Of course, as with every year at the August bank holiday knees-up, the revealing of set times also brings the news of some pretty horrible clashes. As anyone who’s been to a festival before knows, it’s impossible to try and see everything on the bill, but there are still some pretty difficult decisions to make in 2019.
That’s where we come in: below, we’ve listed some of the most infuriating clashes that Reading & Leeds 2019 is throwing up, and our opinion on who you should choose and why. So get your highlighters out and get planning!
Friday Reading / Saturday Leeds
Juice WRLD vs Clairo
Main Stage – 16:20-17.05 (Reading) / 15:50-16:35 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 16:00-16:30 (Reading) / 15:35-16.10 (Leeds)
Juice WRLD because: From unknown Illinois teen to Billboard-topping emo-rap icon in under a year, Juice WRLD is an icon for a new Reading & Leeds generation. Melting together influences from Nirvana to Migos, he perfectly represents the changing landscape of the festivals.
Clairo because: The leader of a new “Z-Pack” – aka a host of supremely exciting young artists set to change the game – Clairo is a viral, superstar that’s set to become the icon of a generation. Watch it happen at two game-changing sets.
Royal Blood vs Circa Waves vs PUP
Main Stage – 20:10-21:10 (Reading) / 19:40-20:40 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 20:15-20:55 (Reading) / 19:45-20:25 (Leeds)
The Pit – 20:00-20:40 (Reading) / 19:40-20:15 (Leeds)
Royal Blood because: “We’ve got some monsters up our sleeves,” the band tell us of their 2019 comeback tour and plans for new music. Being let out of the studio like yappy dogs, the pair will be on fiery form at the festival that’s quickly become their home.
Circa Waves because: On a line-up slightly short on straight-up indie music, the four-piece will provide a welcome opportunity to throw some pints, jump in a pit and get loose to ‘T-Shirt Weather’.
PUP because: For a distinctly punkier twist on the six-string formula, this Toronto rabble will make you wanna crowd surf and scream your heart out.
Winner: Royal Blood
- Read more: Exclusive – Royal Blood on their 2019 plans and comeback tour: “We’ve got some monsters up our sleeves”
The 1975 vs Dave
Main Stage – 21.55 – 23.15 (Reading) / 21.25-22.45 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 22.45 – 23.25 (Reading) / 22.15-23.00 (Leeds)
The 1975 because: Headlining their first major festival, Matty Healy and co are set to bring a pair of sets for the ages, completing their graduation to becoming a world-beating band. Oh, and they’ll have new single ‘People’ in their pockets by the time they play.
Dave because: After the revelation that was Dave’s Glastonbury set this year, complete with a cameo from the now-legendary Alex From Glasto, the ‘Psychodrama’ rapper is flying high at the moment, and the bill-topping set in the huge Radio 1 tent will be a highlight of his fledgling career so far. Maybe there’s a chance of an appearance from Alex From Reading too?
Winner: The 1975
Saturday Reading / Sunday Leeds
Billie Eilish vs secret set? (Reading)
Main Stage – 16:20-17:05
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 16:20-16:50
Billie Eilish because: Well, it’s Billie Eilish. Already upgraded from the tent to the main stage due to demand, the teenager’s set to show why she should headline Reading & Leeds next year, and could well pull in the biggest crowd of the weekend
Secret set because: This is unconfirmed, but a prominent Clashfinder website has spotted an abnormally large gap on the BBC Radio 1 Stage between 4-5pm on the Saturday at Reading. With previous secret sets on the stage having come from Queens Of The Stone Age, Green Day, Bring Me The Horizon and more, it’s worth keeping an eye to see if one of rock’s big-hitters decide to show up.
Winner: Billie Eilish… for now
AJ Tracey vs King Princess
Main Stage – 15:20-15:55 (Reading) / 15:05-15:40 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 15:40-16:10 (Reading) / 15:25-15:50 (Leeds)
AJ Tracey because: Reading has become one of the highlights of the summer for upcoming British rappers, and alongside Dave, slowthai, Octavian and more, AJ Tracey is set to truly push on into the big leagues, ending his summer on a high
King Princess because: As shown in her Glastonbury set, Mikaela Strauss is a fearsome live performer, and a queer icon for a new generation. Worship at her altar.
Winner: AJ Tracey
Twenty One Pilots vs Stefflon Don (Reading) and PVRIS (Leeds)
Main Stage – 20:05-21:20 (Reading) / 19:35-20.50 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 20:10-20:50 (Reading – Stefflon Don) / 19:40-20:20 (Leeds – PVRIS)
Twenty One Pilots because: Co-headlining the fests for the first time, the sense of theatre always evident at the pair’s shows will be at an all-time high. We wouldn’t bet against them setting some sort of pyro record.
Stefflon Don because: For a different kind of experience on Reading’s Saturday night, the London rapper is guaranteed to get the tent bouncing, and might even bring out her friend Idris Elba in a repeat of her brilliant Glastonbury set
PVRIS because: Returning with new music and working on a third album, Lynn Gunn and co are back with hopes of becoming a true arena rock band. See it come true in the Radio 1 tent.
Winner: Twenty One Pilots
- Read more: The Big Read – Twenty One Pilots: “We want to be the best – and keep everyone else at bay”
Sunday Reading / Friday Leeds
The Distillers vs Machine Gun Kelly
Main Stage – 16:05-16:50 (Reading) / 16:05-16:50 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 16:00-16:30 (Reading) / 15:55/16:30 (Leeds)
The Distillers because: Aside from being one of rock’s most-loved bands making their long-awaited return, they’ve cancelled almost every other planned tour date this summer due to their drummer’s gruesome accident. It makes R&L an even more special occasion.
Machine Gun Kelly because: Unpredictable in the extreme, there’s never any sure fire way to know what a Machine Gun Kelly set will throw up. BTS-level screams and a few between-song disses are probably guaranteed, though.
Winner: The Distillers
Foo Fighters v Chvrches and Bastille
Main Stage – 20:15-23:15 (Reading) / 20:15-22:45 (Leeds)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 21:00-21:55 (Reading – Chvrches) / 20:40-21:30 (Leeds – Chvrches)
BBC Radio 1 Stage – 22:30-23:30 (Reading – Bastille) / 22:00-23:00 (Leeds – Bastille)
Foo Fighters because: As a way to sign off your weekend in style at Reading, or start it with a bang in Leeds, Dave Grohl and co are still the best in the business. And this year, you can even help choose the setlist (https://www.nme.com/news/music/foo-fighters-invite-fans-choose-reading-leeds-setlist-2536722)
Chvrches and Bastille because: If pummelling guitars aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of indie-pop goodness and more hits than you can shake a stick at in the Radio 1 tent. Wall-to-wall bangers guaranteed.
Winner: Foo Fighters