Another year over and what a year it’s been. As the festival wraps up and the Berskhire and Bramham Park sites begin to empty, here’s the full story of a truly exhilarating weekend of live music. Till next year, Reading and Leeds…
So what happened at Reading and Leeds this year? Well, Mumfords confirmed their rock chops with a powerful headline set, Metallica dished up the riffs in spades and The Libs brought the indie dream home, with massive sets from the likes of Jamie T, The Maccabees, Wolf Alice and Boy Better Know in between…
Hometown heroes The Cribs were in action at Leeds Festival on Friday. Someone should probably let Ross Jarman know it’s actually a lot easier to drum sitting down.
Baltimore pop punks All Time Low were another popular draw on this year’s Main Stage across both sites. Shout out to guitarist Alex Gaskarth for not letting a little thing like being mid-show get in the way of a selfie opportunity.
Friday at Reading opened with Mariachi El Bronx on the Main Stage, snapped here going in for a team huddle before their set.
Drenge are fast climbing the bill at Reading and Leeds – last year it was the Radio 1 tent, this year it was low down on the Main Stage. Here they are, snapped backstage. That’s not a big chair by the way. Drenge are actually just very, very small.
Eoin Loveless of Drenge surveying his people as the group slay it on the Main Stage.
Palma Violets arrived suited and booted on the Main Stage at Reading, ready to dish out the rowdy sing-along hits.
Peekaboo! It’s Swim Deep, who brought out a whirling dervish dancer during their set to spin for the entirety of eight-minute new track ‘Fuieho Boogie’.
Fresh from hitting the Number One spot with new album ‘Marks To Prove It’ (well done lads), The Maccabees did a celebratory victory lap for an eager Leeds Festival crowd.
The only Mr. T that really counts, our man Jamie was back on the Main Stage where he rightfully belongs.
Here’s Austin Williams from Swim Deep preaching the virtues of his favourite new invisible chair.
Ex-Gallows man Frank Carter getting in the midst of it on The Pit stage with his new band The Rattlesnakes.
Gengahr with their newly-adopted tiny purple fifth band member. He’s a killer on the synths.
Like Dorian Grey before her, South London newcomer Georgia’s image will now be trapped in the mirror at Reading Festival forever as she now has the power of eternal aesthetic youth.
Run The Jewels having a little playfight on the NME/ Radio One Stage at Reading.
Peace looking alternately moody and rowdy after their triumphant Friday set. Quip of the weekend goes to Harry Koisser who, after informing the crowd that his coat was covered in wet enamel declared “you’re literally watching paint dry”.
Kendrick Lamar, who played right before The Libertines on Friday at Leeds, was one of the biggest hip-hop names of the weekend, and didn’t disappoint. Just look at him, the happy little scamp.
Recent chart toppers Years & Years drawing an impressively hefty crowd to their Friday Leeds gig.
Up the Albion! It’s The Libertines having a victory cuddle after their headline set in Reading.
After their somewhat flat last appearance at Reading and Leeds, The Libs were back with a vengeance this weekend in their headline slot. Here’s Pete and Carl at Reading, getting up close and personal. The fan fiction writes itself.
Marcus Mumford, silencing the doubters of their banjo-toting hoe-down rock with one of the weekend’s largest crowds.
Harry Koisser’s wet paint coat in all its glory.
See this platinum thing right here? Fred Durst doing it all the time. So you better get some better beats, and uh, get some better rhymes. Limp Bizkit, everyone!
The best thing in tight white jeans since Razorlight, trappy rap duo Rae Sremmurd delivered one of the most energetic sets of the weekend.
You could say The Bronx were head over heels for their Reading crowd.
Straight outta Toronto, it’s the lush Alvvays, whose ‘Archie Marry Me’ sparked one of the best singalongs of Reading and Leeds 2015 on the Festival Republic stage.
Why, it’s only Django bloody Django, who brought new album ‘Born Under Saturn’ and some seriously snazzy outfits to Reading and Leeds.
Are Alt-J future headliners? They certainly strengthened their case to top the bill here with two stunning sets on the Main Stage this weekend. Melvin Benn, are you watching?
Mini Mansions wow, even sans the Arctic Monkeys frontman known to pop up in their live sets from time to time. Who needs Alex Turner?
Wolf Alice making sure no one pulls the plug on the Radio 1 / NME tent. Brilliant band, almost as good security goons.
Sunday’s Leeds Main Stage openers Babymetal in action. You didn’t see these kinda moves in Mumfords’ set.
Slaves were getting into mischief backstage, as usual. Here’s the pair shot behind the scenes, by what look dangerously like barrels of toxic waste. Careful now, lads.
Isaac from Slaves giving it some in the duo’s bearth on the Radio 1 / NME stage.
Who saw Foals’ insane secret sets coming? Well, okay, a lot of people – their new album came out on Friday, and the rumours were all over the festival site by the time Friday’s action kicked off. But that didn’t make it any less intense. Smashing through six tracks, including new album title track ‘What Went Down’, frontman Yannis was a frantic ball of energy back in the Radio 1 tent…
Radar favourites The Districts getting a pizza the action backstage.
Brooklyn slacker dudes Parquet Courts bringin’ the noise, also on the Radio 1 / NME stage.
London rising rap star Loyle Carner was also in action, seen here showing the BBC Radio 1Xtra stage how it’s done.
Hip-hop punk crossover newcomers Ho99o9 were what you might call a hair-raising experience for these Reading fans.
Things were no more subdued at the abrasive rap terrors’ Leeds show, in which things got a little bit naked.
Biggest surprise crowd of the weekend? Easy. Panic At The Disco were “bottled off the stage last time” according to Reading and Leeds boss Melvin Benn, but won a crowd stretching back as far as the eye could see in their mid-afternoon slots this weekend.
Canadian punks Alexisonfire turning back the years with a scintillating career-spanning set on Leeds’ Main Stage on Sunday.
Circa Waves in the mist. The Liverpool lads were a smash on the Radio 1 / NME stage.
New material? Tick. Sabbath cover? Tick. Massive arena rock hits? Tick, tick and tick again. Royal Blood busted out a set to remember on the Main Stage at Reading on Saturday.
Twin Peaks were so rowdy, even David Lynch’s Log Lady would have got down in the mosh.
Bastille was also in tow across both sites this weekend, dropping TLC covers, new songs and subtle hints at the future.
Spice Girl fan and Wolf Alice badass Ellie Rowsell getting up close and personal with fans. Mel B never got this sweaty and raucous.
Bring Me The Horizon – headliner potentials? You better believe it – their set at Reading and Leeds was a brutal exercise in experimental metal carnage.
Glastonbury was a bit of a rough show for Van McCann and Catfish and the Bottlemen, thanks to a bout of food poisoning – so he’ll be have been glad his Reading set went off without a hitch. Marvellous they were, too.
Charli XCX was a sugar-pop revelation at Reading, bringing giant inflatable guitars and tonnes of mega infectious dance bangers to Berkshire.
Here’s The Cribs striking a pose for NME cameras backstage.
Azealia Banks had to pull out of Glastonbury earlier this summer but was back with a bang here, turning up in a snazzy red dress to power through an hour or so of big dance-rap anthems.
Mumford and Sons in full flow at Leeds. The folksters raised a few eyebrows when they announced they’d be headlining at this year’s Reading and Leeds, but their set on the Saturday Main Stage at Bramham Park was full of spine-tingling moments.
Fists in the air for Enter Shikari and their Shikari Soundsystem.
Against Me! were another undoubted highlight of the weekend for many, bring their ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ to the Main Stage with aplomb.
Metallica’s James Hetfield in action in Leeds, where their set concluded with more pyro than an explosion in a fireworks factory and a spectacular weekend was drawn to a close. Reading and Leeds 2015 – it was a pleasure…