Reading & Leeds: the good, the bad and the ugly

Reading & Leeds Festival have announced a huge number of bands set to join the 2016 line-up, featuring two new co-headliners and over 50 new bands across all stages.

The bands announced during the festival’s latest big reveal included Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro as co-headliners for the Sunday night of Reading and the Friday night of Leeds. Check out the poster below to find out who else has been added to the bill:


Of course, some of the newly announced acts have been the saving grace to what was, quite frankly, one of the festival’s poorest line-ups to date. We’ll call these bands “the good”- bands such as Fall Out Boy, Biffy Clyro, Five Finger Death Punch, Slaves and Chvrches, who are all solid representatives of the rock and alternative music scene that Reading & Leeds used to champion, while smaller bands such as Creeper, Fearless Vampire Killers (FVK), Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, State Champs, HAIM, Dead! and Modern Baseball shine a light on the underground up-and-comers of said scene. This shows a glimpse of the festival we used to know and love.

“The bad”, however, are still out in full force, trying to hide themselves amongst the massive list of artists announced. For one, what’s going on with the outdated indie bands we haven’t heard since our ’00s house parties? The Wombats and The Vaccines weren’t great back then, but we were willing to overlook it thanks to our newfound obsession with the indie rave. Nowadays, we’re not sure we’ll be quite so forgiving. Not to mention the inclusion of Fetty Wap next to credible hip-hop artists such as Die Antwoord– these two are not in the same league, and Reading & Leeds should know better than to assume they are!

But then we come to “the ugly” side of this latest Reading & Leeds announcement, and it always comes down to the same thing; this festival no longer belongs to the outcasts. Reading & Leeds used to be a titan of alternative and rock music festivals, occasionally peppered with other genres, but as can be seen with the most recent additions, it is now smothered with hip-hop, pop, dance and chart music, with a few truly alternative names here and there. Will we ever be able to accept how much Reading & Leeds has changed from what it used to be? Probably not.


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