It is no secret that in recent years Reading Festival has undergone some drastic changes. What once was simply Reading Rock; is now Reading Dance, Reading Folk, Reading Indie, Reading R&B, and so much more. Just glancing at the names of the headliners on the infamous yellow and red poster, you can already see an exceptionally vast array of musical taste. But, by covering the whole musical spectrum, one thing is for certain; no matter who you are this weekend, Reading Festival is going to feature an artist you love.
This year sees a whopping five acts headlining R&L; Fall Out Boy, Biffy Clyro, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Disclosure and Foals. Top of the bill on Friday, and shining above the other headliners with all the welcoming gleam of a reasonably-priced fast food restaurant after a tough day of festival-ing, are Foals. The Oxford band have been going from strength to strength lately, proving a versatility highly fitting for such an eclectic festival. From their indie pop hits such as ‘My Number’, to the gritty rock of ‘What Went Down’, and a blast from the past with the timelessly magical ‘Spanish Sahara’; Foals are undoubtedly going to be one of the highlights of the weekend. Unfortunately, the five-piece have been subject to scepticism over their ability to handle a headline slot at this hugely respected major festival. However, these critics can't have been at the band's surprise appearance last year, as in just in five songs, Foals treated us to an utterly spellbinding performance. We can't even begin to imagine what they will achieve in an over and a half of playing.
Avid festival goers and enthusiastic musos will know that it would be ridiculous to judge a festival, with over 100+ acts, purely on the headliners. Cruising down the line-up for the main stage, and a feast for the ears meets your eyes. Fast forward to Saturday and Local Reading lads, and rising indie powerhouse Sundara Karma kick things off, followed by a bound-to-be impressive set from the infamous and ever-growing, spicy punk twosome, Slaves. Friday sees Scotland-hailing Chvrches performing a set of their addictive electronic tracks, and Sunday brings us The Vaccines; “if you wanna” have a good time, you know where you should be (sorry).
Scoot on over to the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage, and boy have they brought us some crackin' acts. Following the release of their second album, Adore Life, earlier this year, Savages are set to give us a dose of their shimmering moody wonderfulness on the Sunday, which will surely revitalise us after a hard two days of festival-ing. To prove how diverse the stage is, Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats have been brought back for a party and for a throwback to 2010 when their irresistibly anthemic indie sounds couldn't be ignored.
Lifting itself from the backstreets of East London to some of the largest stages in the world, Grime has risen from the flames with Reading Festival reflecting its popularity. Warning: be sure to keep your quality control on high alert, as some artists' success is questionable, however, as expected, Reading has booked the best of the best. Boy Better Know is certain to set the main stage alight Friday evening, after queen of the scene Lady Leshurr, blows up the 1Xtra Stage the very same day.
Those of the shredding guitar and
bone-rattling bassline persuasion need look no further than the fearlessly
awesome, Pulled Apart by Horses over at the Festival Republic stage, as
well as their buddies and established riff lords Dinosaur Pile-Up at the Pit Stage, both on the Friday. Also worth a gander on the bill, are the frankly insane Aussies King
Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and don’t miss grunge-y newcomers Eat Fast over on the BBC Introducing stage.
As usual, the Festival Republic Stage is looking pretty promising in its range of well-established acts of the indie scene, to the newbies that are about to take-over: we can almost certainly predict this tent is where we’ll be jostling our way to the barrier, attempting to protect our over-priced beverage. Already having released undoubtedly one of the best albums of 2016, Eagulls are sure to provide a thrilling, heart-wrenching set of their new and old post-punk masterpieces, whilst indie legends, Maximo Park, are due to headline the Friday night - let's all pray that there is no disastrous dilemma that they should clash with Foals. The fantastically fresh Beach Baby, gently empowering Tuff Love and spunky Inheaven could well be your best new finds of the weekend; be sure to catch them all.
If you’re feeling low after discovering the gems of the Reading line-up yet the tickets have now completely sold out, don’t fret; Leeds festival still has tickets available. With just a few days to go, us at Raw Meat are already donning our sunglasses and DMs (aka getting into full-festival mode), we can hardly wait!