A quiet gathering with a few bands - and their 75,000 fans

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A RECORD 75,000 festival-goers are expected to pack into Bramham Park this weekend for one of the UK’s biggest music festivals.

Yesterday the grounds of Bramham Park started to fill up as revellers pitched their tents for a weekend of top music and attractions over the three-day event.

Headline acts this year include Pulp, Muse and My Chemical Romance on the main stage with top dance acts playing on the NME and Radio One stage throughout the bank holiday weekend.

Other well-known bands playing at the annual rock bash include Elbow, Madness and Leeds-based band The Pigeon Detectives.

As well as the musical attractions, comedy is on offer at the festival with writer and comedian Russell Kane doing a stand up gig alongside fellow comedian Tim Minchin.

Speaking before the festival, Leeds festival boss Melvin Benn said: “I think this year is probably our best line up yet, the atmosphere at the Leeds festival is always spectacular and amazing, you can’t beat it, and I think at this year’s show we have an even great breadth in terms of the overall line up than in past years. Demand for tickets was extremely high again last year and sold out which is why we have increased tickets by 5,000 this year to meet demand. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the Leeds festival.”

Bosses confirmed the weekend camping tickets have now sold out this week with a limited number of day tickets still available.

Leeds Festival returns to Bramham Park for its ninth year this year after moving from Temple Newsam Estate in 2003. The festival was initially held on the estate in east Leeds but switched to Bramham Park in 2003 after the festival was dogged by problems caused by troublemaking fans.

The three-day concerts have passed off relatively smoothly since the move to the park-privately owned by Nick and Rachael Lane Fox - with just 21 arrests being made last year – 18 down on the total for 2009.

However traffic problems have blighted the festival in the past, with the worst year being 2008 which saw some drivers stuck in traffic for up to seven hours. Revised traffic management schemes and diversions have eased congestion during the build-up over the last two summers.

l For more details on the festival, including opening times, travel, parking information and remaining tickets, visit www.leedsfestival.com.

l Railway strikes today will threaten to disrupt people travelling to Leeds festival. Members of train drivers’ Union RMT and ASLEF walked out on Wednesday and are expected to do the same today in a row over pay. Train operator Transpennine is planning to run a limited timetable.

l See next week’s issue for a special feature - and lots of pictures - from the festival weekend.