With the August Bank Holiday weekend rapidly approaching, it only feels right to look at the most anticipated acts playing England’s #1 Festival this year.
Reading and Leeds, notoriously the biggest weekend of the year – for all music fans anyway – is now only a matter of days away. So, as a way to stem my excitement, I have compiled a list of the artists I simply can’t wait to see. PREFACE: THIS IS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
POST MALONE – Main Stage (Reading: Friday / Leeds: Saturday)
Austin “Post Malone” Post is a bit of an oddity. Sure, that’s nothing new in the modern climate of the music scene but the Los Angeles-based rocker has sprung into the limelight over the past few years thanks to a series of controversies. So much so that his label – Republic Records – has described him as “the Donald Trump of hip-hop” and with that, the “things that should’ve killed his career have only made him bigger”.
A melting pot of grunge and hip-hop, Post Malone’s music embodies emotion felt by an entire generation. With his diverse discography, ranging from simplistic mumble rap (Psycho) to passion-filled grunge beats (I Fall Apart), Austin’s show on the Main Stage should be electric. With his latest album, beerbongs and bentleys, breaking streaming records when it released in April you can count on Post to deliver an absolutely cracking setlist. Here is to hoping he performs one of his signature covers of Nirvana too.
You must hear… I Fall Apart, Rockstar, Better Now.
For fans of… Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Lil Skies, Lil Peep.
WATERPARKS – Main Stage (Reading: Friday / Leeds: Saturday)
Leading the charge of new generation, pop-punk rockers, WATERPARKS consists of Awsten Knight, Geoff Wigington, and Otto Wood. Since the release of their first full-length album, Double Dare in 2016, the band have since toured with the likes of Never Shout Never and Sleeping with Sirens. However, Awsten’s Twitter, in particular, continues to give us evidence of how impressive this year has been for WATERPARKS. Releasing their album Entertainment back in January and launching a small brand deal with Hot Topic in May, the band are sure to see some nominations when Awards season comes around.
Sure to make a statement on the Main Stage on Friday (Reading) and Saturday (Leeds), WATERPARKS will take us all back to 2007 to live out our best, pop-punk fantasies. Bring pizza, skateboards, and hair dye.
You must hear… Stupid For You, Blonde, Made in America.
For Fans of… Like Pacific, State Champs, Trash Boat.
WOLF ALICE – BBC Radio 1 Stage (Reading: Friday / Leeds: Saturday)
Wolf Alice have had a wild year. After interviewing them last August, the band have blown up – reaching astronomical levels. The fruits of their labour have even led to a tour with the Gods of Rock themselves, Foo Fighters. Having made appearances at Glastonbury ’15 and ’16, as well as Reading and Leeds in 2015, Wolf Alice are no strangers to the festival scene. Now, having completed this tour with Foo Fighters, the band are uniquely positioned to propel their legacy even further. You really need to catch them as they headline the BBC Radio 1 stage on Friday (Reading) and Saturday (Leeds).
Mark my words, Wolf Alice are sure to make the ground shake and the festival quake.
You have to hear… Moaning Lisa Smile, Beautifully Unconventional, Space & Time.
For fans of… Foo Fighters, Pale Waves, Circa Waves.
SLAVES – BBC Radio 1 Stage (Reading: Sunday / Leeds: Friday)
Having literally just dropped their fourth studio album, Acts of Fear and Love, it’s all eyes on Slaves. The punk duo, hailing from my hometown of Tunbridge Wells, are the go-to for a harsh, hardcore-punk riot this summer. With the lead single – Cut and Run – being loved by all, I am sure that their setlist is going to absolutely bang. Additionally, their track record for live performances is bloody fantastic. At 2015’s Radio 1’s Big Weekend, they performed a rendition of Skepta’s Shut Down, complete with a surprise appearance from the big man himself. Slaves also opened for Foo Fighters on their recent tour, so you can be sure that they’re adrenaline and showmanship is at an all-time high.
I can almost guarantee that their set on the BBC Radio 1 Stage will be one of the most theatrical and engaging of the weekend.
You have to hear… Cut and Run, Cheer Up London, The Hunter
For fans of… Spring King, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, The Sex Pistols
BROCKHAMPTON – BBC Radio 1 Stage (Reading: Saturday / Leeds: Sunday)
The All-American hip-hop collective are currently undertaking their first ever European tour as a group which will culminate with an appearance on the BBC Radio 1 Stage. Without a doubt, BROCKHAMPTON are one of the hardest-working groups in the game. Producing three fully-fledged studio albums last year – the SATURATION trilogy, which features over 49 individual songs – it is clear that very little will stop these guys. The rap group have also already begun producing new tracks this year with 1999 WILDFIRE, 1998 TRUMAN, and 1997 DIANA.
Each and every track that BROCKHAMPTON produce is distinctly unique and unlike anything we have seen before. The individual setup of BROCKHAMPTION, which sees each member write and produce their own verse, allows for a unique flavour. Despite the controversy surrounding and departure of founding-member Ameer Vann, the relationship between the band and the fans appears to have only grown stronger.
BROCKHAMPTON’s set is certainly going to be one of the best that the weekend will have to offer. I’d be surprised if we weren’t seeing them headline the festival in a few years’ time. Be sure not to miss BROCKHAMPTON on their first European run, or you’ll find yourself regretting it for years to come.
You have to hear… SWEET, BLEACH, 1999 WILDFIRE
For fans of… Kendrick Lamar, Kevin Abstract, Tyler, the Creator.