From huge music festivals to the biggest cycling event in the world, we roll back the years, to remember three huge events from Leeds’ history.
Leeds has played host to a host of huge events over the years, and hopefully we’ll see even more in the future. These three are hard to forget – and even weren’t around when they happened, you may well have heard stories, passed down through the generations. There’s one of the biggest music festivals to ever take place in the city, as well as our part in the Festival of Britain and the arrival the world’s greatest cycling race.
Tour de France
The Tour de France is the world’s biggest cycling race, and with it came a whole of host of cultural and sporting events in the run up to the Grand Depart on Saturday 5th July 2014. 18 teams, totalling 198 riders, descended upon the city – and hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to show their support. It really was an event to remember, as the riders set out of a tour of Yorkshire that showed millions of viewers what God’s Own Country is all about.
It only came here for one year, however, Love Parade 2001 at Roundhay Park was one of the biggest events the city has ever seen. It’s the only version of the festival that has taken place in the UK, and it’s still incredibly popular in mainland Europe to this day. However, with the help of BBC Radio 1, 250,000 revellers packed into the park, to see sets from the likes of Pete Tong, Dave Pearce and Phats and Small, while DJs from Godskitchen, Back2Basics and Slinky helped create one of the most memorable dance music festivals in Leeds’ history.
Festival of Britain
Back in 1951, Woodhouse Moor was one of the venues for the landmark Festival of Britain. Designed to help promote Britain and show signs of post-war recovery, it went all over the UK with different events taking place in different cities. The Land Travelling Exhibition stopped in Leeds throughout June and July in a 35,000 square foot marquee – it held 5,000 exhibits that showed the growth of Britain through the ages, as well as looking at what the future might hold with the development of technology and discovery.
Feature image courtesy of Laurie Cooper-Murray. Tour de France image copyright Jess Rowbottom.