For those who like something more than just the music, organisers at Leeds Festival (and Reading) have the Alternative Stage tucked away in the corner of the Festival site. Hosting a weekend of top comedy, in previous years the stage has seen a plethora of high-profile names tread the boards across the three days. This weekend was no different and, while the line-up may not have had the wow factor of previous years, the standard of headliner was definitely up there with the best the comedy world has to offer.
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Comedy clearly runs in the family, as Elliot Steel, son of comedian and author Mark Steel, made his appearance at Leeds Festival on the Friday engaging in chat comedy fans. Edinburgh Comedy Newcomer Winner 2019 Helen Bauer also graced the stage on the Friday showcasing why she is fast becoming a popular name amongst comedy fans.
Ahead of his UK tour, the increasingly popular Lloyd Griffiths pulled in fans from across the festival site as he made his appearance and, judging by his popularity on the Friday, if you haven’t already got a ticket for his upcoming dates, this could have been your only chance to catch one of the funniest acts around at the moment.
Another familiar name on the comedy circuit is UK-based American Reginald D Hunter who, last time he appeared on the bill of the comedy stage at Leeds Festival, did so in a wheelchair due to an injury. Thankfully this time, Hunter arrived on stage in full fitness and, after another hugely entertaining performance left the stage unscathed.
Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
Catching the very end of Luke Wright’s set, it’s nice to see somebody putting a comedic twist on a different format with Wright adding humour to poetry. Finishing up his set with a clever routine where every word contained the letter U but no other vowels, Wright is clearly a name to watch out for if you like something a bit out of the ordinary.
Headlining the Saturday night, Joel Dommett was another popular choice with comedy fans at the festival and, having become a regular on the festival circuit this Summer, the funnyman showed he is as comfortable at home in front of a festival crowd as he is on the general comedy circuit.
Following Luke Wright’s comedy poetry on Saturday, Sunday saw the absolutely brilliant Jayde Adams finish her set with a story about a traumatic Megabus Gold journey . Delivering a stunning routine to finish up her stint on stage, Adams showed why the comedy press are labelling her as “Britain’s Funniest Woman”.
The ever reliable Milton Jones, as at Tramlines earlier in the Summer, pulled in a crowd who absolutely lap up his one liners. Again, Jones didn’t disappoint delivering one-liner after one-liner while also dispatching hecklers with the same quick-witted speed of his comedy. Absolutely brilliant.
With a headliner as strong as Katherine Ryan it came as no surprise to find the Alternative Stage was busier than it had been all weekend for her headline set. A clear favourite amongst the festival crowd, this isn’t the first time Ryan has appeared at Leeds Festival and her headline set was the perfect way to finish off a weekend of top comedy.
Honourable mentions go to Russell Hicks, Milo McCabe, Lou Conran, Eddy Brimson, Dane Baptiste, Laura Smyth, Chris Washington and the many other comedians who kept comedy fans laughing all weekend.
You can read our review of the music here.