Reading and Leeds’ August Bank Holiday weekender has traditionally been seen as THE alternative festival, with Reading Festival first acting alone in bringing huge guitar bands to the UK.
The addition of the Leeds Festival site at Bramham park during the turn of the millennium means around 160, 000 people now make the pilgrimage to the North or South each year to see some of the biggest acts in the world.
While the festival is still primarily about rocking out, in recent years the likes of Eminem, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar have helped to diversify the festival somewhat. This year’s line up is no different so we’ve picked pick from the eclectic mix to bring our five must see acts.
After penning some of the biggest pop hits of recent years, Adam George Dyment aka Duke Dumont has the kind of set list that will undoubtedly have the Radio 1 dance tent raving. He takes to the stage on Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds.
The likes of 'I Got U' and 'Need U 100%' are bonafide summer anthems, released on Dumont’s very own Blasé Boys Club imprint.
On the flip side he recently released 'Be Here' which features on the latest installment of For Club Play Only (listen above), now on Defected records after three volumes on Tiga's Turbo, which means Duke’s set will include a healthy portion of sunshine singalongs.
Hip hop royalty doesn't come much bigger than Queensbridge emcee extraordinaire Nas, who'll headline the NME / BBC Radio One Stage on Saturday and Sunday at Reading and Leeds respectively.
The self proclaimed street's disciple has been one of the genre's leading lights since he erupted with a spectacular guest verse on Main Source's 'Live from the BBQ' back in 1991, when the rapper shockingly boasted of "kidnapping the president's wife without a plan, and hanging niggas like the Klu Klux Klan".
He's remained a thoughtful an incendiary presence since, with 10 studio albums and countless guest appearances ever since. His live show is something special too, check out the full length performance of debut LP Illmatic above as further proof.
Is there a better DJ at bringing the party than DJ EZ? The light fingered UKG assasin is the epitome of feelgood vibes, tearing through the greatest hits, forgotten classics and freshest new beats around the garage which he has become synonymous with, all delivered with an unreal technical ability.
His mastery of the CDJs is tailor made to deliver a scintillating festival experience, so expect his rapid salvos to deliver complete nirvana during his sets in the Radio one Dance stage (Sunday for |Reading, Friday at Leeds.
These guys are your one-way passage to a stupidly insane festival experience. If you replaced each of their instruments with a gamma ray gun, you'd hardly notice a difference.
They hail from Australia with one objective: to frazzle your brain with toad slurping numbers. Their eight album Nonagon Infinity landed earlier this year - a spiraling combustion of psychedelic energy that translates manically to the live stage. Surely your hooked by now, right? King Gizzard play the Festival Republic Stage on the Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds.
Practically unmissable, Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes are the archetypal rock 'n' roll cool cats that Reading and Leeds breathes for. It's not often that the UK is blessed with their sharp-shooting, bluesy riffs either - to break it down - Eagles Of Death Metal command your ass.
Last year's album Zipper Down deliveredmore whisky breathed, desert rock that's frenetic, ballsy and everything you'd expect from two tattooed gods. They're sandwiched in between Slaves and The Courteeners on the main stage too - EODM play Reading on Saturday and Leeds on Sunday.