2013-reading-festival-and-leeds-festival_guide-hints-tips-previews-and-advice_leeds-festival-main-stage-and-crowd-by-giles-smith_1000PxSq72DpiWITH a lineup boasting some of the biggest names in music, it’s not long until the Reading & Leeds festivals kick off at the end of August. Spread over ten stages, the selection of performers this year is as eclectic as ever and covers all areas; from indie rock to heavy metal to grime to hip hop to pop punk, there’s something for just about everyone. For the first time in its history, the festivals will have five headliners with two pairs of co-headliners, as Foals, Disclosure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro and Fall Out Boy will each take their moment to shine in the top spot. With such a variety on offer, TTV has compiled a list of acts you don’t want to miss.


Foals will make their long awaited debut headline appearance at the festival, having worked their way up over the years and developed into one of the country’s most exciting live acts. From their youthful math-rock origins, the Oxford band have transformed into a heavier, grittier and more muscular outfit with each album and they are ready to prove why they deserve a seat among the best of British guitar rock. Following the success of their first UK arena tour earlier this year and a big slot at Glastonbury in June, they will be co-headlining with Disclosure and will take the top spot at Reading on the Friday night. Expect a typically raucous performance with crowd-surfing from enigmatic front man Yannis Philappakis.

Crystal Castles

All eyes will be on Edith Frances as she looks to fill the big shoes of Alice Glass as the new lead vocalist of Crystal Castles. High up the bill on the Radio 1/NME stage, this may be one of the first opportunities to see some of the new material live with their fourth album ‘Amnesty (I)’ released just prior to the festival. From what we’ve heard already, it sounds like the electronic experimentalists will carry on from the success of their previous release ‘(III)’, while maintaining the furious, frenetic energy of their earlier music. This should surely make for an equally compelling and intense performance worthy of many a mosh-pit.


Scotland’s rising stars Fatherson will be making their debut appearance at Reading & Leeds this year, opening the Radio 1/NME stage. They’re enjoying a fairly busy 2016 with the release of their sophomore album ‘Open Book’ back in June, proving that the second album isn’t so ‘difficult’ after all, followed by stand-out performances at T in the Park and Belladrum. With a set full of emotionally charged rock anthems, tracks such as ‘Always’, ‘Just Past the Point of Breaking’ and ‘I Like Not Knowing’ will no doubt go down a storm in their early slot.


This Spanish quartet have had an intense touring schedule in recent times with the release of their debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’ back in January. With so much time spent on the road, they have gained a reputation for their raucous live sets, befitting of their lo-fi, ramshackle sound which takes influence from garage rock and indie music. With brilliant onstage chemistry, the charismatic four-piece have an infectious energy that’s impossible not to love and will look to win over the crowds with two performances on the Friday, on the Radio 1/NME stage and the Jagerhaus stage.

Biffy Clyro

Scottish heroes Biffy Clyro put on a memorable performance when they headlined the festival in 2013, and they’re already back for more; this time sharing headlining duties with Fall Out Boy. In recent years, Biffy have established themselves as one of Britain’s best guitar bands with their latest album ‘Ellipsis’ reflecting their development into festival-headlining experts with its stadium-ready sound. Known to switch it up between emotionally charged ballads and frenetic, heavy rock anthems, the three-piece now have seven albums of material to choose from so fans can expect a good mix of the old and the new.

The Magic Gang

The Brighton newcomers have experienced a rise in profile since the release of their self-titled EP and a tour with Wolf Alice and Swim Deep. Always full of enthusiasm for their music, the band are developing a loyal following around the UK with their energetic live performances living up to the recent hype surrounding them. With a knack for melody, their songs possess just enough youthful angst with a sound that has influences from indie pop and 90s alt-rock.


2016 has been a huge breakthrough year for this five-piece from Stockport. With a number of high profile festival appearances under their belt this summer and with an extensive UK tour to come later in the year, the band have also just achieved a number one album with their self-titled debut. It comes as no surprise though as Blossoms possess a refreshing sound, full of effortlessly catchy synth hooks, addictive melodies and psychedelic vibes. Performing in a modest slot halfway through the day on the Radio 1/NME Stage, this is a chance to catch the band before they catapult onto the bigger stages next year.


This is another emerging band showing great promise who will be appearing on the Festival Republic stage. The four-piece received the ultimate endorsement when Julian Casablancas declared himself a fan last year, even releasing their debut single ‘Regeneration’ on his Cult Records label in the US. They have an expansive, 80s-indebted sound which is reminiscent of the Jesus and the Mary Chain, featuring a wall of guitars, echoing vocals and dreamy boy-girl harmonies. With a pop-friendly edge though, the band give their shoegaze and grungy vibes a modern spin. Furthermore, in ‘Regeneration’, they possess a classic festival anthem.

Baby Strange

Another one of Glasgow’s success stories and TTV favourites, Baby Strange will be bringing their brand of raucous punk rock to Reading & Leeds. Often tipped for great things, the band have amassed quite a loyal following in recent years with a series of brilliant releases such as ‘Pure Evil’, ‘Friend’ and ‘Pleasure City’. It has only just been announced that they will be headlining the new Jack Rocks This Feeling stage with their impassioned punk rock anthems ready to incite mayhem.

Medicine Men

Medicine Men join Baby Strange on the new Jack Rocks This Feeling Stage. With a unique sound that dips into various genres, the four-piece merge electronic elements with psychedelic rock by making use of driving guitar riffs and strong synthesisers, as their sound is influenced by a variety of artists like Tame Impala, Gary Numan and the Rolling Stones. Flitting between the ethereal and energetic rock, the band, led by the recognisable vocals of Ian MacKinnon, will put in an impassioned performance that can’t be missed.