Reading and Leeds festival 2018 lineup review

Reading and Leeds has always been one of the most iconic music festivals in the UK, but has it begun to lose its edge after this year’s lineup announcement?

Reading and Leeds festival 2018 lineup review

It’s been about a fortnight since the first lineup for Reading and Leeds Festival 2018 was announced, and it’s been a much-needed period for ticket-holders, the internet, and the general public to calm themselves down. Whilst admittedly not a complete disaster in every respect, the lineup is, ahem, lacking at best. Before I go any further, let’s have a look at the actual lineup itself:


Straight off the bat, you can tell that this is going to be nothing like the legendary rock’n’roll weekend that RandL has previously been renowned for. The likes of alt-rock classics The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, and Green Day (to name a few) have been replaced by an odd melange of top-40-pop and rap. The most out of place to me seems to be Dua Lipa; inarguably a talented artist and performer within her own right, but this is not the environment for her to shine. That’s basically true for most of the lineup; Post Malone, Sigrid, J Hus- all talented artists, but just don’t fit the bill. Reading’s usual audience are used to classic rock-n-roll headliners, and I doubt they’ll be too pleased to arrive to a soundtrack which wouldn’t be too out of place on the Disney Channel.

The only saving grace keeping the lineup respectable is Kings of Leon, headlining on the Sunday. This will hopefully keep the seasoned RandL-goers happy, but the atmosphere will no doubt be slightly off – the majority of the audience will have bought tickets only for the abundance of rap artists on offer.

Another thing saving the festival from being completely panned is the announcement of Kendrick Lamar as a headliner. For £205, you can’t complain at value for money. Thousands of people blew more than that on a Kendrick Lamar solo tour ticket; and for a whole three days of indisputably quite famous artists, you could argue that the lineup becomes almost irrelevant- with emphasis on the ‘almost’.

The other odd exception in the lineup is the inclusion of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. They’re both seasoned RandL performers, returning nearly every year since circa 2005, but they just don’t seem to blend with the rest of the artists performing. I can’t pretend that I won’t enjoy their performances, but I equally can’t deny that it’ll feel like a blast from 2013. Nostalgia will wash differently with nearly everyone who’s bought a ticket. I imagine that many won’t be too pleased to be reminded of their emo days, whilst others (myself included) will look forward to reliving them. The only real issue is that, although they’re a step in the right direction, the two bands are still mostly popular with pre-teens only – so, again, more seasoned RandL fans have little to gain.  

So what can they do? Apart from pulling their socks up and announcing a few more acts, not all that much. There are still rumours that they’re keeping a few of the best in their back pocket for now, so all we can do is wait and see.

Roll on August!


Franki Hay

Franki Hay Contributor

16-year-old IB student and aspiring writer, liable to developing strong opinions.

Recent posts by this author

View more posts by Franki Hay


  • Luke Taylor

    On 13 March 2018, 09:38 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    I definitely think RandL have lost their edge. In fact, they might as well have sold out. Replacing quality rock acts with pop artists really says it all. Whilst I do appreciate the inclusion of hardcore bands, they seem to be overlooked.

Post A Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment. Click here to sign in now

You might also like

Review: Brief Encounter

Review: Brief Encounter

by Georgia Mussellwhite

Read now