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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 17:39 UK
BBC Blast Reporter Blog: Backstage at Leeds Festival
Ross Mitchell
By Ross Mitchell
BBC Blast Reporter

BBC Blast recruits young people every summer to work alongside staff in BBC local radio.

Radio Humberside's reporter this year is Ross Mitchell.

He'll be sticking like glue to the Raw Talent team as they get ready for a busy festival summer.

Read his weekly blog here.

Sunday 5th September

So finally I have recovered from the hustle and bustle of Leeds Festival and I can sum up everything that happened on the Sunday. After 5pm the night went really quickly, as we were getting ready for the live show backstage. It was a brilliant experience doing a live show in that environment and I learnt a lot. My package was also featured in the show, as well as a quick review of The Sunshine Underground and my music battle with Graham (who produces the Introducing show at Radio Leeds). We had a verbal fight over The Cribs - better with or without ex Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr! I think I held my own.

The show went brilliantly and then it was time to pack everything up so we could head back to the campsite to celebrate the last night of the festival. Highlight of the night being John (engineer) playing the bongos and Kris (also our engineer) showing us how not to play the recorder, it was hilarious.

I think the weekend was absolutely fantastic and some of the bands on the stage were incredible .The G.A.N.G, endoflevelbaddie and Wilder being my favourites. Best band to see through the weekend had to be Arcade Fire and as soon as I got back home I bought a ticket for their upcoming tour, cant wait!

Now I'm back at base getting ready for my final show here at BBC Humberside, hopefully I can get one last blog done in the next few days and then that will be it. This has been truly the best eight weeks of my life, getting sad now that it's all about to end.

Sunday 29th August

4:40pm. Unfortunately as I am writing this blog the rain is starting again although the weather has been mostly great this year. Hopefully the sun will come out soon. Just after 2pm The G.A.N.G played the most incredible set of the day and in my opinion the set of the whole weekend. They dragged in the crowd with their eclectic sound (and smiles) and have definitely won over some more fans. Excited now to see the next Hull act endoflevelbaddie who is on just after 7pm. Just going to find some interesting facts about Leeds Festival for the show. But make sure you go to www.bbc.co.uk/rawtalent and check out the picture gallery which features The G.A.N.G's set.

The G.A.N.G
The G.A.N.G had one of the biggest crowds of the weekend

1pm. Final day. The G.A.N.G are in the house! They arrived half an hour ago after a storming set in front of nearly a thousand people at the Introducing stage at Reading on Friday. They're from Hull of course and Radio Humberside championed them to get them here today. The boys are are really excited. They told us how Reading was rainy and muddy (but their shoes are really clean - how do they do that?! Sun shining here. They're on at 2.20pm. More from me later.

Saturday 28th August

3.25pm. Since my first experience interviewing a Norwegian band I've been interviewing Peers from Reading and Runaround Kids from Wakefield. Runaround Kids were fantastic even with the lead guitarist having a leg brace . He told me the bad leg was never going to get in the way. "This is too good an opportunity to turn down" he enthused. As I blog Sheffield based Nerves are on stage and even with the weather been not so cracking the crowd are still supporting new music which is brilliant. Meanwhile You Me At Six have just started their set on the main stage.

Ross with Kverlertak backstage

1.25pm and I've just interviewed Norwegian band Kverlertak. They're guests on the BBC Introducing stage today and drew a massive crowd at front. I've done a quick interview with them about how important it is for them to play in the UK. They said that they've done alot of UK dates but to play on a stage like this is fantastic. They were really excited about the turn out for their set.

It's 9.15am. At the backstage office already. Just spent half an hour back at the campsite trying to wake up engineer Kris. Katy finally rang him up to get him out of his deep sleep only to find he answered from the BBC Introducing stage where he'd been working since 7.30am. That's dedication.

So what happened last night? I didn't get to see Dizzee but could hear him from backstage and it sounded like the crowd loved it. A typical Friday night party. Katy (producer) let me out for a few hours to experience one of the must-see bands in the world right now. The awesome Libertines. There was a lot of talk about whether Pete and Carl could ever work together again but as soon as they stepped on stage it looked like they'd put all their differences behind them. They played What Became Of The Likely Lads and Can't Stop Me Now. The crowd were singing their hearts out and it was jam packed in the main arena.

At half nine it was time for the Arcade Fire. Immediately it stunned me how so many people in a band can sound so co-ordinated. The band move around the stage changing instruments all the time. Wow! It's so impressive. The crowd wasn't as big as for The Libertines but every single person seemed to be loving it and our lot who went all came back to the campsite saying how brilliant it was.

Today. The toilets are being emptied as I speak. Yes, it's all glamour backstage! The bands start again at midday on the BBC Introducing stage. I'm looking forward to Sheffield based band Nerves in particular. On the Main stage it's my favourite kind of music with bands such as Paramore, Weezer and after a five year hiatus, Blink 182 are finally playing their first ever UK festival. Little known fact - Travis the drummer has travelled by coach West to East across America and then came by boat to Europe. That's hard core commitment to get to the gig on time but actually all to do with him not wanting to fly.

Ross backstage
Ross backstage at the BBC Introducing stage

We're just beginning work here, getting all the technical stuff sorted and getting ready for recording the stage. It's cloudy and cold in the wind at Leeds Festival. This time of the morning in the main arena, it's quiet apart from the hum of the generators, the occasional fork lift truck and the toilet cleaning vehicle disturbing the silence.

See ya later. Chow Lah!

Friday 27th September Leeds Festival


This week is the most important and exciting of my whole placement. I'm at Leeds Festival. So far it's been brilliant.

I'm backstage at the BBC Introducing stage with BBC Radio Humberside's Raw Talent crew. We're recording all the bands, hanging out with the stars backstage and listening to some brilliant music.

Thursday night it all kicked off with Get Cape, Wear Cape Fly on this stage as a pre-festival warm up.

Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly
Sam Duckworth, front man of Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly

Sam Duckworth, their lead man was just fantastic. The atmosphere was amazing especially when the crowd were singing the words back to him - a goosebump moment.

Then it was back to the campsite and the Raw Talent base camp. We had a chat about the day before heading to bed but Katy, Chloe and Martha, my colleagues were all kept awake by our neighbours playing AC/DC until 4:00am.

So this morning, everyone was wearing sunglasses to cover baggy eyes.

Today? What a day. The BBC Introducing stage kicked off at midday. The backstage buzz is great and you can sense the excitement among the bands who are playing to the Leeds Festival crowd for the first time.

One of the most daunting experiences for me was going out into the festival crowd to get some vox pops; short interviews getting a flavour of what the festival goers are doing, seeing and listening to.

There's loads of chat and hype about the return of The Libertines who play the main stage tonight. Hopefully Pete Docherty will turn up!

But, tonight is all about Arcade Fire for me. I love this band and there's no better band to headline a summer festival. They are brilliant.

Meanwhile, it's busy here. We're photographing the bands, recording them and we've been down to the press area to interview Ash, The Futureheads and also Band of Skulls later.

You can hear all the highlights of this on our show Sunday night at 20:00 BST (19:00 GMT) on BBC Radio Humberside.

I'm loving this. I've been coming to Leeds Festival since 2005 but this is the best year. Working here behind the scenes is the experience of my life.

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