Aside from Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading festivals are two of the most celebrious musical events to grace the UK each year. Dating back to the swinging sixties, Reading is classified as the oldest pop music festival in the world that still thrives today, and has now ritualised the late August bank holiday weekend as a time for music lovers to rejoice in the presence of prolific headliners. Leeds Festival stemmed from high demands to offer a second hub for festival-goers to retreat to, inaugurated just before the turn of the millenium.
Together, the events have forged an impressive archive of artists spanning across genres of punk, grunge, metal, rap, indie and rock. Their line-ups consistently reflect the best artists of the era, endeavouring to bring legendary acts and chart-toppers to their stages. In an article by the NME, Managing Director of Festival Republic who manage Leeds and Reading stated “You can’t keep drumming up the same acts and expect people to continue to see them. Festivals have to be a reflection of what the public are listening to.” The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Who, The Stone Roses and Eminem are just some of the names to have performed there, revealing the festival’s diversity and making the announcement of each year’s line-up a highly-anticipated event on its own.
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the pair of festivals, thus true to form, the bill had to be classically epic. Radio One DJ, Greg James, has now declared the four headliners for 2019 on air, and we’re sure music-lovers won’t be disappointed. The festivals run simultaneously and offer the same line-ups. Headliners usually play different two nights – one at Leeds and one at Reading, ensuring you won’t miss out by just going to one. Read on to find out more about Leeds and Reading Festivals 2019.
When is Reading and Leeds 2019?
Both festivals begin on Friday 23rd August and end on Sunday 25th August 2019.
Who are the headliners for Reading and Leeds?
The confirmed headliners announced for the festival are:
The Foo Fighters
Following their North American tour for the number one album ‘Concrete and Gold’ (2017), the Foo Fighters recently confirmed they will be touring the festival circuit next year. This will be the fourth time they headline the festivals, taking to the stages once again on the opening night of Leeds and to close Reading on the Sunday.
Having performed on the smaller BBC Radio 1 stage in 2016 and with a new album set for release on 30th November 2018 (‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’), the Mancunian group were among favourites to be headlining. They will play on the Friday at Reading and at Leeds on Saturday night.
Twenty One Pilots & Post Malone
The multi-genre duo from Ohio and one of the biggest contemporary acts of hip hop unite to co-host Reading Festival on Saturday night and close Leeds Festival on Sunday. Twenty One Pilots have been busy with the release of their latest studio album ‘Trench’, with a promotional world tour (‘The Bandito Tour’) already underway. Post Malone broke streaming records with his number one album Beerbongs and Bentleys earlier this year, and is similarly embarking on a mega world tour.
The 2019 headliners will be joined by Bastille, The Distillers, Not3S, Sundara Karma, Denis Sulta, The Amazons, YungBlud (supporting the Foo Fighters); Juice Wrld, Pale Waves, Camelphat, Hayley Kiyoko, Bowling For Soup (supporting The 1975), and Blossoms, Billie Eilish, Stefflon on, PVRIS, Crucast and G-Flip (supporting Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots).
Find the full lineup for Reading and Leeds Festival here:
Where are they?
The two sites formerly used for the festival will once again be called to action, as Richfield Avenue will cater to the Reading lineup and Bramham Park will be for Leeds.
How do I get there?
Reading Festival: Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8EQ
There are two public car parks located on grass fields: the White and Green car parks. The festival organisers advise that you follow the AA signs as you approach instead of the Sat Nav to make sure you end up in the right place! There is a free shuttle boat from the Green Car Park to the campsites.
If you’re parking for the weekend, you can buy a pass on the ticket page which must be displayed in your car – they don’t accept printed confirmation of booking.
If you’re only coming for the day, passes can also be bought at the gate for £20 but are subject to availability and these passes are usually booked up in advance.
There are also various other car parks to choose from, such as the Q-Park Chatham Place and the NCP Garrard Street, close to Reading city centre and train station respectively.
The nearest station is Reading Train Station, which is approximately 15-20 minutes walk from the festival ground. There are also shuttle buses that run directly from the station to the site. It is advised to plan your journey in advance, as trains do not run late on the Friday and Saturday, and it can often take up to an hour to reach the station after the festival.
Leeds Festival: Bramham Park, Wetherby, LS23 6ND
Parking is included in the price of tickets. Routes are signposted at the following junctions to help direct you:
A1(M) northbound – Junction 41
M1 northbound – Junction 42
M62 westbound – Junction 33
M62 eastbound – Junction 29
A1/A1(M) southbound – Junction 46
There will also be no access through the Thorner Village throughout the duration of the festival, except for residents of Thorner.
Leeds Train Station is approximately half an hour’s drive from the festival ground. You can get a shuttle bus from the station to the site, as well as from the festival to Seacroft Green shopping centre.
Where can I stay?
Podpads Village at Pink Moon campsite
From boutique tents to sizeable tipis to charming wooden huts, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to glamorous glamping at the Pink Moons. Each festival’s Pink Moon site boasts great showering facilities, 24/7 security, free tea and coffee and free use of hair dryers/straighteners. At Reading, you can also visit the onsite pampering salon and stay powered up with the use of unlimited phone charging. Podpads require weekend camping tickets for their respective festivals.
If you’re planning to stay in your own campervan or caravan, you’ll need to buy a pass before hand – as well as a weekend ticket to the event – as they are not available on the gate. They cannot be in the same standard campsites with tents and it’s important to remember there will be no electrical hook-ups anywhere. For more information – check the ‘Where to Stay’ section on the festival’s webpage.
If you’re only intending to go for the day, it might be worth checking out Leeds of Reading’s central accommodation. It may mean a bit of logistical planning and travelling after the concerts finish, but it’s bound to be a bit less hectic and probably cheaper. Try Airbnb for more budget friendly alternatives or search any of the leading hotel sites such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com or Trivago for example.
What to bring – and what not to!
Planning for a festival is imperative – especially if you’re staying for its entirety. It’s vital you take the essentials but it’s just as important you take anything that will leave you listening to your favourite artist from the other side of the fence. Here’s a breakdown of what to take and what to leave at home, factoring in the festival’s official rules.
- Weather-wise clothing
- Sturdy footwear
- Camping gear – including tents, pegs and poles, floor fabric, sleeping bags and a pillow
- Phone and portable charger
- Camera and portable charger
- Fresh wipes
- Sun cream
What not to take:
- Aerosols over 250 ml
- Air horns/megaphones
- Gas canisters
- Pets or any animals unless a registered hearing/guide dogs
- Anything with a fake or ‘unauthorised’ Leeds/Reading festival logo
- Weapons or weapon-like items
- Paper Lanterns
You can also take the following to the campsite, but not to the arenas:
- Fitted gas canisters in campervans
- Disposable barbecues or cooking stoves
- Audio recorders
- Bags larger than an A4 piece of paper
- Alcohol (permitted until 6pm Sunday)
Top tip: make sure you check the weather before you pack. This is the UK after all and our rainy days are hardly sparse. For good advice on how to prepare for a rainy festival, check out our article.
Tickets, updates and News
Tickets go on sale on Friday 23rd November 2018. To receive alerts for available tickets and stay on top of all the latest news about the festivals, follow Leeds and Reading Festivals below: