With festival season finally starting to rev its engine, four days off at the start of June feel like a real gift after two disrupted years of pandemic sponsored chaos – and if there’s one place you can bet we’re eager to get back to, it’s Live at Leeds.
But this year, there’s a difference. The knock to the calendar caused by a worldwide shutdown has allowed the traditional inner-city new music extravaganza to make some changes. That long-established multi-venue blowout – usually held over the May bank holiday – has moved to October after last year’s successful return in a later slot. That earlier slot in the calendar hasn’t been abandoned though. With a little shift back into a traditionally sunnier month, 2022 will see the first edition of Live at Leeds: In The Park, taking place at Temple Newsam. The original home of Leeds Festival, and current location for the northern leg of Slam Dunk, it’ll welcome some exciting names this Saturday, 4th June.
From Bombay Bicycle Club and The Vaccines to Sports Team, Holly Humberstone, Easy Life, Arlo Parks, Alfie Templeman and Lauran Hibberd, it’s a bit of an indie pilgrimage. But that’s not all. We’ve got our own stage featuring some exciting new talent, and a brilliant little twist.
Dork’s tent will feature not one, but two stages. Running back-to-back, there’ll always be something happening – no long gaps or waiting around for us. With The Mysterines, Kid Kapichi, ADMT, Coach Party, Courting, Finn Askew, Kynsy, Lime Garden, L’objectif, Molly Payton, Porij, Sfven and Zuzu, it’s gonna be brilliant.
In the build-up, we grabbed hold a few of the acts playing to judge their mood ahead of the big day. Courting are, well. They’re Courting. Embrace the nonsense.
Hello Sean! Are we interrupting anything fun?
You’re not really interrupting anything. We’ve just got back from playing Amsterdam and are currently, collectively hibernating.
We hear your debut album isn’t all that far off now – what can you tell us about it?
I can tell you that it is the AOTY, certified classic, Conde Nast 10/10 etc. We are really proud of it and excited to share what we’ve been working on.
You’re playing Dork’s stage at Live At Leeds: In The Park – are you going to be around all day? Are there any other acts you’re looking forward to seeing, or catching up with?
We are very excited to see Confidence Man, and looking forward to catching up with some of our sworn enemies in Sports Team and Stone etc etc. The whole line-up is great, really; I might have to catch The Vaccines and relive my first Leeds Festival.
What are the key ingredients for a good festival, do you think?
I think the ideal would be that Courting would be playing every stage. Every time slot, and we just keep going and going and going and going and going.
How do you prepare for spending so long on the road and in muddy fields? Does it get any easier with experience?
I think it is hard to complain because it is a lot of fun. I think it’s also quite easy to complain because it’s really hard and tiring. Worth it, though; we’ve yet to fall out. I think we’ve yet to play in a seriously muddy field either; we’ve been fairly lucky with the weather so far. I think it gets easier the more you do it – our strongest revelation is bringing a nail clipping set with us at all times.
If you were to book your own all-dayer, who would you want on the bill?
Courting headlining. Courting on support duty all day. I think the ideal would be that Courting would be playing every stage. Every time slot, and we just keep going and going and going and going and going.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your Yorkshire pudding making skills?
The same as a pancake, really, isn’t it? You knew what you were doing when you asked this.
That being said, I’ve yet to actually self construct a Yorkshire pudding myself out of laziness.
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you at a festival?
Last year at 110 Above, we camped by a horse. Last year at Leeds, someone stole Sean’s camping chair. Once I became concussed at a Wolf Alice secret set. This year at Glastonbury, we’ll be making a guest appearance during Paul McCartney’s set.
And what’s the worst?
Last year at 110 Above, we camped by a special tree, but we weren’t allowed to touch it. Last year at Leeds, Sean couldn’t find his camping chair because it was the same make and design as every other camping chair at Leeds. Once I became concussed at a Wolf Alice secret set. This year at Glastonbury, we won’t be allowed within 1000 metres of Paul McCartney after we sent him 1000 emails begging that we’re allowed on stage for ‘Hey Jude’.
What else have you got coming up over the summer?
New Music, we’ll be playing the biggest stages we’ve ever played. Hopefully, we can finally gain a few more famous friends. Hosting the first gig underwater. Releasing the best album ever created.
Live At Leeds In The Park takes place this Saturday, 4th June at Temple Newsham, Leeds. You can grab tickets here.