Transport for one of the UK’s biggest festivals

Extra buses at short notice to reduce delays

16 ground staff equipped to accept card payments

The Challenge

Leeds Festival has become one of the UK’s biggest rock events. It attracts major headline acts to the 75,000-capacity Bramham Park venue over the August bank holiday weekend.

The scale of the event presents logistical challenges for the promoters, Festival Republic – not least the safe and smooth transfer of festivalgoers to the site on the outskirts of Leeds.

Transport was required to cater for a steady stream of new arrivals throughout the event, regular shuttles into the city centre and a local supermarket and the transportation of all the festivalgoers to the bus and train stations in Leeds. After the 2015 programme wrapped up, the sheer amount of traffic on local roads around the site created long delays for departing festivalgoers.

The Solution

First Travel Solutions provided all transport needs for the 2016 festival, drawing on buses from the First Group fleet as well as its wider network of trusted and accredited suppliers.

Throughout the five days of the event, buses brought festivalgoers from the bus and railway stations in Leeds city centre. At the beginning and end of the festival, services also ran to and from York, linking with the East Coast rail line. In all, 23,000 people travelled on these services.

In addition, some 7,500 festivalgoers used a shuttle bus between the site and a superstore in the vicinity, allowing them to pick up supplies.

We also supplied 16 ground staff, who oversaw efficient loading of the buses and sold tickets. To maximise the efficiency of this process, a special retail website enabled pre-sales and ground staff were equipped to accept card payments as well as exchange pre-sold tickets for wrist bands.

The Result

Logistics for the festival ran smoothly, supported by the use of 59 buses a day.

The biggest challenge that arose was on the Sunday night and Monday, when traffic on the approach road became snarled up due to the volume of departures. When the buses’ travel time became extended, we acted to save those passengers still on site from a protracted wait. We kept the buses running longer, sourced additional buses and sent them to the site immediately to reduce the delays.