Reading & Leeds 2018 in review – what went down at a wet’n’wild weekend

The big talking points from R+L

Comebacks, new heroes and a whole lotta rain – yep, this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival was just as we expected, a messy but brilliant celebration of music. It was the most divisive/exciting line-up we’ve seen in years. Travis Scott, Post Malone, Brockhampton, Dua Lipa and, er, Kings Of Leon more all lead the charge this year, while it was nice to see some familiar faces in the shape of Bring Me The Horizon making a storming comeback.

Now that everyone’s had the opportunity to have a shower and a sleep, let’s recap some of the biggest talking points of Reading & Leeds Festival 2018.

The future is very, very wholesome

The brightest spots on this year’s line-up were the new names and they came through the with the goods all weekend long. There’s probably good reason for it, too. US boy band Brockhampton, Norway pop newcomer Sigrid and schmaltzy Rex Orange County preach inclusion, empowerment and mindfulness into their music, and the crowd’s response to each proved just how that important that is to a new generation of music listers. Each pulled some of the biggest crowds of the weekend and the festival’s clear winners, Brockhampton, even got invited to join Pharrell and N.E.R.D on stage, where he called them his “little brothers”. N’aww.

Bring Me The Horizon are future headliners

Over the years, the secret set has become one of, if not the festival’s biggest talking points. In the past, punters have scrambled to see supergroups (Them Crooked Vultures), comeback heroes (Green Day) and future headliners (Foals). When Bring Me The Horizon stormed the Radio 1 tent on Friday, it was a mix of the latter. ‘Mantra’, the bruising single they dropped last week after a three year absence acted as a scorching opener – but it became pretty clear during the 45 minute set – we were looking at the next big British rock band to make the step up.

Watch our exclusive video interview with frontman Oli Sykes below.

Pop is very much welcome

In 2000, US duo Daphne and Celeste were bottled off the mainstage – for no other reason than their brand of pop was considered a blight on the minority of a rock-heavy lineup. Just seconds into Panic! At The Disco’s 2006 set, they too were bombarded with liquid missiles, one of which struck frontman Brendon Urie in the head. This year, you’d be the odd one out with a grudge to bear against pop stars as some of the weekend’s sets were lead by some of the game’s most extravagant names.

Both Panic! and Dua Lipa pulled some of the biggest crowds of the weekend during their coveted mainstage slots  over the weekend, while newcomers like Pale Waves and Alma both impressed. See ya, grandad!

Kendrick Lamar’s headline set was underwhelming

His DAMN. Tour has wowed arenas and festival across the planet for the last year, but his Saturday night slot at Reading Festival fell a little short, if our review is anything to go by. “Kendrick was absolutely the right person to be headlining Reading Festival, and we know he’s got the chops to make it special. So it’s just a shame that the moment escaped us tonight,” said NME’s Hannah Mylrea. In fairness, with just a handful of live dates left on this tour – it’s no surprise that Kendrick appears to be showing signs of winding down a bit.