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Video shows how teenage revellers wreaked havoc at Reading and Leeds Festival by torching tents, fighting and looting on the final day of the weekend-long music festivals.
‘Hooded youths’ ran through the campsite burning chairs and abandoned tents, an attendee at the Leeds venue told Mail Online. The witness alleged that some festivalgoers were still inside their tents as the revellers lit them up.
Bystanders say the fires began around 4pm on Sunday but worsened after nightfall with chaos peaking between midnight and 2am.
Video shows several blazes burning simultaneously as explosions could be heard throughout camp. Fire crews were battling the small infernos as scared festivalgoers tried to leave the scene.
Limited security forces struggled to impose order as crowds threw chairs and other objects into large bonfires.
The early exodus was chaotic, a witness recalled, noting how the car parks were a ‘mess’ as worried mothers travelled to the site – some commuting hours – to pick up their scared children.
Those who opted to stay at Brahman Park, which hosted Leeds Festival, said it was ‘quite scary because there were fires everywhere.’ Groups would stand guard outside their tents and some people set out lights so the teens would know which canvas dwellings were occupied.
Chaos also broke out at Reading Festival with videos showing fires burning across the campsite. An eyewitness said fans of rival music genres fought each other as hip-hop and alternative festivalgoers clashed after different acts performed on the same stage after one another.
Video shows how teenage revellers wreaked havoc at Reading and Leeds Festival by torching tents, fighting and looting on the final day of the weekend-long music festivals
Much of the campsite was set on fire on the festival’s final day, with some still burning on Monday morning
Those who opted to stay at Brahman Park, which hosted Leeds Festival, said it was ‘quite scary because there were fires everywhere.’ Groups would stand guard outside their tents and some people set out lights so the teens would know which canvas dwellings were occupied
‘Hooded youths’ ran through the campsite burning chairs and abandoned tents, an attendee at the Leeds venue told Mail Online. The witness alleged that some festivalgoers were inside their tents the revellers lit them up
Bystanders say the fires began around 4pm on Sunday but worsened after nightfall with chaos peaking between midnight and 2am
Video shows several blazes burning simultaneously as explosions could be heard throughout camp. Fire crews were battling the small infernos as scared festivalgoers tried to leave the scene
Rubbish and discarded tents cover the landscape at the grounds to Leeds Festival where there have been reports that tents were burned on the last day
A burned tent and rubbish are left behind at Leeds festival after teenagers wreaked havoc at the festival on Sunday night
‘It was just sort of kids out of control,’ a Leeds Festival attendee, who spoke to Mail Online on the basis on anonymity, said of the event. ‘Fires were everywhere.
‘Sixteen-year-olds were running around, messing with things and starting fires everywhere – fires were popping up nonstop from 12 to 2am. They would get so big that the officials would come over.’
Revellers were seen smashing chairs and setting lighters to anything flammable including tents. Some attendees took to Twitter claiming they were inside their when it was lit on fire.
‘I saw someone check inside before lighting up the tent,’ the witness told Mail Online. ‘I was nervous to go to bed in case I would be set alight in the middle of night.
‘One of my friends put a light in his bed so they knew he was in there.’
The witness claimed the destructive teens also tried to set fire to a Scottish flag that many festivalgoers were using as a landmark to find their campsite.
‘A 16-year-old tried to take the flag. Then a group ran over and told him not to burn the flag.’
The festivalgoer also said it was ‘really difficult’ to direct security officials to the chaos because of poor mobile reception in the area.
The witness added that his friend, who attended Reading Festival previously, warned him that Sundays tend to be more rowdy than the first two days at the festival, but claims what they saw this year was unlike prior events.
‘One of my friends had been to Reading before and said Sundays have always been crazy, but it was nothing like what we saw,’ the witness said. ‘It was just chaos.’
A spokesperson for Reading and Leeds Festival did not immediately respond to Mail Online’s request for comment. However, Thames Valley Police claims the chaos at Reading Festival was addressed promptly.
‘There were some fires in the campsite on Sunday, but festival security had water pumps and extinguished these within minutes,’ police said in a statement on Monday.
‘There was some disorder in the campsite at about 4.30pm on Sunday, but this was dealt with within minutes by festival security and about fifty people were ejected from the site. Those ejected were safeguarded by the festival organisers, Thames Valley Police, and British Transport Police to ensure they could get home safely.’
Many said they left the campsite after feeling the atmosphere turn sour as things became more dangerous
Fires were burned in the middle of the Reading Festival campsite as disorder broke out from around 4pm on Sunday
Chairs and other objects were thrown onto the bonfires by crowds at the festival
Many reported online they left the festival early after witnessing the chaos
Fires were still burning today as the aftermath of last night’s devastation was revealed
Festivalgoers left a vast expanse of rubbish behind, as tents, chairs and litter behind them. A huge clean-up operation began today
Smoke was still billowing out from the campsite wreckage today after Reading Festival attendees had moved out
Huge crowds made their way out of the festival this morning following the chaos of the night before
Needle spiking arrest
A man was arrested in connection with a needle spiking incident at the Arctic Monkeys show on Saturday, Thames Valley police said
The force told Berkshire Live he was later released
It was one of several arrests at the festival over the weekend
Police denied rumours of a gunman present at the festival
Source: BPM Media
A man was also arrested in connection with a needle spiking incident at the Arctic Monkeys headline show on Saturday, and there were several other reports of spiking.
Roads were in gridlock as hundreds of festivalgoers fled the site early as the fighting and tent looting continued.
Fires were lit between tents in the Orange Camp section of the festival in the day, while more fires burned on Sunday night.
Attendee Amber Vellacott, 26, said she and her boyfriend escaped the festival after they found themselves surrounded by violence.
She told the Mirror: ‘We saw fires start at about 4pm in various camps, the crews & security were fast on them, but all the kids were surrounding and egging it on, throwing rubbish & cans into them.
‘We felt the whole vibe of the camp sites change, and when we saw people start picking up tents and rubbish, throwing them into the trees & across the camps, we thought it was best to pack up and head out – annoyingly so!
Police said 50 people were ejected from the festival site following the fires and other violent incidents that raged on the campsite yesterday. However, it appear no arrests were made.
They added the festival’s security added quickly to get water to the numerous fires and put them out.
One woman told Metro.co.uk she had to rescue her sleeping friend from her tent as flames spread towards her when the fires ran out of control.
Many music fans began their journey home by boat after leaving Reading Festival
Reports of fighting and even cases of needle spiking were reported by attendees
‘But it just didn’t feel safe for two grown adults, let alone all the kids there. When we left at about 7pm, there was a fair bit of security but not masses. More volunteers who dare not get involved – and I can’t blame them.’
Disorder and large fires have been seen at Reading Festival in the past – particularly on its final day.
The 1975 were headlining on Sunday night as the chaos continued, following other big-name acts including The Arctic Monkeys, Dave and Megan Thee Stallion.
The news comes after a 16 year-old boy died at Leeds Festival after a suspected drugs incident.
Yorkshire Police said it was investigating whether he had taken an MDMA pill.
Reading Festival was contacted for comment.
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Leeds Festival – which ran at the same time – saw a huge amount of debris left strewn across the site as fans left
A huge clean up got under way at Leeds Festival to clear up the rubbish left behind – many tents were abandoned
People wait to leave Leeds Festival earlier today after the end of the three day event
Matty Healy of The 1975 – the band headlined Reading Festival on the final day when the disruption occurred
Left: The Arctic Monkeys also headlined on the main stage on the first day of the festival on Friday. Right: Charlie XCX performs on the main stage at Reading Festival on its final day
Some VERY sore heads! Hungover revellers leave Reading Festival clutching sleeping bags and chairs as they make their way home after a long weekend of partying
Revellers left Reading Festival exhausted and nursing hangovers after a weekend filled with booze, drugs, brawls and live music.
Attendees were seen leaving the annual music festival early this morning, with hoodies covering their heads and others sporting sunglasses, to ease their headaches.
Festivalgoers were seen passed out on the ground in their sleeping bags with their backpacks, rolled up tents and lawn chairs nearby as they waited to head out.
The escalator was flooded with long queues of fatigued youngsters preparing to make the trek back home.
Festival staff have started to dismantle the stages and site as the curtain comes down and litter pickers will be on hand as the mammoth job of clearing the site gets underway.
Thankfully the weather was warm all weekend so there is no mud bath to contend with as people head back to their cars or wait for the shuttle buses with bags, tents and other camping paraphernalia to hand.
A festival attendee sporting sunglasses covers his head with a lawn chair as he embarks on his journey out of the festival
Revellers left Reading Festival seemingly exhausted as they nursed hangovers sustained from a weekend filled with booze, drugs, brawls and live music
Photographs show attendees leaving the annual music festival early Monday morning. Some covered their heads and others sported sunglasses, likely to ease their headaches
Reading festival welcomed 90,000 to its site at the weekend. An attendee is seen as she begins her journey home at Reading Train Station after the three-day annual event came to an end
Two girls who attended Reading Festival cosy up as they begin their journey home from the event
The escalator was flooded with long queues of fatigued youth preparing to make the trek back home
Revellers are pictured with their mound of camping supplies as they wait for transportation out of Reading Festival
Leeds Festival tragedy as teenage boy, 16, dies after ‘taking grey or black MDMA pill’ – as police launch investigation
A 16-year-old boy has died today after he may have taken a ‘grey or black’ ecstasy tablet at Leeds Festival on Saturday night, police have said.
West Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation following the teenager’s suspected drugs-related death.
Officers were called around 10.16 on Saturday night and were informed the boy had been taken to the medical tent after falling ill.
David Celino, 16, tragically died in the early hours of Sunday morning after being taken to hospital from Leeds Festival in a suspected drugs-related incident
He was taken to hospital but tragically died on Sunday. His parents have been told.
Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson of West Yorkshire Police, said:
‘Our thoughts are with the family of the boy who has died, and we have officers supporting them at this very difficult time.
‘While the exact cause of his death is yet to be established, one line of enquiry is that he had taken a particular type of ecstasy (MDMA) tablet, which was described as a grey or black oblong shape.
‘At this moment in time this is believed to be an isolated incident as we have not received any similar reports.
‘Users of any drug which is not professionally prescribed can never be sure of their contents and the risks involved with taking the substance.
‘Anyone who does feel ill after taking any substance should seek urgent medical attention.’
‘We are continuing to conduct enquiries on site and are liaising closely with the event organisers.’
Police made an appeal on social media asking for anyone with information linked to the death to come forward.
Leeds Festival, which has run this year from August 25 to August 28, has been a popular event for teenagers and young adults since it began in 1999.
An estimated 100,000 people attended each day of Leeds Fest this year.
Headliners at this year’s festival include US popstar Halsey (Friday night), Streatham-born rapper Dave (Saturday) and the Arctic Monkeys on Sunday.
The Arctic Monkeys, whose frontman Alex Turner is from Sheffield, also performed at Reading – Leeds’ sister festival – on Saturday night.
Reading and Leeds typically share headliners and supporting acts and take place simultaneously in late August every year.