Making debut appearances at Reading and Leeds isn’t just for new bands. Big names like Kendrick Lamar, Run The Jewels and Jamie xx are all playing for the very first time, alongside future heroes like Twin Peaks and Spring King.
They’ve triumphed over every other festival they’ve played, and now Run The Jewels have Reading & Leeds in their crosshairs. Killer Mike and El-P will head to the festivals for the first time this weekend, bringing the political fire of latest album ‘RTJ2’ with them.
It’s hard to believe that Kendrick Lamar hasn’t played R&L before, but he’s bagged himself a prime spot for his debut. He sits just below headliners The Libertines on the Main Stage, and he’s bound to give the likely lads a run for their money.
Jamie xx has played Reading & Leeds as part of his day job with The xx, but never alone. His debut solo album ‘In Colour’ is full of surefire summer jams so he’s sure to transform the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage into a sweltering canvas club.
Stick around after Jamie xx for Years & Years. The tropical pop trio have come out of nowhere and they’re one of the bands who are guaranteed to have crowds spilling far beyond the tent’s edges as they try and catch a glimpse of the group’s debut Reading & Leeds performances.
The grime resurgence continues as premier troupe Boy Better Know bring the sound of the summer to Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park. The crew’s individual members have played before, but never altogether. Catch them as they headline the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage.
And over on the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage, Stormzy offers up yet more grime options. The Croydon rapper has been performing in clubs since he was 11, so expect him to be as slick as they come.
A$AP Ferg follows in A$AP Mob leader Rocky’s footsteps this weekend, as he heads to Reading & Leeds for the first time. He’s nabbed himself the headline slot on the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage.
“Who’s seeing me and the lads at @OfficialRandL? Hope no one tries to climb the barrier”, tweeted Essex indie rapper Rat Boy recently. Looks like he’ll be trying to make his first R&L appearance as chaotic as his headline gigs.
Buoyed by being the first band played on Beats 1, Spring King are bound to be one of the new bands that everyone’s talking about at this year’s festivals.
Last year, Chicago’s The Orwells climbed the lighting rig as they triumphed on the Festival Republic Stage. This year, their mates Twin Peaks are representing the Windy City with a set on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage. Expect blood, sweat and rock’n’roll.