It only feels like yesterday that we were stood in the grounds of Richfield Avenue gawping in awe at Kendrick Lamar and pulling out our best air guitar moves to Metallica. Now we return and we’re very much spoilt for choice as tonnes of high-calibre, genre-spanning acts are set to appear in the festival fields this Bank Holiday weekend. Although our list continues to grow the more times that we look at the line-up, here are our top picks for Reading & Leeds Festival 2016.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Reading Friday 1:15pm – 1:50pm // Leeds Saturday 1:05pm – 1:35pm
Controversially leaking the line-up on his social media, Frank Carter and his trusty Rattlesnakes will make waves on the main stage this weekend. Intimate venues are the band’s natural habitat, but we look forward to witnessing Carter take on the challenge of a stage this size; he’ll no doubt find a way to turn heads and become one of the most talked about acts of the weekend. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have gone from strength to strength since their inception: selling out tours, receiving airplay on daytime BBC Radio One and releasing their critically acclaimed debut album Blossom. If you’re looking for an honest, no frills performance from a band who pride themselves on honesty and passion then make sure you hit up Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Check out: Snake Eyes
BBC Radio 1XTRA Stage
Reading Friday 1:55pm – 2:25pm // Leeds Saturday 1:55pm – 2:25pm
Female grime artist and self-proclaimed dental hygiene fanatic (see: Queen’s Speech 4) Lady Leshurr burst onto the scene with her tongue-in-cheek rap, more recently collaborating with MC Wiley on her single Where Are You Now? (here’s hoping that it’s not a just a massive coincidence that he headlines the same stage on the same day.) Lady Leshurr effortlessly spits her clever yet comedic lyrics and combines them with beats that will make you want to bounce to the roof of the tent. With tonnes of support from Radio 1XTRA, now is the time for Leshurr to show the masses what she’s made of on their very own stage – we’ll see you down the front.
Check out: Where Are You Now?
Reading Friday 5:30pm – 6:10pm // Leeds Saturday 5:15pm – 5:55pm
San Antonio’s Nothing More made their UK debut at Download Festival in 2014 and we were fortunate enough to be there to join the celebration. In short, they blew us away. We don’t want to give away too much but if their live show is anything like it was two years ago then the four-piece know how to put on a visual spectacle. A personal favourite of ours is This Is The Time (Ballast), taken from the band’s self-titled album: epic and mesmerising in equal measures it’s a must-see live. Nothing More are a band who may not have been on your radar, but they definitely should be. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Check out: This Is The Time (Ballast)
Reading Saturday 2:55pm – 3:30pm // Leeds Sunday 2:35pm – 3:10pm
We’ve been avid supporters of HECK since their days as Baby Godzilla, and if you’re active in the rock scene and you haven’t seen these guys then you must be living under a rock. The band, renowned for their brutally chaotic live show, have spent their years touring relentlessly up and down the country, paving their way as one of the most exciting bands the UK has to offer. HECK released their debut album Instructions to critical acclaim in March and have appeared across the festival circuit over the summer, including a performance at Download Festival which saw their sound temporarily cut when Matt Reynolds climbed the scaffolding. Anything goes at a HECK show, and Reading & Leeds Festival will be no different.
Check out: Mope
Festival Republic Stage
Reading Saturday 4:55pm – 5:25pm // Leeds Sunday 4:55pm – 5:25pm
If you can sell out three nights at Boston Music Rooms and a night at Electric Ballroom off the back of a few singles, you’re doing something right. The Hunna admirably boast that achievement, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been invited to perform on the Festival Republic stage this weekend. Their vibrant and exotic indie-rock will be the perfect compliment to a summer’s day (because it’s going to be sunny all weekend, right?), and they usually blast out a killer intro tune to welcome them onto the stage (from past experience we’re talking Drake Big Rings). We’d recommend getting to their tent early to ensure a good spot, because The Hunna are going to brighten up your weekend.
Check out: Bonfire
NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage
Reading Sunday 12:00pm – 12:30pm // Leeds Friday 12:00pm – 12:30pm
It’s been a whirlwind journey for Black Foxxes whose emotion-fuelled rock has snatched the hearts of many across the nation. Signed to Spinefarm Records and with huge backing from BBC Radio 1 DJ Daniel. P Carter the trio have proven their worth with their debut album I’m Not Well, which was released earlier this month. It only takes one listen to understand why Black Foxxes are becoming such a well-loved name, a raw and honest masterpiece that displays an incredible amount of talent. Get to know Black Foxxes now, because it won’t be long before they’re climbing up the festival line-ups.
Check out: Whatever Lets You Cope
Reading & Leeds Festival takes place between the 26th-28th August 2016 at Richfield Avenue (Reading) and Bramham Park (Leeds). For the full line-up and further information visit the Reading & Leeds Festival website.
Written by: Hannah Gillicker