Reading & Leeds 2023: Secret set rumours and confirmation

The dual-site festival kicks off tomorrow (August 25)

Another last-minute set for this weekend’s Reading & Leeds has been confirmed, with Bombay Bicycle Club joining the line-up.

The 2023 edition of the twin-site event is due to take place at Richfield Avenue in Reading, and Bramham Park in Leeds between August 25-27. You can buy any remaining tickets here.

Headlining this year’s R&L will be Billie EilishSam FenderThe 1975The KillersFoals and Imagine Dragons. Also featured on the bill are the likes of Wet LegCentral CeeInhalerSteve Lacy and Knucks.


Earlier this week (August 21), Soft Play – formerly known as Slavesannounced that they’ll be playing the Festival Republic Stage at 7.45pm on Saturday (August 26) at Reading and 7.20pm at Leeds on Sunday (27).

It was then rumoured that both Girl In Red and Bombay Bicycle Club could be appearing as surprise special guests.

Girl In Red performing live on stage
Girl In Red performs onstage at the Mojave Tent at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 23, 2022 in Indio, California. CREDIT: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella

As reported by Leeds Live, Ticketmaster listed Reading & Leeds’ dates when you searched for the former – real name Marie Ulven – on its website.

The Norwegian singer-songwriter is scheduled to perform at All Points East in London tomorrow (August 25) and Monday (August 28) in support of The Strokes/Yeah Yeahs Yeahs and Haim, respectively. Girl In Red, who last played at R&L in 2021, is free this Saturday and Sunday at the time of writing.

However, a spokesperson for Girl In Red has since denied that she’ll be making an appearance.


Elsewhere, Bombay Bicycle Club teased that they could also be popping up onsite. Following the release of their single ‘Diving’ – a collaboration with Holly Humberstone – the group quote-tweeted a post from Reading & Leeds’ official Twitter (X) account.

“If only there was a way we could play this [track] on stage @OfficialRandL this year 🤔,” Bombay Bicycle Club wrote. “Let’s work something out 👀.”

Later, the band posted “dreams.paper.steps” – a tracking code on the What Three Words app – which directed their fans to a location at Reading Festival.

Bombay Bicycle Club subsequently confirmed a performance on the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage at Reading at 12 noon on Friday. It’ll mark the group’s first show at the event in nine years.

“The first time we opened the festival in 2007 the gates hadn’t opened when we went on,” they wrote, “so hopefully we’ll see more of you there this time. We can’t wait to see you there tomorrow.”

A representative for Bombay Bicycle Club told NME that the band will not be appearing at Leeds Festival.

See the post below.


You can see the full stage and set times for Reading & Leeds 2023 here, and check the latest weather forecasts for both locations here.

In other news, R&L organisers have confirmed that they have increased security to “weed out” drug dealers operating at the sites, and banned campfires, BBQs and disposable vapes.

Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2023

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