For many, the UK festival climaxes this August Bank Holiday weekend with the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Having been a highlight on the festival calendar for many years, Reading and Leeds once again promises to deliver an abundance of music (and comedy) from around the world, covering a variety of genres.

Whilst some will be there to see the hottest names in indie, grime, EDM and so on, here at Already Heard knows the foundation of the weekend lies in all things rock, punk and metal.

With a whole host of names from our “scene” appearing across the weekend, we’ve picked out a selection of acts that we think you should definitely see at Reading and Leeds 2016.

We have also put together a four hour plus playlist highlighting a wider range of acts from the festival.

View more of Already Heard’s coverage of Reading and Leeds 2016 here.

Preview | Playlist | Info


Following on from the release of their second album ‘Open Book’ to love and adoration all around back in June, Kilmarnock trio Fatherson’s summer will reach even greater heights when they make their Reading and Leeds debuts.

Few bands all weekend will be able to match Ross Leighton and co in the majestic, sweeping song writing and emotional punch stakes. Plus there’s no way that the huge choruses of recent singles ’Always’ and ’Lost Little Boys’ aren’t going to sound killer in the expanse of a festival tent. They open proceedings in the Radio One tent making them the one band you’ll really want to get up early for. (DW)

Where & When: Radio One/NME – Reading Saturday / Leeds Sunday


Texan pop-punkers Waterparks made their very first UK appearances back at Slam Dunk and by all accounts went down a storm. Their sugary, relentlessly upbeat brand of electronic tinged pop-punk is a perfect fit for the Lock Upp Stage. A stage which they’ll share with their management the Madden Brothers. The three piece clearly know their way around a razor sharp pop hook and fans of the likes of Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, 3OH!3 and State Champs will lap up their set. (DW)

Where & When: The Lock Up – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday


Of the up and coming acts making their R&L bows, few have quite the potential to dazzle as Irish alt-rock brother and sister duo Greywind. The pair turn out driving melodic rock with powerhouse vocals that’s equally big on atmosphere and scale. Seriously it should not be possible for two people to produce songs this massive.

Greywind could well turn out to be one of the standout acts of the entire weekend and win over plenty of new fans ready for the release of their debut album ‘Afterthoughts’ in the Autumn. (DW)

Where & When: The Lock Up – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday

State Champs

This year’s Main Stage line-up may be awfully thin on the ground on the pop-punk front, but in State Champs it’s a case of quality over quantity. The New Yorkers have the challenge of being the band to get the entire Main Stage rolling at Leeds. With the all-conquering confidence and hooks for days that’s made them one of the new generation of pop-punks biggest acts, we fully expect them to take their R&L debut in their stride. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of several thousand people pogoing in unison to ’Elevated’ and ’Secrets’. (DW)

Where & When: Main Stage – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday


Although it’s only been 12 months since we saw Thrice at Hevy Fest (RIP), the anticipation for their return has still been high, especially having delivered a definite Record of the Year contender with ‘To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere’.

Whilst their 2010 showing on the main stage proved to be disappointing and ineffective, the California quarter will feel more at home on The Pit stage. Serving as a more intimate setting, it will allow Thrice to thoroughly deliver a set of sonically-pleasing alt-rock. Expect a mixture of old favourites ‘The Earth Will Shake’ and ‘All The World Is Mad’ and new album highlights ‘Black Honey’ and ‘Blood on the Sand’. (SR)

Where & When: The Pit – Reading Friday / Leeds Saturday


It’s been two years since Basement made their Reading and Leeds debut. Having knocked it out the park on the Lock-Up stage last time, they’ve been pushed up to the NME/Radio 1 stage. Although it’s a bigger stage for the quintet, their recent outing at 2000 Trees along with third album, ‘Promise Everything’, shows they are more than ready to step things up.

With a growing catalogue of emotional alt-rock anthems, Basement’s return to Reading and Leeds is sure to prepare them well for their winter run with Bring Me The Horizon. (SR)

Where & When: Radio One/NME – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday

Black Foxxes

12 months from gracing the Lock-Up/The Pit stage, Exeter’s Black Foxxes are back at Reading and Leeds. It’s been a busy 12 months for the trio. Amongst the growing number of tour and festival spots they’ve appeared on, Black Foxxes also found time to record an exceptional debut record in ‘I’m Not Well’.

Having honed their brand of emotionally charged alt-rock, vocalist/guitarist Mark Holley, bassist Tristan Jane and drummer Ant Thornton are prepared to unleash a compelling set on the NME/Radio 1 stage. Black Foxxes are quickly becoming one of the most talked about bands in UK rock, and for all the right reasons. (SR)

Where & When: Radio One/NME – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday


Reading and Leeds is always a celebration of the best current and emerging music. However, for Superheaven it marks the end of the road as their spot on the Lock-Up stage coincides with their final visit to the UK.

For anyone who has followed the band from their time as Daylight to last year’s highly underrated ‘Ours Is Chrome’ record is surely going to miss the Pennsylvanian five-piece. If you fancy jumping on board late to Superheaven be prepared for a range of modern grunge-tinged slacker songs that will make you wish checked them out earlier.

Where & When: The Pit – Reading Friday / Leeds Saturday

Parkway Drive

Although the Reading and Leeds line-up is becoming more diverse year after year, rock and metal is still represented throughout the weekend. Admittedly, Aussie metalcore titans Parkway Drive would probably feel more at home at Download than Reading and Leeds yet having witnessed their UK headline run at the start of 2016, they definitely have the ability to make a fan out of any casual spectator.

An mid-afternoon slot on the main stage sandwiched in between reggae metallers Skindred and indie punks Slaves should nicely set up the Byron Bay collective to deliver one of the stand out sets of the weekends. Soaring choruses, riffs and stellar break downs are on the menu and we’ll be there to fully indulge in them all. (SR)

Where & When: Main Stage – Reading Saturday / Leeds Sunday

Biffy Clyro

By this point Biffy Clyro don’t need an introduction. Having made UK arenas and festival headline slots their second home in recent years, their return to Reading and Leeds is more than justified. It’s been 15 years since they made their R&L debut with this being their ninth appearance and during that time their reputation has grown simultaneously with the festival.

Their recently released ‘Ellipses’ LP sees the Scottish trio add to their already dense catalogue of anthemic alt-rock. New cuts ‘Wolves of Winter’, ‘Animal Style’ and ‘Flammable’ are explosive and typically off-kilter, and when slotted alongside mammoth tunes such as ‘Bubbles’, ‘Black Chandelier’ and ‘Mountains’, Biffy have all the ingredients to produce a truly memorable set. (SR)

Where & When: Main Stage – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday

Modern Baseball

Indie-punk heroes Modern Baseball returned with the excellent ‘Holy Ghost’ earlier this year, and while they’re no strangers to the UK – they’ve clocked up two separate visits to these shores already this year – there is a sense of triumph regarding their appearance at Reading and Leeds.

Last year, with a slot all set up, the band took the decision to pull out so that vocalist Brendan Lukens could focus on his mental health. Consequently, it feels right that 12 months later, and with the band on the cusp of going truly supernova, that Reading and Leeds should act as the launch-pad.

What’s most astonishing about Modern Baseball’s rise is just how polished the Philly mob are; indeed, they’ve taken to bigger stages like old hands, transitioning from sweaty dive bars to clubs to arenas with ease and style. Reading and Leeds, you’re next… (RM)

Where & When: The Lock Up – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday

Beach Slang

Beach Slang aren’t hanging around; with one critically-acclaimed album and two stellar EPs to their name – all released over the last 2 and a half years – they’re gearing up for the release of their second album, ‘A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings’, in September. Reading and Leeds therefore feels like an appropriate end-point for ‘The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us’, an album they’ve toured solidly since its release a year ago.

In that time, they’re been some crushing lows to go with the killer highs. Rumours of a break-up and the departure of drummer JP Flexner could have halted lesser acts, but Beach Slang, like their spiritual forefathers The Replacements, seem to rise above the chaos to continually deliver a thrilling live experience. It might be physically impossible to punch 200,000 people in the heart, but you can bet James Alex and Co. will still leave you with the best feeling all weekend. (RM)

Where & When: The Lock Up – Leeds Friday / Reading Sunday


Follow us on Spotify for more playlists.


Reading and Leeds Festival 2016 takes place from Friday, August 26th to Sunday, August 28th 2016.

Reading and Leeds Festival links: Reading Festival|Leeds Festival|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube

Tickets for Reading Festival are all sold out. Tickets for Leeds Festival are still available and can be purchased here.

Words by Sêan Reid (SR), Dane Wright (DW) and Rob Mair (RM). Main photo by Jade Till.

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