From electropop to alt-rock and emo-rap to grime, Reading and Leeds Festival consistently manages to pull together one of the most diverse line-ups of any British festival. But with a line-up that grows in scale and ambition each year, working out the festival's must-see acts can feel like a daunting task.
Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve assembled a crack team of seasoned expert guides to talk you through the festival’s most-essential viewing.
We hand over to members of Valeras, Marsicans, Stand Atlantic, Dream State, Kid Kapichi, Hot Milk and RØYLS – who will all be appearing at the festival themselves this year – to put together your essential Reading and Leeds guide.
A Day To Remember
Dream State: We’ve been fans of this band for many, many years! All their songs are just so catchy and so much fun – you can’t go wrong with a bit of pop-punk and metalcore. I saw them at Reading Festival a few years ago and their singer Jeremy was inside an inflatable zorb running across the crowd, so I’m sure you can expect the same level of craziness this time round.
Valeras: Reading hometown heroes The 'Zons are touching base for the festival, but they’re anything but tied down here. They’re barely even locals anymore, being pulled this and that way all over the world, even to far away lands like Japan. We hope to one day see them play in The Amazon Rainforest. The world is theirs for the taking, they’re local reminders that anything is possible.
Marsicans: Possibly the coolest guy on the whole bill. Amazing band that throw down the kind of live arrangements that pretty much blow my tiny mind. Strongly recommend you make space in your schedule for this. I'll find out if you don't and I'll be annoyed with you.
Valeras: Anderson .Paak is changing the game. It’ll be exciting to see such a big name so close to home.
Valeras: An inspiring young creative with buckets of personality and talent. Her live show looks an experience, with sub bass that lifts you off the ground. If the sub doesn’t do, it her infectious dancing will. That being said, Rose will run a mile if a spider comes out of her mouth.
Dream State: I've only recently discovered her… She’s one of those artists that keep popping up everywhere and has caught my attention. I’ve heard her on the radio, YouTube adverts, random Spotify playlists, and all those ‘Bad Guy’ memes that over-saturated every social media network. I’m sure her set will be absolutely bonkers just by seeing how much she’s exploded recently.
Stand Atlantic: I don’t actually even think we’re going to be able to watch her play and we are all very devastated. But, we’re still adding her to the list – we can dream.
Kid Kapichi: Next door neighbours from Brighton, absolutely killing it. This one needs no explanation.
Dream State: They’re one of my favourite up-and-coming bands. Their latest album Welcome To The Neighbourhood is sick, please give it a listen if you haven’t already! It’s great to see them playing on the main stage, too. If we weren’t in Leeds playing on the same day they’re at Reading, we’d definitely be in the pit for them.
Stand Atlantic: A small band from the US that I’ve followed for ages. I found them on YouTube just randomly and a couple of their songs I really love. I had no idea they were playing 'til recently, so I’m definitely gonna make sure I catch ‘em.
Marsicans: We toured with this band earlier in the year and liked them so much that we listened to them in the van on the drive between shows. They released their debut album just a few months ago and it's both quirky and banging in all the right places. They've got grade-A bants, too.
Valeras: Brainy guitar pop. Expect weird but danceable indie grooves and vocal harmonies galore. The first tune I heard from them was Getting Over You (By Dressing Up Like You) and I’ve been following them ever since. New album Wabi-Sabi is incredibly underrated.
RØYLS: A Liverpool band, so we gotta represent. They seem like top lads and their music's great. Seen them perform before in the States and they put on a great show, so very much looking forward to watching them at R&L.
Kid Kapichi: Pretty respected for having absolutely mental live shows and that’s what we’re all about.
Dream State: They’re just one of the greatest bands in the world, you’d be crazy not to watch their set. I first saw them live headline Reading Festival back in 2012 and it was one of the best shows I had ever seen, just banger after banger. I’m sure they will top it this year!
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Kid Kapichi: This is an obvious one for us. We’ve always been huge fans and the support they’ve shown to us has been unreal. Can’t wait to see them on the main stage before we go on tour with them.
Hot Milk: What can we say about Frank? It'll probably be one of the best live sets of the weekend from someone that has a firm, confident footing at Reading and Leeds. If theres anyone we need to ask advice from for R&L it's this man here. ROCK'N'ROLL AIN'T DEAD, YO.
Marsicans: Bulletproof pop songs with plenty of depth and cool production (self produced too, I think). I haven't seen her live yet but definitely will be making my way over to the Radio 1 stage for her set.
Stand Atlantic: Released a great record and I wanna see it live!
RØYLS: Love these guys’ sound – looking forward to heading over to the dance stage and having a boogie.
RØYLS: Been listening to these lads' music for years. Got some quality records – a great band and we’re definitely going to check out their set. Big fans.
Hot Milk: We proper love this dude. He has some catchy-ass tunes full of experimentation and honestly we are stoked to see how these come across live. Should be an interesting one!
Hot Milk: We've been following this guy for a while and we played the same stage as him at Download just before. We were side stage having a right old head bop, so we can't wait to share the stage with him again and go in for round two.
Valeras: Groovy reggae-RnB fusion from down under. Should be a lovely, mellow way to start the festival weekend.
Stand Atlantic: Because it's Post Malone.
RØYLS: We’ve only heard great things about the live show they put on and their music is incredible.
Marsicans: Big hits coming from these dudes right now. They're pretty much gonna be the next Killers, so jump on your mate's shoulders and sing along sooner rather than later.
Kid Kapichi: These guys just keep putting out banger after banger and are playing bigger shows every day. First time seeing them and we can’t wait.
Hot Milk: Rad dudes with a lot to say. Watching this band transform over the years into a band megaphone-worthy has been a joy. We can't wait to catch up with them and watch their explosive set again.
Marsicans: Very lovely set of dudes and dudessess armed with melodies for days. If you find your foot tapping uncontrollably, don't panic, it's perfectly normal. They get bonus points for being from Leeds, too.
RØYLS: We’ve watched them live before and the show they put on is incredible, so we’re really looking forward to watching their headline slot. Definitely in our top three favourite bands right now.
Stand Atlantic: I (Bonnie) have never been able to catch them when they’ve played near me, so I'm making a point to watch them.
Twenty One Pilots
Dream State: If you don’t know who this band are by now then you’ve been living under a rock. SO MANY BANGERS. I’ve only ever seen videos of their shows and from what I’ve seen you can expect nothing but chaos. I really love their sound, there’s not much quite like it out there, and Reading and Leeds Festival is the perfect festival for them to headline.
Kid Kapichi: A friend of ours with close ties to our hometown of Hastings. Sick voice. Sick sound. Sick guy.
Hot Milk: I mean, we're on literally just after him so we will probs be running about tuning guitars and shit, but go watch this kid, 'cos he is legit and burns off more calories than the whole crowd combined during his set.
Reading And Leeds Festival will take place on August 23-25. For more information, head to the Reading and Leeds official sites.