Behold! Your perfect Friday at Reading, and Saturday at Leeds

Your main focus has been who's bringing the crates and where you're camping, right? Don't worry, we've analysed the lineup and planned your perfect Friday at Reading and Saturday at Leeds, so you don't have to

Words: Fred Garratt-Stanley

Hooray, it’s Reading & Leeds time! Whether it’s your first time, or your 13th, there’s tons of amazing stuff on the line up. Don’t worry, we got you. Here’s who you should be seeing on Friday (Reading) or Saturday (Leeds) this weekend.

Zuzu

When? 12-12.30pm

Where? Festival Republic Stage

Why? Fresh from her electric performance at NME’s Radar Sessions at the Goose Island Brewpub in July, Zuzu is set to find out ‘How it Feels’ to open at Reading just over a year after the release of her debut EP. Sadly, the beer selection is unlikely to rival that of London pub, but this still promises to be a perfect start to proceedings if you’re at Reading, or ease away your hangover if you’re at Leeds .

Ocean Alley

When? 12.50-1.20pm

Where? Festival Republic Stage

Why? Save your legs any unnecessary endeavour and stay at Festival Republic for a strong dose of funk from Aussie psych rockers Ocean Alley. Whatever the weather, their reverb-drenched guitar riffs and vocal hooks will transport you to the sunny beaches where the group were built.

No Rome

When? 1.40-2.10pm

Where? Festival Republic Stage

Why? The London-based Filipino musician enjoyed huge success off the back of ‘Narcissist’, his collaboration with The 1975. May EP ‘Crying in the Prettiest Places’ showcased the versatility of No Rome’s soft, enticing electronica, and sounds wicked live.

Mini Mansions

When? 2-2.35pm Reading, 1:40-2:10pm Leeds

Where? BBC Radio 1 Stage

Why? It takes little imagination to see why Mini Mansions were chosen as support for Arctic Monkeys’ 2018 Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino tour. Tracks such as ‘Don’t Even Know You’ and Hey Lover’ are delightfully drowsy, although they’ll be hoping that unlike a recent B-side, their lounging psychedelic pop won’t leave anyone ‘Bored To Death’.

Charli XCX

When? 3-3.45pm Reading, 2:35-3:20pm Leeds

Where? Main Stage

Why? The worldwide pop sensation returns to Reading and Leeds, unpredictably boasting a succession of new dancefloor hits. Those who aren’t a sweaty mess by 3pm are unlikely to remain in that condition throughout Charli XCX’s set.

Clairo

When? 4-4.35pm Reading, 3:35-4:10pm Leeds

Where? BBC Radio 1 Stage

Why? Clairo’s sweet, melodic lo-fi sound catapulted her to fame following the explosion of self-released ‘Pretty Girl’ in 2017. Don’t be fooled by her stage name, Claire Cottrill’s soft bedroom melodies are about as far from her Scottish (sort of) namesakes as you could get.

Juice WRLD

When? 4.10-4.55pm Reading, 3:45-4:30pm Leeds

Where? Main Stage

Why? Hopefully energised after the dreamy respite provided by Clairo, Juice WRLD kicks off a string of huge artists that will see you leaping manically between stages for the next few hours.

Hayley Kiyoko

When? 5-5.40pm Reading, 4:35-5:10pm Leeds

Where? BBC Radio 1 Stage

Why? The Californian singer-songwriter’s brand of synth pop is bright, narrative-focused and confessional, and a must see this weekend.

Joji

When? 6.05-6.45pm Reading, 5:35-6:15 Leeds

Where? BBC Radio 1 Stage

Why? One of several artists to have enjoyed commercial success partly thanks to media collective 88rising, Joji’s deep, ambient sound offers a breather before one of the country’s most eminent Indie bands.

The Wombats

When? 6.40-7.25pm Reading, 6:10-6:55pm Leeds

Where? Main Stage

Why? 2018 album ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’ marked a moment of maturation for the Liverpool band, however the indie veterans’ unmissable return to Reading is sure to combine new hits with countless nostalgic bangers.

Pale Waves

When? 7.10-7.50pm Reading, 6:40-7:20 Leeds

Where? BBC Radio 1 Stage

Why? Have a boogie to the Manchester band’s unique variety of spacey goth-pop as the sun begins to go down. Use as a great opportunity to polish off a couple of pints before inevitable carnage at Royal Blood on the Main Stage.

Royal Blood

When? 8-9pm Reading, 7:30-8:30pm Leeds

Where? Main Stage

Why? No-nonsense alternative rock duo Royal Blood have enjoyed outstanding critical success since their sudden emergence onto the scene with a striking eponymous debut album in 2014. Get ready for the pits to open during their huge mainstage show!

The 1975

When? 9.45-11.15pm Reading, 9:15-10:45pm Leeds

Where? Main Stage

Why? Be sure not to miss the highly anticipated headline main stage debut of Matt Healy and Co. The band have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame over the past few years due partly to their prolific output; this will be their final festival circuit before the release of fourth studio album, ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’.

OR

Dave

When? 10.45-11.25pm Reading, 10:15-10:55pm Leeds

Where? BBC Radio 1 Stage

Why? Dave is one of the best British rappers around, stuffing his songs full of lyrical depth and complexity, intelligent wordplay, and consistently strong beats. Debut album ‘Psychodrama’ and recent collaborations with the likes of J Hus, Skepta and Burna Boy have demonstrated the Streatham rapper’s ability to seamlessly transition between grime and rap. And who knows, perhaps there’ll be an opportunity for Alex from Glasto to extend his surname…

Circa Waves DJs vs Jack Saunders

When? 11.30-1am – Reading only

Where? Alternative Stage

Why? Don’t let eleven+ hours on the lash deter you from catching the Liverpool 4-piece hit the decks for an intriguing clash with the host of Radio 1’s Indie Show.