On Saturday 12 July, the Yorkshire Bears descended on the historic ruins of Kirkstall Abbey for an afternoon of summer festival fun. We found ourselves a prime position, sandwiched between a gaggle of pasty-faced Euro-Goths and a man on an acoustic guitar barking like a rabid alsation, and got down to the real business of the day: an industrial-sized tray of spicy chicken wings and a crate of Estrella.
From the three-legged dog show to the heated arguments at the UKIP stand, there really was something for everyone, and as the Birds of Prey display swooped worryingly close to the human pyramid of pre-teen majorettes, we were relieved that we hadn’t forked out over two hundred nicker for Middleclasstonbury with all this right on our doorstep.
There were enquiries galore from inquisitive onlookers as they marvelled at our matching T-shirts and asked, ‘Just who or what are these Yorkshire Bears?’ Depending on our mood (and how frightening they looked) we explained either that we’re a samba band with instruments delayed in transit, an American football squad for type 2 diabetics, or a group of big hairy men who enjoy having sex with other men – we certainly kept those North Leeds locals guessing!
By late afternoon and by this point suffering from advanced sunstroke, we packed up our picnic and conga’d our way back to the safety of our luxury festival wigwam, with a mob of bi-curious Asda-dads in tow, for a bongo workshop and an evening of body-painting. We stumbled into our very own blogger Farran ‘Moonbeam’ Chandler en route, fashionably late and in pristine condition compared to the rest of the bears who were by now battle-scarred and haggard from the afternoon’s exhilarations. We shoved him off in the direction of the nearest tombola, feeling a bit guilty about leaving him on his own, but then remembering that he actually quite likes it like that.
Evidence is available in the gallery, with deep gratitude to Vasco and Beartronic for their invaluable photographic contributions.