The U.K.’s Reading and Leeds Festival has come to their conclusions this past weekend, with Arctic Monkeys closing out the final day as the headlining band for Leeds. The Reading Festival took place from August 22nd through 24th at Richfield Avenue in Reading, while the Leeds Festival was staged at Bramham Park from the 22nd to the 24th. Other artists featured besides Arctic Monkeys were Blink 182, Jake Bugg, Paramore, Imagine Dragons, Royal Blood, Foster the People, Marmozets, Peace, and more. Sunday, the final day, was the most crowded of the three, the audience practically packed in like sardines by the time Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner took the stage. Turner was just as pleased to be there as the audience was to have him there. After opening with “Do I Wanna Know,” Turner said, “It’s a beautiful night in the North,” which the crowd responded to with a massive cheer. Towards the end of their set, they announced the last song, “505” and naturally, people began leaving in their futile attempts to “avoid the crowd.” Those folks missed out on the encore consisting of “One for the Road,” then “When the Sun Goes Down,” as well as “Mardy Bum,” which turned into an extended jam until they truly closed out with “R U Mine.”
Festival goers were given until 12pm Monday, August 25th, to vacate the Leeds site in Bramham Park before the absurdly massive cleanup effort gets started. Typical of most music festivals of this size, thousands of people just leave their trash behind, smashing up and chucking things into trees, even their belongings and camping artifacts. This year however, they not only left behind their tents, beach chairs, air mattresses, and camp gear, they literally set the stuff on fire. Needless to say, this has added to the mess the cleanup crew is having to deal with, creating nightmarish quantities of litter and endangering fellow campers. The cleanup crew will indoubtedly manage to cope, and with any luck the site will be restored in preparation for next year’s festival. Tickets for the 2015 Reading and Leeds Festivals are already available here, although the lineup is far from decided, let alone announced. Music fans will have to hold their breath for that one a while longer.