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  • Woodstock 99 Vs Leeds fest riots
  • richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Watched the Netflix doc the other day and it reminded of witnessing riots at Leeds festival a few times. Just wondering if anyone else was there?

    Found the Netflix doc a bit weird, I know it was a big festival and obviously the history of Woodstock, but the way they were building it up and how excited the kids were, it was like they’d never heard of festivals before!

    I wonder if the Woodstock riot gave the kids at Leeds the idea and spurred them on?

    Can’t remember the years exactly, think the first couple of times were temple newsham, around 2000. Toilet blocks went up and some of the walls in the camping field knocked down.

    Second time we were camping on top of a hill, we could see as each toilet block was set on fire, then the “rioters” would move to the next field and the next block went up, then the next, then the next. It was weirdly spectacular.

    Our tents were close to a hedge which fella’s would nip through to piss on the road on the other side. We heard someone come back saying there was police on the other side, I went through to look and there was a line of cops in full riot gear, we really thought they were going to come charging through the hedge and flatten the whole site!

    Short time later they’d gone and we could see them down near the car park “squaring up” against the rioters, Then there was a charge like a pitched battle!

    Next morning, two of my mates found their cars broken into and the steering locks broken because the cops shifted them away from the fight! Had to drive home from Leeds to Blackpool in a D reg mini with smashed window, full of glass!

    Third time I remember food trucks going up, the gas bottles exploding, that one felt pretty hairy. One of our party was particularly terrified and refused to come out of her tent. They’d installed toilets built around metal frames in the hope they wouldn’t burn. They did.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Dunno, I went to Reading my brother did Leeds.

    Woodstock seemed to be a huge number of people having gievences with the organisers so there was a target. Leeds every year was just drunk kids looking for a fight.

    jamiea
    Free Member

    Me and a couple of mates had the misfortune to go to Leeds in 2000 as Glastonbury had a fallow year. I don’t recall it being as bad as Richard upthread, but it was such a contrast to Glasto. So much more commercial (I had no idea other festivals had camping areas separate to the arena and that you’d be searched on the way in!) and so many more oiks around, and my first two Glastonburys were before the fence went up!

    finbar
    Free Member

    I’ve seen some top rioting at Leeds having volunteered with Oxfam as a stewards there loads in the early-mid 00s. All good fun 😎

    My first time at Glastonbury was also the last year before the superfence went up and they estimated 200,000 people were on site. I remember two policeman (the only ones I saw all weeK) walking through our campsite and asking “have you seen a couple of Welsh guys come through here with axes?” 😀 .

    Also fond memories of the guys wandering round shouting “E’s, hash, trips, whizz, get yer E’s, hash, trips, whizz!”. Don’t get that at Glastonbury any more…

    jamiea
    Free Member

    Also fond memories of the guys wandering round shouting “E’s, hash, trips, whizz, get yer E’s, hash, trips, whizz!”. Don’t get that at Glastonbury any more…

    Nor Scousers selling nicked crates of Stella for a £quid a can, just the thing for breakfast at 10 o’clock in the morning!

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    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Haha, now you mention it I remember guys walking round shouting that. Me and my mate got back to our tents to find two lads we were with in his tent with a random bloke. “Who the f*cks that?” “He’s got mushrooms!” “I don’t give a shit, get the f*ck out of my tent!”

    That’s the year that one friend took a bull whip with him. A full on, Indiana Jones style bull whip. I have no idea why. But I woke up one morning to find him running across the site shouting “get back here” at some scally’s who’d sneaked in his tent whilst were asleep and nicked his bag. Unfortunately, said scally just turned round and started whipping him with his own whip!

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    I was at Leeds in 2002, the last year it was at Temple Newsam. We were right near the entrance to one of the campsites from the arena so had loads of traffic past our tents and the toilets were at the top of the hill.

    It was Sunday night it all just went mental. Someone set a fire about 30ft away and started chucking deodorant cans on which generated a few decent sized fireballs. Then some genius threw a camping gas canister on, while it was on there a bloke tried to light his fag on the fire. He was very lucky, it went boom in a big way not much later. Bogs were on fire not long after that. I went and slept in the car as police helicopter was right above us all night. Absolute bedlam.

    2003 at Bramham Park was like a village fete in comparison.

    droplinked
    Full Member

    I remember the last year it was at Temple Newsam (2002?). Toilets on fire, gas cannisters getting chucked on bonfires, riot police, and even a police helicopter, with some fireworks being launched at it. Good times. Wasn’t involved, but saw the people scrapping, throwing cans and stones and stuff at the riot police.

    Went a few years at Bramham Park too, and there was always bonfires and ruckus on the Sunday nights but not quite the scale as at Temple Newsam. We’d always keep someone sober and drive home 2am ish on the Sunday night, as quite often there’d be a bonfire near the tents, and you’d not want to risk sleeping in them.

    Stainypants
    Full Member

    I‘m from Whitkirk and grew up 1/2 mile from Temple Newsam, stupid place to hold a festival.

    devash
    Free Member

    I was doing my A Levels 2000-2003 and had a rocker mate at college who went to Leeds every year. He told me about those riots (including the gas canisters getting chucked onto a fire an exploding, and the toilets getting destroyed). I was into clubbing / electronic music so couldn’t even fathom why you’d want to destroy things on a night out. Completely different scene.

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    Found the Netflix doc a bit weird, I know it was a big festival and obviously the history of Woodstock, but the way they were building it up and how excited the kids were, it was like they’d never heard of festivals before!

    Leeds would have to go some to beat Profitstock 99 .Watching it confirmed my theory that Americans seem to do crowd frenzy way better than anyone else.They are spectacularly good at winding themselves up,and nobody does mindless carnage better than juiced up frat brats and proud boys. 😉 😀
    The main organisers John Scher and Michael Lang were living in cloud cuckoo land from the start,and in absolute denial until the end.The candles thing has to be one of the best,”what could possibly go wrong” moments. 😀😃 😀

    john_l
    Full Member

    I think they knew exactly what was happening , but just denied it all.

    olly2097
    Free Member

    Yeah I remember burger vans being burnt. Gas bottles exploding. The next day the toilets were piles of chemical paper/turd with molten plastic around them. Madness.

    That year I fell over in a mud puddle of pee.

    Grim.

    My biggest concern was always having a poo over the three days. Ended up in some woodland. Seems everyone else had the same idea. Rancid.

    Oh to be young again.

    whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    never went to leeds fest, although did the love parade around that time and that was god awful

    vfestival stafford around 2000 we got our transit into a campervan area, on the saturday morning a guy was jump starting his imprezza turbo, when a young scally offered to help.
    unfortunately the young scally/joyrider sat in the drivers seat, engine started and he went tear arseing off, people were running after him, a few donuts, then he went straight out towards the disabled peoples area and swerved round ripping a tent out the ground then raced off, the police helicopter took an interest and started following it.

    my only other memory was coop lemon vodka is rank, and my mate said his pills werent working so double double dropped, lost him during moby’s early 90s rave up, we found him in the long grass 15m from our van on the sunday night jibbering. top weekend

    chakaping
    Free Member

    He told me about those riots (including the gas canisters getting chucked onto a fire an exploding, and the toilets getting destroyed). I was into clubbing / electronic music so couldn’t even fathom why you’d want to destroy things on a night out. Completely different scene.

    100%, but I guess it’s more fun than seeing Limp Bizkit or whatever toss would have been on the bill?

    olly2097
    Free Member

    100%, but I guess it’s more fun than seeing Limp Bizkit or whatever toss would have been on the bill?

    Limp bizkit was absolutely fantastic….

    When I was 14-18.

    Big blue baggy denim jeans with chewed bottoms. Limp bizkit hoodie. Greasy red hair and some chunky vans. Oh, and of course a spliff with the dirtiest soap bar in it.

    Good times.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I was right in the thick of it at Leeds in 2000 and 2001. Yes, it was er, eye opening. The first time I was 17 and I was back at work on the Monday in a factory feeling like I’d just done a tour of Nam.

    I didn’t see any violence or robbing. Everyone was in quite high spirits as everything around us went up in flames. It was weirdly amazing.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Ah it’s still there! I took this photo, on my little APS Ixus! I’ll be so sad when it eventually comes down.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2410401.stm

    The last Leeds at Temple Newsham, I think is probably THE Leeds riot? It doesn’t really compare to the Woodstock shitshow but there were some similarities- the venue was pretty terrible, huge queues to get in and out, one of the smaller stages was flat-out dangerous (the tent where Feeder played I think?). Always think it’s kind of ironic that Guns N Roses were so well behaved- late on but only because of the Prodigy. Such a brilliant weekend for the music though, easily the best yellow posters I ever saw.

    We were camped up on the hill so it kind of broke around us but we still went for a wander. Honestly felt so unreal- we went firewalking where those toilets were, watched the propane cans in the catering trolleys flaring off, saw portaloos actually explode with their own shit. Broke up a load of silly handbag fights just by being incomprehensible and scottish at people. Was right beside one of the security towers and heard a radio message “everyone whose still on the site, ditch your hiviz, make yourself look normal, and vanish”, that was a moment. Went up to where the cops were trying to get the riot vans in, just spectated really. Saw the police helicopter get hit with a thrown rock, turned out the guy who did it was a cricketer. But then we found some guy just lying in a literal stream of blood running down one of the fireroads, didn’t really have a clue what to do but we helped a bit with the scene and helped move him, that broke the unreality a bit! No idea what happened.

    So then we retreated back up to our hilltop and loads of groups got together, burned everything we had left to burn and generally had a really nice time chilling out watching the apocalypse.

    Thing that made me laugh after was that so many of the “persons of interest” were scottish. Remember when they put out the mugshots? There were like 200 faces and 100 were thought to be from scotland. Bet they were all at Biffy.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I just had a flashback. The only police I saw was a riot van wheel spinning in the mud trying to enter the site with a line of other vans stuck behind it. There were loads of kitted up rozzers rocking it from side to side trying to break it lose.

    I’m glad they didn’t get in as I said before, I didn’t witness any violence. No doubt that would have changed if the police flooded in.

    johnx2
    Free Member

    I didn’t see any violence or robbing. Everyone was in quite high spirits as everything around us went up in flames. It was weirdly amazing.

    Standard Leeds city centre friday night. At least three of the pubs I frequented burned down, and Roots/Cosmos/Phoenix used to keep burning down.

    dirtyrider
    Free Member

    Woodstock 99 was just Leeds/Reading on ANY year in the 00’s on kickout night/day

    dirtyrider
    Free Member

    might be happening this year as well seeing as no refunds and replacing RATM with the 1975 😂

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    one of the smaller stages was flat-out dangerous (the tent where Feeder played I think?)

    I remember that, massive crowd as it was their second (after Reading the day before) performance since their drummer had committed suicide. Could you have easily been on the main stage for the amount of people that were there.

    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Just looked at this year’s line up, I’ve heard of maybe 7-8 acts on the poster! 😳 Actually interested in about 2 of them!

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    I was into clubbing / electronic music so couldn’t even fathom why you’d want to destroy things on a night out. Completely different scene.

    Nah, you’d turn up, rave in the dance tent (which STUNK of poppers) then destroy stuff.

    I did three years in the carnage at Braham Park in the mid 2000s. As a teenager, it kept me right for the year – all my pent up rage and fury was vented in a big fire over three days and then I’d be (mostly) sweetness and light for the next 12 months.

    We took a slingshot catapult one year. A lad in the camp next to use asked if he could use it to fire a turd he’d done into a condom (which his loving mates had held open beneath his anus for him). Later that weekend he got his ears pierced by a hot needle and was drinking hand sanitizer to numb the pain. It was a hell of a thing.

    I can’t believe they’ve replaced RATM with the 1975 this year. RATM at Leeds was one of the highlights of my life, and one of the most violent gigs I’ve ever been to.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    I remember that, massive crowd as it was their second (after Reading the day before) performance since their drummer had committed suicide.

    Yup. We’d been in for trail of dead the day before and even that was sketchy, it was basically built to squash people. Bad sightlines, plus a slippery slope down to it. You couldn’t even tell from outside that people were getting hurt so folk just kept on piling in, and they didn’t have any crowd control to stop it. I’ve been in some brutal crowds but that was the one that I just went, nope, this is asking for trouble. And more people were hurt in it than in the riots, but there weren’t so many headlines about that, because there wasn’t any property damage…

    Just as well the other stages were so damn good!

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I actually had a day ticket for the Friday this year because of RATM. I got a refund confirmed within 24 hours of them cancelling.

    I also had a ticket to see them at Madison Square Garden with RTJ in July 2020 but we know what happened to those plans.

    The first time I saw them was leeds 2000. Starting to think I’ll never see them again.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    I was there in 2000, camped just along from the toilets on Jimmy Hill. Overwhelming memories of Boddingtons being shit but still trading one can for every two Carling I had (Morrisons in town was otherwise cleared out by the time we got there).

    Remember being really pissed off about having to smuggle cans in every day, I must admit the riot felt pretty spontaneous but when we heard about the next few years it was just a bit samey. We were overwhelmingly of the opinion that it was started by the legions of Oasis fans that turned up for the last night, everything was fine until those eejits turned up.

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