Reading And Leeds Festivals begin today (August 28), with headline performances from Mumford and Sons and The Libertines.
Mumford & Sons step up to headline Reading for the first time with the band recently telling NME that the booking is a “dream come true”. They appear on a line-up that also includes sets from Alt-J, Bastille, Palma Violets, Drenge, Peace and Swim Deep.
Keyboard player Ben Lovett told NME that their rockier new album ‘Wilder Mind’ will be the perfect sound for the festival, saying, “Reading And Leeds are rock festivals, and that’s exactly why we wanted to play them.”
Guitarist Winston Marshall added: “I cannot wait for it. I went every year as a kid. This is a dream come true. Even if we get bottled off, even if they chuck shit at us, at least I can say we’ve headlined Reading And Leeds – even if we only last 10 minutes.”
For those not attending the festival, Mumford & Sons’ set at Reading will be broadcast on BBC Four at 10.45pm tonight, alongside highlights from the day’s action. Red button coverage will also be available between 9.30pm and 12.15am.
Meanwhile, in Leeds, The Libertines return to headline the festival for the first time. The band last played in 2010, having just reformed and appearing before headliners Arcade Fire.
Carl Barât of the band has said that the audience can expect new songs that will “hopefully make them cry”.
Barât expressed his excitement for the upcoming performance and explained that the band’s previous reunion show at the festival in 2010 was a motivating factor in them touring and writing together again. “The band are all friends and I feel like we’re growing together, I suppose instead of just being thrown together,” he told NME. “It’s like a body accepting a donor organ or something. We know it’s not going to reject it.”
Other artists set to appear at the Bramham Park site in Leeds today include Kendrick Lamar, Jamie T, The Maccabees, The Cribs and Jamie xx.
Festival organiser Melvin Benn also recently dropped a major hint regarding a secret set at this year’s festival.
Speaking to NME, Benn was asked if he could provide any clues to whether a secret act might be playing this year.
In response, he appeared to suggest that Foals would be performing, saying, “Wild horses wouldn’t let me be able to tell you who the secret guests are. You can take from that whatever you want.”