Reading & Leeds Fest promises plenty of big moments


Reading & Leeds Festival returns on 23-25 August, and its heavy-hitting lineup promises plenty of awesome spectacle. Nerve discusses which artists we’re most looking forward to seeing.

The 1975

The Manchester quartet blew the world away with the brilliant A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships, released in November last year. With Notes On A Conditional Form, the band’s next album, due out later this year, now is a perfect time to be a ’75 fan. Matty Healy and the gang showed at the recent BBC Big Weekend in Middlesborough that they’re no strangers to producing amazing entertainment for the big occasion. There’s a certain romanticism too the band headlining this festival, as just three years ago they made their debut at Reading & Leeds on the Radio 1 Stage. In January, Matty said he wants the show to be “logistically slick,” but not for him to be slick himself in the performance.

Foo Fighters

What can you say that hasn’t already been said about Foo Fighters? Lead singer Dave Grohl has famously fought tooth and nail to perform for the band through thick and thin, and he showed no signs of slowing down at their headline slot at Glastonbury in 2017. Highlights from their set at Reading & Leeds should include all the usual hits such as Everlong, Learn To Fly, The Pretender, Best of You, Monkey Wrench etc. It’s fair to say the band have a hefty catalogue of top tracks to choose from!


Billie Eilish

She has made all the headlines in the music industry lately with single Bad Guy reaching number 2 in the UK charts, and Billie Eilish’s new album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, which topped the UK and US album charts, shows that she means business.


Have there been many better alternative rock songs than There’s A Reason Why I Never Returned Your Calls in recent years? The Cool Like You opener is emphatic, uplifting, and a pleasure to listen to every time. It should be no different live, and with Charlemagne, At Most A Kiss, Honey Sweet, My Favourite Room, I Can’t Stand It, and I Just Imagined You all part of their growing setlist, Blossoms are always well worth a watch.

The Wombats

Their recent discography may not have set the music industry alight, but… LET’S DANCE TO JOY DIVISION! The band undoubtedly have a handful of proper festival anthems, with Moving To New York and Greek Tragedy also right up there.


You Me At Six

YMAS have maintained a strong level of consistency across their ten-year history, even covering Lady Gaga’s Poker Face with aplomb back in 2009. Save It For The Bedroom, Underdog, Stay With Me, Fireworks, Crash, and Lived A Lie all earned them the stardom that means their live set will be well worth checking out.

Circa Waves

The Scousers had a mixed reception to their recent album What’s It Like Over There? Regardless, Times Won’t Change Me, Movies, and the emotional The Way We Say Goodbye are all highlights from the latest effort. Historically, Circa Waves have been a fantastic festival act to see live, but none of their music stands out more so than T-Shirt Weather. Standing in the sun at a festival with your mates, having a drink, and watching Circa Waves perform T-Shirt Weather should be a real bucket list to-do.

Pale Waves

They seem to be getting bigger and bigger all the time, and that’s no surprise considering the excellence of their debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, released last year. The band really made a name for themselves by supporting The 1975 on tour, but fans quickly took note that they weren’t just there to make up the numbers. One More Time and Eighteen are among the tracks to have enjoyed plenty of airtime on radio, but in truth there’s not a bad song on the album. Get involved.



Bastille burst onto the scene six years ago with the a belter of a debut album in Bad Blood. Pompeii, Things We Lost In The Fire, and Weight of Living, Pt. II should all ensure their set at Reading & Leeds is a true spectacle. They haven’t been resting on their laurels though, and blew the music industry away again with Happier last year. Once again, not one to miss.


Much has been said about the lack of female artists on the billing at festivals in the UK, but CHVRCHES, along with Pale Waves and The Japanese House, are some of the few proving that the country produced great musicians male and female. The Mother We Share, Empty Threat, Bury It, and We Sink should all be highlights in the live performance.

The Amazons

Whoever says rock music is dead hasn’t been to see The Amazons at a music festival. The Reading quartet are doing everything in their power to keep the genre alive, and their set at their hometown will prove that. The band’s debut album in 2017 packed all the punches with Black Magic, Ultraviolet, and Junk Food Forever, and with the new album Future Dust including similarly bombastic tracks like Mother, there is now an even greater discography to select songs from. Regardless, it’s bound to be a blast.


Ten Tonnes

George Ezra may not be performing at Reading & Leeds Festival, but his very talented brother is! Ten Tonnes’ self-titled debut album is just over a month old and has already got fans singing along to Lucy, Counting Down, and Better Than Me. Ten Tonnes is relatively unproven in the live arena, so it will be interesting to see how their music compares to their recordings.

The Japanese House

You won’t find yourself head-banging to any of The Japanese House’s songs, but there’s plenty of room for that among the rest of the festival lineup. This band are all about winding down, chilling out, and just enjoying the music. Face Like Thunder, Cool Blue, and Maybe You’re The Reason are all great tracks to keep an ear out for.

Comedy from Josh Widdicombe, Lloyd Griffith and more

If music isn’t your thing, you probably shouldn’t be going to Reading & Leeds Festival in the first place! But if you do fancy taking a break from all the mosh pits, why not mix up the pace with some laughs from comedians including Josh Widdicombe and Lloyd Griffith?