The August Bank Holiday weekend sees the Reading and Leeds festivals grace the UK summer, each year sees amazing line ups from a variety of genres perform across seven stages over three days, including legendary headliners which this year are Guns N’ Roses, The Arcade Fire and Blink 182.
The Reading and Leeds weekend has been cemented as one of the biggest and most popular of all the UK festivals, and looking back over the past line ups it is easy to see why. Over the last ten years the likes of Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Muse, Foo Fighters, The Strokes and Oasis have all headlined the festivals, and prior to the birth of Reading’s northern sister, Leeds, in 1999, they can boast memorable performances from the likes of Nirvana, Public Enemy, Iggy Pop and Black Sabbath.
The festivals provide diverse line-ups and there is definitely something for everybody at Reading and Leeds. This is clear by looking at the headliners alone, with old school rockers Gun N’ Roses, recently reformed pop punk trio Blink 182, and the harmonic, indie art rock of Arcade Fire. As well as this the festivals see the reunited heroes of the indie scene, The Libertines perform, which will undoubtedly be a huge hit with the festival crowd. On top of this Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, Dizzee Rascal, Cypress Hill and The Cribs are just a few of the other artists that will perform on the main stage over the course of the weekend.
The NME/Radio 1 stage showcases more upcoming acts and provides alternative headliners to that of the main stage. This year the headliners of this satge are Pendulum, The Klaxons and LCD Soundsystem, which again highlights the diversity of the Festival, as clearly the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Axl Rose isn’t to everybody’s taste. Despite being the second to the main stage the NME/Radio 1 tent still possesses an awesome line up including Enter Shikari, Crystal Castles, Foals, We are Scientists and Serj Tankian.
For fans of punk, ska and hardcore the Lock Up stage is the place to be and this runs for two days at both Reading and Leeds. Acts on this stage in the past have included Gallows, Reel Big Fish, Bad Religion and Pennywise. On the other of the thress days the Lock Up becomes the Dance Tent for all the festival ravers and the line up again never fails to disappoint. Last year the highlights of the Dance Tent were Deadmau5, Vitalic, Chase and Status and Mstrkrft. The line up for the Lock Up stage and Dance tent are yet to be confirmed for 2010 but without a doubt you can expect the festival organisers to recruit the best acts.
The Festival Republic stage showcases breakthrough acts and is a good place to catch an upcoming band in an intimate scenario as they are often destined to go far. Previous acts on this stage have included La Roux, Hot Chip, Peter Bjorn and John and famously attracting huge crowds in 2005, The Arctic Monkeys. Also in the main arena there is the Alternative Stage which is great to catch a top class comedian perform as well as a variety of other acts from poets to DJs.
Obviously the music is the main attraction to Reading and Leeds however the fun does not stop when the last band has finished their set on a night. Within each camp site there are DJ tents, as well as the Silent Disco which both go on until 6am. The festival village also provides various bars and other dance tents which continue will into the early hours. On top of this it must be said that the atmosphere of both Reading and Leeds are fantastic and if you are not watching your favourite band in the main arena you can still have a great time in the campsite or the village.
For more information check out the festival website here
Eddie Binks