Fancy something ‘Alternative’ at the Leeds and Reading Festivals?

Travel Ideas

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If you can’t make it up to Edinburgh this August, but you’re still eager to see some of the world’s best comedy acts performing at the Fringe, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are other places to experience all the laughter this summer – including tucked away at some of the country’s biggest musical events!

That’s right, the legendary Leeds and Reading Festivals offer more than just the world’s biggest bands, they also attract some of the best comedy talent too – with some of the Fringe’s top picks making the trip down from Scotland to give a taste of their sell-out shows to festival-goers looking for something different.

Some of the acts taking to the ‘Alternative Stage’ at next month’s Leeds and Reading Festivals – which take place over the Bank Holiday weekend from 27 to 29 August – include American favourite Emo Philips, who’s performing in the UK for the first time in eight years, as well as rising star Robin Ince, who previously supported Ricky Gervais on his national stand-up tours.

It’s not just your funny bone that will be tickled at the Alternative Stage though, with political music groups like Instigate Debate also using the area to host debates on current events, with a panel made up of prominent members of bands like the Libertines. Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with the pure entertainment being offered by the festival’s headliners – which include Guns N’ Roses, Arcade Fire and Blink-182 – but sometimes it’s good to exercise your brain as well as your body! ;)

If the idea of mixing music with comedy seems a little unusual to you, it’s not a new idea – in fact, my parents have recounted plenty of stories of seeing up-and-coming comedians of the past like Phill Jupitus supporting bands like The Fall in the 80s. If you live in the cultural powerhouse of London, you’ll also find plenty of chances to catch comedians trying out their new material over the next two weeks before they head up to the Edinburgh Fringe in August – and because these are preview shows, you should be able to find many of them at a low price!

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