With the August bank holiday looming, we’re officially counting down the days until one of the biggest, and arguably one of the best, British festivals of the year. Since residing In Brahman Park in the early 2000’s, Leeds Festival has welcomed some of the world’s most prestigious acts; Oasis, Metallica and Eminem to name a few. A festival that has always been acknowledged for its wide calibre of artists, this year boasts extreme talent across an array of genres, so we've taken the difficult job on of condensing this years festival down to the top 10 acts you definitely shouldn't miss.
Where?: The Pit
For all things heavy, The Pit showcases a huge cluster of talent each and every year, from hardcore veterans to new wave metal-core. Having toured with huge artists like Stone Sour and Prophets Of Rage, and with their second album sounding unquestionably ferocious, Northern boys Blood Youth are bringing their brutal and menacing sound back home. Incorporating nu-metal with a melodic twist, these guys have mastered their violently heavy sound, and are proving to be one of the weekend’s most exciting heavy acts.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Where: Main Stage
As far as stage presence goes, this weekend sure packs a punch. From pop queen Billie Eilish to the punk rock powerhouse SWMRS, aesthetic can make all the difference. However, the true king of stage presence can be found on the Main Stage, chucking himself into the crowd in true Rattle Snake fashion. Frank Carter is a total powerhouse whilst on stage, from climbing sets to walking on top of the crowd, this guy knows how to control a crowd. Paired with his explosive discography, it’s clear that this will be a performance not to miss.
Where: Introducing Stage
With an undeniably heavy indie presence this year, it’s fair to say that there’s a lot of fresh blood to pick from. Nottingham based quartet Do Nothing are the epitome of up and coming talent, taking the indie scene in their stride. Having just supported Interpol on their Russian run, these guys sport a boisterous yet extremely refreshing outlook on the scene, incorporating an Idles-like sound with a smooth stage swagger that’s too good to miss.
Where: Main Stage
Of course, this festival wouldn’t be what it is without the incredible headliners that perform each year, and why would this year be any different? Since their debut EP in 2012, pop innovators The 1975 have taken not only the UK, but the globe, by storm. Their atmospheric and utterly joyful back catalogue has landed them the number one spot three times, as well as back to back sell out tours. Their most recent release A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships can only be described as a millennial masterpiece from start to finish – a true work of pop genius.
Where: The Lock Up
One of the more unique acts you'll encounter across the weekend - Puppy are a proposition unlike any other. With a sound that would suit supporting Biffy Clyro as much as it would Turnstile, the trio's versatility makes them an ideal choice for a festival as varied as Reading/Leeds. Debut record The Goat flexes their succinct ability to craft an anthem, and you have to imagine that tracks like 'Black Hole', 'Entombed', and 'World Stand Still' are going to sound iconic with the walls of The Lock Up stage.
Where: The Pit
As far as young hardcore bands go, High Power seem to have their formula pretty much spot on. Their Every Time I Die meets Turnstile chaos is infectious as it is harsh. Barely a few years into their tenure as a band, they're one of the more raw artists you'll stumble across on the weekend, but don't let that fool you. This is a quintet of musicians that can spin a chorus just as well as they can pummel a riff - a must see for anyone with a thirst for musical chaos.
The Story So Far
Where: BBC Radio 1 Stage
Because no band in modern pop punk has been able to stretch the genre quite like The Story So Far. While the bands first 3 records did certainly seem to stick to a successful, passionate rhythmic formula, new album Proper Dose bought in elements of atmosphere that simply can't be found anywhere else in the genre as we speak. Still ultimately a pop punk record but with an added zest of creativity - The Story So Far landed across a gem that could differentiate them from the pack. Add this to pre-existing bangers like 'Nerve', 'Things I Can't Change' and 'Empty Space' and the quintet have the back catalogue to put on a special, special performance.
Where: Main Stage & The Pit
It shouldn't take much convincing for you to realise that Enter Shikari are one of the great modern live bands in the game. Though their incendiary live atmosphere has calmed slightly with more recent releases The Mindsweep and The Spark taking a less abrasive approach, the quartet have replaced terrifying violence with an awe inspiring light show. Reading and Leeds is like home to the four piece, who have dropped career highlight sets at the festival more than once, and with two sets in one day - regardless of which one you turn up to, you're bound to experience something memorable.
A Day To Remember
Where: Main Stage
A Day To Remember have been one of the modern era bands you can foresee headlining major festivals in the UK for some time now. It's been a slow burn - but as they prepare to sub headline a festival of Reading And Leeds' size, it seems like ADTR's ascent to headline status is a ticking time bomb. Their brand of pop punk meets metalcore has created some of the great singalong alternative anthems of the last 12 years, and it's hard to imagine that the quintet are going to do anything other than tear the main stage apart and assert themselves as sure fire headliners for the future. Turn up for the start of 'Downfall Of us All' at the very least, stick around for the whole set and you'll see one of the great bands of the last 15 years.