Live At Leeds In The City: the day-festival celebrating the best of indie artists

“The energy is unmatched and it feels like we’re all mates”.

Last weekend, Live At Leeds: In The City ended the festival season for 2022 with twelve hours of non-stop indie tunes.

This isn’t a festival Leeds is likely to forget anytime soon.

The bi-annual event takes place every summer and autumn, and brings a handpicked selection of up-and-coming artists to the city for a single day of music. Whilst the summer season brings crowds to Temple Newsam, the ‘In The City’ version is spread across the city centre and sees venues as far as Hyde Park and Woodhouse getting involved.

Saturday 15 October 2022 saw over 150 artists take over every music venue imaginable across Leeds, from tiny bars to the headlining the O2 Academy.

Kicking off at lunchtime, the crowds slowly trickled into the city as the afternoon went on, but for anyone looking for the chance to catch a glimpse at the next big hit, arriving early was a must.

The festival has previously hosted huge international names before going on to become the successes they are today.

Take the 2018 line-up for example, Live At Leeds: In The City hosted Easy Life inside the 450-capacity venue The Wardrobe, Sam Fender at Stylus and Yungblud at Call Lane’s own Oporto.

Clearly it doesn’t take much to see the talent that this festival can predict global names, and Saturday was a prime example of the magic that can happen when you put so many creative talents into the city on a single day.

The Clause brought the crowd to their feet at The Wardrobe, with guitar riffs hitting every beat to to crowd favourites like Cruella and Electric, whilst Big Image took to the stage at Nation of Shopkeepers and pulled the early day crowds.

Those making a pit stop for food, the dedicated brunch and dinner menu at The Wardrobe was an exclusive offering to those with a Live At Leeds wristband. A selection of pizzas, burgers and fruity cocktail options were served up to the sound of the Live At Leeds soundtrack, whilst we spoke to passersby about their favourite Yorkshire bands.

@thehootleeds Who is your favourite artist to come out of Yorkshire? #leeds #voxpops #liveatleeds #leedsfestival #yorkshireband #yorkshireartist #pigeondetectives #bringmethehorizon #thecribs #arcticmonkeys #leedsuni #uniofleeds #music #fyp #DidYouYawn #viral #trendingsounds ♬ Knowledge – Vin Music

Following a fly-by visit to just about every city centre music venue, including the intimate Sela Bar and Belgrave’s DJ sets, we were lucky enough to speak to numerous artists at Live At Leeds: In The City, starting with a sit down with Glasweigan artist Joesef about Mel B, Leeds gig venues and his upcoming debut album, Permanent Damage.

Presenter Fran with Joesef. / Image: The Hoot Leeds

Turns out that Joesef is a big Leeds fan. Having previously played at Hyde Park Book Club, Brudenell and now Belgrave as part of his Live At Leeds session, the indie-alt artist has a special place for the city and our crowds.

“I feel like it’s probably one of the closest crowds to Glasgow which are like just the energy is unmatched and it feels like we’re all mates, maybe it’s a northern thing”.

Read the full interview with Joesef on The Hoot Leeds soon.

Swim Deep meanwhile were intrigued by the infamous Otley Run after spotting too many traffic cones and grannies walking down the street as we caught up with the band at Hyde Park Book Club.

The She Changes The Weather artists are no stranger to the city, and have the Brudenell Social Club, Belgrave and headlining Hyde Park Book Club for the day festival. The underground venue prides itself on keeping its concerts intimate, with space for a little over 100 people to get up and close with their favourite artists- and Swim Deep were no exception to this.

Swim Deep at Live At Leeds: In The City 2022. / Image: The Hoot Leeds

Meanwhile The Skinner Brothers brought bags of character to The Wardrobe, warming up the crowd for headline act Spector.

The crowds for the rock and roll four-piece is known for a rowdy crowd, and with frontman Zan Skinner singing not on the stage, but in the crowd with fans jumping around and hanging on to every lyric- between the crowd surfing that is.

The evening acts kept Leeds buzzing with events all night long all over the city- with the likes of Pale Waves, White Lies, Sundara Karma and TikTok famous Casey Lowry playing across the city, many at the same time.

With 150 artists over 16 stages to choose from throughout the day, planning your chosen music route for the day involved plenty of planning, and making hard decisions about who to forego and who to check out across the 12 hours of live events.

That’s the beauty of an event like this though.

The festival leaves you with a host of new names to download on Spotify and check out up-and-coming names at these intimate venues in the future.

It introduces a new level of talent to the city- and remains one of the most exciting events of the year for the Leeds music scene.

As a bi-annual event, the next opportunity to visit Live At Leeds will be in May 2023, where the festival will return to Temple Newsam for a summertime day festival. Whilst the line-up is yet to be announced, if the 2023 version is anything like the handpicked artists selected for In The City, we’re in for a real treat.

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Early Bird tickets cost £40 each, plus a booking fee via See Tickets.

For more information, including how to sign up to the mailing list to be the first to hear about the 2023 line-up can be found on the Live At Leeds website.

Feature Image- The Hoot Leeds

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