Slam Dunk will run from the 26 - 28 May 2018.
Cover photo by Jennifer McCord, courtesy of Festival Republic
The sun shone bright on Reading and Leeds over the weekend, as tens of thousands of fans descended on both sites for a celebration of music. Growing in its eclectic style, the festival welcomed a blend of new and emerging talent from across the musical spectrum, from indie behemoths Kasabian and Muse, to hip-hop heavyweights Eminem, Migos and Giggs, the latter of which was joined by global superstar Drake for a surprise performance at Reading Festival.
The line-up once against boasted something for everyone, for the first year taking a deliberate step away from grouping styles and genres on each stage. Away from the dedicated alternative stages (The Pit / The Lock Up), the Dance Stage, and the urban paradise of the Radio 1Xtra Stage, the Main Stage hosted a particularly diverse bill, which saw nu-metal pioneers KoRn play alongside chart mainstays Major Lazer. Long established DJ Fatboy Slim topped the Dance Stage alongside Flume and Marshmello, whilst the NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage welcomed headline sets from You Me At Six, Flume, and the exceptional Haim.
Elsewhere, the Festival Republic Stage saw a headline performance by the rapidly growing The Hunna who, in an interview on site with Ticketmaster chatted about their forthcoming world tour and headline show at O2 Academy Brixton. IDLES, who have just been announced as support for Foo Fighters in the UK, showcased their politically and socially charged punk, and Tom Grennan delivered his gruff singer-songwriter vibes in absolutely style.
Ticketmaster were on hand at Reading Festival to capture the action, splitting time between interviewing some of the festival’s heavy hitters backstage, and catching all the action our in the arena.
Here were some of our highlights from across the weekend:
Haim deliver a storming set on the NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage
In perhaps the best performance of the weekend, Haim stormed through a stunning set to round of Reading Festival on the NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage. Complete with their characteristic on-stage chemistry, and their wonderful interaction with the crowd, tracks such as I Want You Back and Little Of Your Love from this year’s Something To Tell You album emerged as live powerhouses. Come Right Now, confetti cannons, and some seriously thunderous communal drumming, the atmosphere was pushed to boiling point. At Reading Festival Haim returned, and were better than ever.
Liam Gallagher swaggers to the Main Stage
Donning a full parker jacket, former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher proceeded to serenade a huge crowd with his distinctive vocals, mixing up material from his forthcoming solo album, as well as classics from his former band and the occasional Beady Eye hit. Launching into Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, how far he’d embrace his heritage was immediately clear. The entire field launching into a singalong of Wonderwall by the originator of the song was an undoubted massive highlight of the weekend. Far better than the bloke down the pub with an acoustic guitar, that’s for sure.
The Xcerts live up to their last minute addition
Following the last minute cancellation by Royal Republic (these things happen), Scottish melody-makers The Xcerts were confirmed to fill the slot, and boy did they deliver. For those who turned up early on each site for a glimpse of the superstars in the making, it proved absolutely breathtaking. The band are currently gearing up for the release of their fourth studio album, and with songs such as Feels Like Falling In Love sounding so massive on the Main Stage, it’s seriously about time they hit the big time. We’ve got all fingers and toes crossed at once.
Queens Of The Stone Age surprise us all
It might not have been the best kept secret at any festival, but that didn’t dampen the electric atmosphere as Josh Homme entered the stage fronting the almighty Queens Of The Stone Age. Fears that they might simply showcase their new album were quickly alleviated, with powerful renditions of No One Knows and Feel Good Hit Of The Summer. It might have been a short set, but it was damn sweet. Welcome back QOTSA.
Pale Waves prove themselves as ones to watch
One of the wonders of Reading Festival is the opportunity to witness the newest and brightest in action. Over on the ever-exciting BBC Introducing Stage, Pale Waves lived up to their hype, drawing comparison to the likes of The 1975. There’s A Honey remains one of the best songs of the year to date, and live, it just didn’t disappoint. Fans of new music, keep an eye on this one.
Over the weekend, Ticketmaster’s Ben was hanging around backstage to grab some time with the biggest, best and most exciting artists playing across Reading and Leeds. You can watch all of our interviews below:
Jimmy Eat World
While She Sleeps
Will Jospeh Cook
Want to join the action? Reading and Leeds Festival 2018 tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.