20 June 2015
Reviewed by Tracey Stoker
Waking up on the morning of Let’s Rock Leeds and seeing the rain, the thought of going to an all day outdoor festival filled me with dread. But we had made plans, got a babysitter and was really looking forward to reliving our youth at the retro festival. And I’m so glad we did!
We travelled to the festival by car and all the roads round the event were well sign posted so no chance of getting lost. There was on site free parking as well. They had also put on buses from the centre of Leeds for people travelling from afar or just not wanting to drive. Once inside Temple Newsam, again well sign posted to main entrance. We didn’t queue too long but as everyone had to have their bags searched, a little queue was expected. I had already checked the website to see what we could/couldn’t bring in and have to say was quite impressed that we could bring in our own soft drinks and water as long as they were sealed and our own food if wanted. Alcohol was not allowed in hence the bag searches! Quick search of bag by a very polite security man and then we were in.
Once inside, the set up was fantastic. From the huge stage at the front and the luxurious VIP enclosure next to it (maybe next year) to all the rides and food/drink stalls at the back and sides. It was really well set out. There was 3 areas of toilets at the festival. One area was the ‘posh toilets’ and you had to have purchased a pass for these, at £15 per person so we didn’t bother. The other 2 areas of toilets were for everyone to use and I have to say that I was really really impressed. They were so clean and stayed clean and even up to the end of the festival still had loo roll, important for us ladies.
Now on to food and drink. Being a festival, we were expecting the prices to be high but we didn’t find them too bad. My husband went to bar and it was £4.50 a pint and they was so many people serving that you got served quite quick. As for food, they was something to for everyone. For the kids, there was ice cream, candy floss and a sweet stall. Then there was your usual burger, chips, hotdogs etc… there was a pizza stall, thai noodles, I could go on and on but really was so many different options to eat and drink.
You were allowed to take blankets, chairs and even tents into the festival as long as you sat a bit further back from stage, so you didn’t obstruct view for other people. This was great for us as didn’t fancy standing all day, and with the 2 big screens next to stage, you could still see all the acts. There was a great atmosphere, people were in fancy dress and neon eighties gear, old and young all mixing together waiting for festival to start.
And then it started and it was amazing. If you love eighties music, they was someone on for everyone. Hosted by Pat Sharp who introduced the first act Bucks Fizz, the festival started, people singing along to their famous hits and it just got better and better from there. All the acts were good but for me, I so wanted to see T’Pau who were amazing. But I also loved 5 Star who took you back to your youth with all their robotic dancing. Jive Bunny who had you up on your feet dancing and singing away with their master mixes. Sonia and Betty Boo had everyone up singing their songs. The legend that is Rick Astley rocked the stage as did Midge Ure and Go West. Inbetween the band changeovers, Dave Benson Phillips kept the audience entertained with ‘big screen karaoke’. Closing the show was Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey. Thompson Twins’ fans went mad as this was the first time in decades that he had been on stage singing their songs. What a way to end the festival!
I had never been to a festival before but I will definitely be going to Lets Rock Leeds next year. If you love eighties music, this festival is a must. Roll on Lets Rock Leeds 2016.
For more information visit www.letsrockleeds.com.