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Last Updated: Monday, 25 August, 2003, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Thousands enjoy Leeds Festival
Festival goers
More than 50,000 packed each day of the event
Thousands of music fans have enjoyed the biggest rock event in the north of England at the Leeds Festival.

Headliners Blur brought the three-day event to a close on Sunday night with a set that included a mixture of greatest hits and material from their latest album, Think Tank.

Up to 50,000 people are believed to have attended each day of the festival - the twin event of the Reading Festival - held at Bramham Park, near Wetherby.

Other highlights included Metallica, System Of A Down, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Darkness.

Packed house

Festival organiser Melvin Benn hailed the 2003 event as a resounding success, describing it as "absolutely excellent".

He told BBC News Online: "I'm standing by the side of the main stage, watching the big wheel in the distance and Blur have just finished to a packed house.

"I really couldn't be happier.

"There has been a real sense of how everyone really was just pleased it was going ahead and really enjoyed themselves."

Peaceful end

Last year, the festival finished with police in riot gear being pelted with missiles after crowds set fire to rows of portable toilets.

The event also ended in trouble in 2001.

But this year the festival ended peacefully.

On the opening night on Friday, 22 fans were injured when a crowd surged against a barrier in front of the stage.

But event managers said there were no further incidents.

West Yorkshire Police say they made 28 arrests.

Predictions from the parish council in nearby Thorner that the village would be gridlocked by traffic going to and festival proved unfounded.

While some of the music from Bramham Park could be heard in the village, residents reported that the festival did not hinder their normal activities.

About 70,000 fans also enjoyed the twin event in Reading.




SEE ALSO:
Barrier 'not to blame' for injuries
23 Aug 03  |  West Yorkshire
Traffic warning for Leeds Festival
19 Aug 03  |  West Yorkshire
Police 'allow' festival licence
10 Jul 03  |  West Yorkshire


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