The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Festival preview: Reading and Leeds

Reading and Leeds returns with another headliner-packed line-up, so The Mancunion looks ahead to what will surely be the perfect end to summer


Festival season has well and truly begun and the excitement is rife as people across the country drag out their tents from the attic, pull on their shorts-and-wellies combo and bulk buy 12-packs of Kopparberg.

But Reading and Leeds, one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, is also one of the latest, leaving fans waiting until the tail-end of the summer to set up camp. Once again, however, the line-up promises to be wholly worth the wait.

This year, the main stage is showcasing one of the most musically diverse line-ups in the festival’s history. R&L regulars Muse are joined by Kasabian and Eminem, instantly ticking three boxes on the ultimate live band bucket list.

These headliners are joined by Bastille, who late last year took on arenas across the country with exceptional energy and a captivating performance, whilst Circa Waves and Two Door Cinema Club promise to have crowds swarming the main stage for some indie rock magic. Jimmy Eat World, meanwhile, provide the pop-punk nostalgia we all secretly crave, and Rat Boy has quickly accelerated up the list ready to bring his contagious energy back to the festival.

Meanwhile, the NME stage features a headlining set from last year’s secret act, You Me At Six, a band at the forefront of modern British rock, alongside American rock band Haim and Flume, who this year won a Grammy for his latest album, Skin. Other highlights include Loyle Carner, Reading’s own Sundara Karma and Halsey, whose intoxicating vocals bring a highly anticipated set.

Whether you’re a massive fan of dance or you’re at the festival for its rock roots, the dance stage always proves to be an unmissable experience, made even more so by the likes of Fatboy Slim, Jax Jones and Charli XCX. Over on the other side of the festival, however, The Pit hosts a number of the biggest names in rock, with While She Sleeps and Neck Deep fronting a headliner-packed line-up, including the Japanese One Ok Rock who have captivated audiences across the world and The Amity Affliction whose cathartic song craft will certainly make them one to watch.

A tent I have tended to overlook in previous years, the Festival Republic stage, this year gives platform to some of the most exciting names in the industry. Names like The Hunna, Cigarettes After Sex and The Japanese House are joined by The Amazons and Eden, both of whom have been gathering an increasing amount of attention over the past year.

It is, however, the BBC 1Extra stage that features one of the acts I am most excited for this year: rapper and poet, Watsky. If you see one artist this year that you’ve never heard of before, make it Watsky. You won’t regret it.

Of course, the music isn’t the only reason Reading and Leeds is one of the most enjoyable festival experiences; the alternative stage has a history of featuring some of the greatest comedic acts around, and this year we have sets from Katherine Ryan and the internet’s favourite satirical news reporter, Jonathan Pie.

Tickets are selling fast for what has proven continually over the years to be the ultimate festival experience, so if you haven’t already, get securing yours.

Reading and Leeds takes place on August Bank Holiday weekend, 25th – 27th.

Weekend camping and day tickets are available for both Reading and Leeds via Ticketmaster here.