26 August 2014

Reading and Leeds festivals 2014 Round Up

Reading and Leeds festivals 2014
Photographer credit: Jen O'Neill

Reading and Leeds festivals 2014 Round Up

With the dust still settling over the sites of Reading and Leeds, the buzz of three amazing days will live on for months to come. The good news is that Festival goers can already plan ahead with the first Weekend and Early Bird tickets for 2015 now on sale for a limited period at 2014 prices! 

Tickets can be purchased here 

With a homecoming headline show for Arctic Monkeys, who closed Leeds Main Stage in triumphant fashion on Sunday night and played on Saturday in Reading, the rapturous return of Blink 182 with a career spanning set, Queens Of The Stone Age and Paramore’s co-headline slots plus hundreds of top performances from artists, bands, comedians and DJs, Reading & Leeds fans certainly enjoyed a weekend to remember.

In a first for the Festivals Queens Of The Stone Age headlined the coveted Friday night bill at Reading proving they are the consummate rock band with their hit-laden show whilst Paramore headlined Saturday night at Leeds with Hayley Williams leading their enthralling set and at one point bringing her sister on stage for the momentous occasion. With light displays, fireworks and confetti explosions a-plenty, these were two of the best-received headliners of recent years.

Headliners Arctic Monkeys graced the Reading Main Stage on Saturday and Leeds on Sunday where the northern rockers brought their epic AM tour to a fitting end with Alex wearing the white rose of Yorkshire with pride. Accomplished professionals, from the first note to the last, they had the audience in the palm of their hands.  

Blink 182’s performance delivered twenty years of anthems with punchy measures of wit and pop-punk. Spanning a back catalougue of hits including ‘I Miss You’, ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and ‘All The Small Things’ which recived the biggest cheer of the night.

From his debut on the Leeds Festival Republic Stage in 2012, Jake Bugg brought his Reading and Leeds success story to a career defining spot on the Main Stage. The Nottingham based singer songwriter whipped thousands of fans into a sing along frenzy with opener ‘There’s A Beast And We All Feed It’ plus his stomping hits including ‘Trouble Town’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put on a hugely entertaining show with fireworks, smoke and pyros. The duo’s set boomed with tracks off their Grammy Award winning album bringing tonnes of fun and at Reading there were not one, but two renditions of ‘Can’t Hold Us’ which the fans lapped up.

The Relentless Stage returned to Leeds Festival kicking off proceedings on Thursday night along the tree-lined avenue. Zane Lowe, DJ Fresh and Klaxons were just some of the DJs to bring the noise and get the party started. The infamous Picadilly Party, this year in partnership with XFM, continued to keep its reputation as one of the best late night parties Leeds Festival has to offer.

It was the summer of secret sets at Reading this year. On the Friday morning Jamie T announced his upcoming evening performance via Twitter. The London troubadour rocked up to the Festival Republic stage to give an explosive performance and delighted the fans with new material including ‘Don’t You Find’. Other secret gigs that pulled in eager fans were Jake Bugg (Saturday) and You Me At Six (Sunday), who both showed up to play stripped back 30-minute sets at the BBC Introducing Stage.

Now each in their second year, the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage and the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage were full to the brim with Festival goers. The BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage saw stand out sets from Netsky, Annie Mac, Pendulum and Flume, who had flown in from Australia. Klaxons were a huge draw receiving raputorus cheers for previous material including ‘Atlantis to Interzone’ as much as they did for new tracks such as ‘There Is No Other Time’. Fans couldn’t get enough of the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage which played host to headliners Giggs, Pusha T andDanny Brown/Joey Bada$$ who topped a supporting lineup to rival any other.

Once again The Alternative Stage at Reading & Leeds brought the best in comedy and spoken word to the Festivals. The lineup was topped by favourites Bill Bailey and Simon Amstell who both commanded huge audiences, showing the appetite for comedy is stronger than ever. Kate Tempest treated fans to a delightfully infectious show whilst People Just Do Nothing proved their epic TV sketches easily translate to a festival audience live on stage. Not only that but with the silent disco and Transgressive hosting the likes of Kelis, Gengahr and The Two Bears at Leeds as well as DJ sets from Frank Turner, Huw Stephens and Jen Long at Reading, the Alternative Stage was truly one of the most vibrant areas of the festival.

With so much going on across the weekend there was never a dull moment, highlights from the Festivals include Parma Violets and Band Of Skulls smashing the Festival Republic Stage; incredible sets from Gerard Way whose show was a UK Festival first, Disclosure, Bombay Bicycle Club, Royal Blood, Brody Dalleand SBTRKT who was joined by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koeing for ‘New Dorp New York’ on the NME/Radio1 Stage.

The all new Pit Stage hosted by Daniel P Carter was buzzing with Of Mice And Men being the standout act of the weekend, and Jimmy Eat World and Gorgol Bordello both blew audiences away with their headline slots.

The BBC Radio1 Signing Tent had fans arriving in their hundreds to meet their idols. Over 20 bands from the line-up took time out across the weekend to meet the queues of people. Particular highlights from Leeds included Gerard Way and The 1975, whilst over 300 fans queued at Reading to meet Of Mice And Men.

Managing Director Melvin Benn reflects on the weekend:

“Without a doubt, my highlights this year were all four headliners and I’d like to thank Queens Of The Stone Age, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182 for putting on absolutely incredible shows. I really enjoyed Imagine Dragons too, their set on the main stage blew me away. Across the weekend I’ve witnessed 200,000 music fans having a ball, what a fantastic year for our beloved Festivals. I would also like to thank our sponsors and media partners for their continued support. 2014 is going to be a tough one to beat but one special headliner for 2015 is confirmed, now the work continues to confirm another mind blowing line-up for the fans next year.”

BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC3 broadcasted from the Festival, allowing fans without tickets the chance to enjoy some of the incredible artists playing across the weekend. To catch up on the coverage from the weekend head here (

The following videos can be used for press:

Lucius - Go Home 

You Me At Six - Football & Shove Ha-Penny 

Gogol Bordello - My Campanjera

Papa Roach - Uncompetitive Darts 

Kate Tempest – Happy End 

Twin Atlantic - Nasty Darts

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