Reading and Leeds 2016

Festival guide

While Reading and Leeds remains one of the best UK festivals for fans of rock, punk and indie, the split-siter’s bills are rapidly becoming as renowned for its hip hop and electronic music offerings. On the latter score, this year’s line-up is arguably its strongest yet, promising performances by Nas, Kano and Skrillex/Diplo-collaboration Jack Ü. We’ve rounded up all this year’s potential highlights below.

Top picks

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    BBK

    Though founded by brothers JME and Skepta way back in 2005, the buzz around this grime collective/indie label has intensified to such an extent that even Drake has the Boy Better Know logo inked on his shoulder. But don’t let the top 20 albums, Mercury Prize nods and Kanye endorsements fool you: BBK might now be a mainstream concern, but they’re still thrillingly anti-establishment. Catch them on Friday at Reading and on Saturday at Leeds.

    Skepta - Konnichiwa
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    Savages

    Currently touring their Mercury Prize-nominated second album, Adore Life, Savages are currently one of the UK's most compelling live bands. Head to the front for their set on the NME/Radio 1 Stage on Friday at Leeds and Sunday at Reading, and expect an intense set veering between visceral punk energy and epic melancholia, plus French-frontwoman Jehnny Beth tearing down the fourth wall with a spot of crowd-walking.

    Savages - Adore Life
    • 16-bit FLAC
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    Anderson .Paak

    Arguably one of the breakthrough acts of 2016, California’s Anderson .Paak has won wall-to-wall praise for the fusion of rap, soul, funk and jazz on his second LP, Malibu. Live, he’s every bit as charismatic, and can usually be seen switching between straight MC-ing and spitting verses behind his drumkit. Listen out for a rendition of his Kaytranada-collaboration ‘Glowed Up’, too – it’s one of our favourite tracks of 2016 so far.

Big names

Don't miss

More from the line-up

  • Chvrches

    Interview

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    Unlike a lot of electronic bands, we’re not afraid to express melody.

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  • Jack Garratt

    Interview

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    My feet are still on the ground; I’m not flying yet!

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  • Disclosure

    Interview

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    Because we’re young, people underestimate us and our knowledge of dance music.

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