse effects". Anyone who has taken one is urged to go to one of the welfare tents immediately.

This comes after 17-year-old Anya Buckley tragically died at the festival in 2019 from a suspected drugs overdose.

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Early pictures from the festival show those lucky enough to have secured a ticket to the sold-out event revelling in the Yorkshire, erm, weather.

Temperatures look set to hover just below 20C for most of the weekend, and miraculously weather forecasts aren't predicting rain for the duration of the festivities.

Hence, people are free to wear customary neon festival attire and shorts, although some seem to be donning the waterproof ponchos just in case.

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Although most will be beginning to congregate towards Bramham Park's stages ready to get their weekend up and running, many will still be waiting to come in.

Festival traffic caused huge delays around the site, including 90-minute setbacks on the M1 north from Junction 46. It is no wonder given that 200,000 people attended Leed's last incarnation in 2019.

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