Preview: Reading and Leeds 2012

By on Wednesday, 28th March 2012 at 9:00 am

Editor’s note: John’s written about this from the viewpoint of Reading, but I’m sure if you’re reading this, chances are you know how the rotating band schedule of Reading/Leeds weekend works. If not, comment here and we’ll explain. Cheers.

Dave Grohl first unleashed his ferocious talent on an unwitting Reading Festival audience in 1991. Now 21 years later he is back, AGAIN, to close the Reading Festival on the 26th of August with arguably the biggest and best rock band of this generation, Foo Fighters (pictured above). Joining these already battle hardened festival veterans are relative newcomers to the headlining rounds Kasabian, who with the release of the extremely pleasing ‘Velociraptor’ (review here) are sure to bring a massive crowd to the main stage, even if they are fighting it out with post-hardcore heavyweights At the Drive In for a share of the crowd. I, for one, am torn in this instance but a first time headlining slot at Reading for Kasabian is just sounding a little too tasty to miss.

Filling the final headlining slot on this bill was never going to be an easy feat, so it had to go to a band of hugely talented legends, which go by the name the Cure. You’d be hard pressed to find a band on the roster for the weekend that doesn’t cite Robert Smith’s band of heroes as their influences. However, if these veterans of the stage don’t exactly float ya boat then take a look at the NME stage, where the Maccabees will surely produce a set to remember in the tent.

As with every year at Reading Festival though the fun is by no means over with just the headliners. Over the weekend the hallowed Richfield Avenue site will be graced by acts including the massively popular Florence and the Machine, who’ll be looking to ‘Shake It Up’ in the south warming up for Kasabian. The unenviable task has of opening for the Cure falls to that ginger haired beauty Hayley Williams and her pop punk band of miscreants Paramore. Joining Foo Fighters on the final day are the Black Keys, who after a UK tour will be fired up and ready to rock the Main Stage’s socks off.

However, if you thought those boys at Festival Republic were spoiling you already, just wait until you see the host of other bands announced. ‘I Predict a Riot’ on the Sunday with Kaiser Chiefs and for those of you wanting that guilty pleasure look no further than Welsh metallers Bullet For My Valentine on the Main Stage. For nostalgia’s sake, Coheed and Cambria are being welcomed back to Reading for some proggy goodness. If you want to stay current, check out Main Stage slots for Bombay Bicycle Club, the Vaccines and Reading (and The Boss) favourites the Gaslight Anthem.

The surface has hardly been scratched here, with the Lock Up Stage, the Festival Republic Stage and the rest of the NME Stage yet to be announced. Undoubtedly though, this promises to be the festival event of the summer and with weekend tickets still available, my question is, will I see you in the mosh pit?

Weekend tickets for Reading or Leeds Fest (24-26 August) are £197.50 plus booking and include camping. Day tickets are £85 for Friday, Saturday or Sunday (Leeds only; Sunday at Reading is sold out). Buy tickets from Seetickets from here for Reading and here for Leeds.

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