Reading & Leeds 2019 secret sets: who’s rumoured to spring a surprise at the bank holiday fests?

We’ve got some ideas about who could follow the likes of Green Day, Wolf Alice and Foals in showing up unannounced at the legendary season closers…

Every year in the run up to Reading & Leeds, there are a host of rumours flying around with regards to who might pop up and wow the festivals with an unannounced secret set. Last year, it was Bring Me The Horizon who launched new album ‘amo’ with an early slot on the BBC Radio 1 Stage. Before that, we’ve had Wolf Alice taking to the tiny Festival Republic Stage, as well as the likes of Green Day, Queens Of The Stone Age, Foals and Foo Fighters/QOTSA/Led Zeppelin supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, who announced the project at the 2009 festival.

This year, there have been surprisingly fewer rumours than usual, but we’ve picked out a few bands who have suspicious gaps in their schedules, or have been away from Reading and indeed Leeds for what seems to be quite a while.

There are also a handful of suspiciously long changeover times across the weekend, from an hour-long gap in The Pit on the Sunday at Reading, to a mid-afternoon gap on the BBC Radio 1 Stage the day before. Let’s see who could surprise everyone and fill these gaps.

Green Day

Will they be in the UK? The band don’t have any current tour dates planned, but that’s not to say they won’t make an unannounced comeback

Why them? Billie Joe Armstrong and co are no strangers to popping up at Reading & Leeds unannounced. Popping up first thing in the morning at 2012’s festivals before headlining the following year, they’ve got inextricable ties with the August festivals. This year, they celebrate the 25th anniversary of their classic ‘Dookie’ LP, and what a better way to celebrate than playing it in full at R&L, right?

Biffy Clyro

Biffy Clyro

Will they be in the UK? With no tour dates scheduled in ’til October, it’s a fair bet to say the trio will be twiddling their thumbs at home in Scotland

Why them? They’re Reading & Leeds favourites, who were given their first festival headline gig here back in 2013, and with a new album reportedly in the works, what better way to announce your comeback? That hour-long gap in The Pit looks enticing…

Fontaines DC

Fontaines DC Glastonbury 2019

Will they be in the UK? They have a French festival the week before R&L, and Dorset’s End Of The Road the weekend after, so there’s a fair chance

Why them? The most talked-about guitar band of 2019, it seems unfair that they wouldn’t add an extra chapter to Reading & Leeds’ steeped history with guitar music. Unless they show up for a secret set, that is…

Kasabian/The SLP

Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno goes solo as The SLP

Will they be in the UK? Yes! They’re currently taking a breather after finishing touring in support of 2017’s ‘For Crying Out Loud’. That said, guitarist and all-round-hero Serge Pizzorno is currently touring under the solo moniker The SLP.

Why them? Well, a full Kasabian set seems unlikely. However, Serge’s debut album is due out in September – don’t count against him rocking up at the Bank Holiday weekender. There’s also the small matter of some cryptic Instagram posts…

Florence + The Machine

Florence + The Machine at BST Hyde Park 2019

Will they be in the UK? They have festival dates in the UK and Europe around R&L, but a suspicious gap on that weekend itself as it stands…

Why them? Earlier this summer, Florence Welch and co celebrated 10 years of debut album ‘Lungs’. They haven’t celebrated the album live yet, though, and what better way than to take things back to the Radio 1 Tent at Reading & Leeds, the stage on which they became superstars when touring ‘Lungs’ in the summer of 2009

Bombay Bicycle Club

Bombay Bicycle Club

Will they be in the UK? The quartet have no tour dates until a US run beginning in late September

Why them? They cut their teeth at Reading & Leeds, and having made their live comeback this summer, and with new music on the way, what better time to remind everyone just what a great band they are, especially on home turf…

Alex From Glasto

Will he be in the UK? Almost certainly

Why him? After becoming the viral sensation of Glastonbury 2019, Alex Mann has now emerged with his debut single ‘What Ya Kno Bout That Bro?’. Whether it’s a five-minute slot to play the single, or a repeat performance of ‘Thiago Silva’ with Dave when he headlines the BBC Radio 1 Tent, you wouldn’t bet against him adding Alex From Reading & Leeds to his title.

Gerry Cinnamon

Will he be in the UK? You’d assume so

Why him? After (almost literally) setting the John Peel Stage alight at Glastonbury, it’s a wonder Scotland’s messiest new troubadour isn’t heading to the bank holiday weekender already. With a notoriously rowdy crowd ready and waiting, it’d be certain that a secret slot from Ol’ Gerry would absolutely lift the roof off.