10 Bands You Shouldn’t Miss at Reading & Leeds Festival 2016


Words by Maddy Howell

With festival season well and truly upon us, it’s that time of year again. Reading & Leeds Festival is back and although the 2016 line-up may not be the finest they’ve ever churned out, there’s more than enough to keep the weekend flowing smoothly. But with 7 stages and an almost endless variety of acts, who’s worthy of your time? We’ve got your back on this one, here’s ten bands at this years festival that you don’t want to miss.


Beach Slang

Formed just 3 years ago in Philadelphia, punk four-piece Beach Slang somehow managed to engender more buzz from their 2 debut EPs than any band in recent memory. The quartet released their debut full-length, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us, in October 2015 and have since been taking their original hype to new levels. After a short-lived onstage split in April and the departure of drummer JP Flexner in July, Beach Slang make their debut at Reading and Leeds festivals this year and are sure to be one to watch.

READING: Lock Up Stage – Sunday

LEEDS: Lock Up Stage – Friday

Check out: ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas’



Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

Formerly of Watford hardcore punk outfit, Gallows, and more recently known for his slightly less angsty project Pure Love, Frank Carter brings his signature sound back to Reading and Leeds with his latest venture. Returning to the festival after last years certifiably insane performance on the Lock Up Stage, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes will take on the Main Stage this time around, certain to be the most delicious recipe for disaster this festival season has to offer. Prepare for circle pits bigger than your mind can comprehend and make sure you go and jump along to this half hour of beautiful, beautiful chaos.

READING: Main Stage – Friday

LEEDS: Main Stage – Saturday

Check out: ‘Juggernaut’



If you’ve never experienced a Heck show before, proceed with caution. Self-described as “general extreme noise”, the Nottingham quartet have puzzled the music world since their inception in 2011. Trying to pin them down to a single genre is an almost impossible venture, with their sound changing on near enough every discordant note they thrash out. However, in this case, insanity is a beautiful trait. 2016 album Instructions propelled the band to new heights in the scene, and following on from their hilarious Download Festival antics earlier in the year, make sure to join in the action for this one.

READING: The Pit – Saturday

LEEDS: The Pit – Sunday

Check out: ‘Good As Dead’



With their latest full-length, Promise Everything, showing a departure from their signature pop-punk sound, Basement‘s switch to the more melodic side of things has suited them well. Notorious for their departures and re-appearances on the scene, 2016 has been a year for proving themselves on their latest comeback. If you’re a fan of loud things, sad things and singing along to songs you used to cry in your bedroom to – don’t miss Basement’s set.

READING: NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage – Sunday

LEEDS: NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage -Friday

Check out: ‘Oversized’


Modern Baseball

Formed in 2011, Philadelphia four-piece Modern Baseball have spent half a decade finding the perfect blend for their indie, pop-punk and emo influenced style. Now three albums into their career, 2016’s Holy Ghost showed a clear progression and maturity in their sound following it’s predecessor You’re Gonna Miss It All. Having pulled out of last year’s Reading and Leeds Festival to focus on mental health issues (sadly but brilliantly documented in their short film, Tripping in the Dark), 2016 is going to be an important and emotional return to UK shores for them.

READING: Lock Up Stage – Sunday

LEEDS: Lock Up Stage – Friday

Check out: ‘Your Graduation’



Notorious for their live shows and featuring the son of Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong, California’s SWMRS are 3 albums into their career as of 2016. Their latest full-length, Drive North, showed a well-needed sense of growth and cemented their worthy place in the hearts of punk fans. Their high energy, upbeat and sometimes controversial take on punk rock presents a variety of influences from The Beach Boys to Ramones, providing an experience set to be anything but boring.

READING: The Pit – Friday

LEEDS: The Pit – Saturday

Check out: ‘Miley’



Ohio quintet Citizen burst onto the pop-punk scene in 2009, with a demo of heartfelt and angsty songs taking influence from a variety of scenes and sounds. Their debut album, Youth  established them as a household name, with their raucous and blathering emo-pop blending seamlessly with the post-hardcore and indie elements of their sound. 2015’s Everybody is Going to Heaven showed a tremendous sense of development, with its dreamy and fuzzy shoegaze vibes propelling the band to new heights. Having evolved their sound so acutely in such a short period of time, Citizen are one to add to your list before you head into the field this weekend.

READING: The Pit – Friday

LEEDS: The Pit – Saturday

Check out: ‘The Summer’


Parkway Drive

As their only UK festival appearance of 2016, Australian metalcore giants Parkway Drive are set to obliterate the main stage this weekend. With 4 of their 5 studio albums reaching top 10 in the Australian charts and the band now sitting comfortably at the forefront of the metal scene, they’re showing no sign of slowing down. Notorious for their breakdowns, unclean vocals and gritty riffs, 2015 album Ire presented a new sense of experimentation, including their first time utilising clean vocals since their debut EPs. As a potentially career defining creative leap for the Byron Bay quintet, this festival weekend is a chance for them to prove their worth in a live setting.

READING: Main Stage – Saturday

LEEDS: Main Stage – Sunday

Check out: ‘Sleepwalker’



Citing a range of influences from bands such as Alkaline TrioAFI and Misfits – Creeper are a quintessentially satisfying marriage of goth punk, pop-punk and a whole range of things inbetween. With three extremely well-received EPs under their belt and a debut full-length looking set for a 2017 release, these Southampton goth-punks have grown exponentially over the last twelve months. As a worthy customary addition to festival line ups all across the country this year, make sure not to miss what is set to be one of the most unforgettable sets of the weekend.

READING: The Pit – Friday

LEEDS: The Pit – Saturday

Check out: ‘Gloom’



Having been making waves in the Scottish music scene for over 5 years now, Kilmarnock trio Fatherson make their Reading and Leeds debut this year in support of their sophomore album Open Book. As a band who have been consistently described as “having potential” over their career, this album has presented them fulfilling that potential wholeheartedly. Now a force to be reckoned with in the current UK music scene, Fatherson’s set will be one to remember without any doubt.

READING: NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage – Saturday

LEEDS: NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage – Sunday

Check out: ‘I Like Not Knowing’


Reading & Leeds Festival will take place from the 26th – 28th of August. All tickets for Reading are now SOLD OUT, but weekend camping and day tickets for Leeds Festival can be purchased here.

If you’ve already got your ticket, check out our Reading & Leeds Festival 2016 playlist below to get you in the mood for the weekend.


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