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Leeds and Reading 2013 first acts announced!

Tickets on sale 9am Friday 30th November. 2012 prices and prizes until the end of December. 

Reading & Leeds Festivals return on Friday 23rd August to Sunday 25th August 2013 at Richfield Avenue, Reading and Bramham Park, Leeds. The biggest dual-site festivals in Britain are set to be bigger and better than ever, with additional stages, new artwork and of course the all-important line-up. The festivals will remain the best choice for music lovers and in 2013 will boast more genres of music than ever before. 

Festival boss Melvin Benn has been planning these exciting changes and additions to the festivals over the past year, refining and expanding their proposition for the fans: 

“This is a dynamic time for the festivals, not only do we have a fresh look for next year, but we are also adding to the fans’ experience of the festival with the introduction of more stages, different genres of music, including the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage dedicated to hip-hop and grime, and an increase in the numbers of artists playing across the weekend. I’m really thrilled about the additions we have planned and I’m committed to ensuring Reading & Leeds remain the highlight of the festival season for many years to come.” 

“The addition of the hip-hop stage and the extension of the dance line-up to a three day stage, whilst not losing the essence of what Reading & Leeds Festivals are about across the existing Main, NME/Radio 1, Festival Republic and Lock Up Stages, are the things that really excite me. The Reading & Leeds festival goers listen to a diverse range of music and with the likes of BBC Radio 1 offering specialist shows focused on rock and dance and BBC Radio 1Xtra now a station in its own right, this broad spectrum of musical genres reflects what the fans are into and what Reading & Leeds represents.” 

“I’m really thrilled about the additions we have planned and I’m committed to ensuring Reading & Leeds remain the highlight of the festival season for many years to come.” 

Whet your appetite with the first acts announced across the Main, NME/Radio 1, BBC Radio 1 Dance and all new BBC Radio 1Xtra stages, some exciting changes to the festival sites, plus ticket details and the limited period £50 deposit scheme. 

The first names are confirmed across the festivals! 

The first announcement from the 2013 Main Stage line-up is iconic alternative rock band Deftones who will be celebrating their 25th birthday on the Reading & Leeds Main Stages. The band are legendary figures in west-coast rock ‘n’ roll and have sold over four million records worldwide. Today, they are cited as an inspiration by everyone from Muse to Biffy Clyro. The way their sound has evolved from 90’s metal to expansive noise rock has put them in a league of their own, but expect to hear plenty from their seven-album career including material from their critically acclaimed new record ‘Koi No Yokan’. 

Deftones commented: 

“We are thrilled to be returning to Reading & Leeds. In previous years it’s always been a highlight for us and we are honoured to have been invited back.” 

Alt-J will take to the top of the bill in the NME/Radio 1 Stage. 2012 has seen Alt-J go from virtual unknowns to the hottest new band in Britain. The boys have become a global phenomenon, playing sold-out shows in the US, and charting in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Alt-J’s astonishing year was topped off when their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ won the coveted 2012 Mercury Prize and reached gold status. Now they’re back on home soil for two of the biggest gigs of their lives as they headline the NME/Radio 1 Stage at Reading & Leeds. 

The gig is especially exciting for Alt-J lead singer Joe whose first festival was Leeds in 2002: 

“It was great although I wasn’t prepared at all. Took some Pot Noodles and about a tenner and that was it. I was struggling. The festival was amazing, though: Incubus, Hundred Reasons, The Hives, Foo Fighters, the Prodigy. I was having the time of my life.” 

With the expansion of the Dance Stage into a standalone three day tent keeping festival fans on their feet, Reading & Leeds are excited to announce Sub Focus as the first name for the all new BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage. Drum ‘n’ Bass returns to Reading & Leeds! More than a decade after Roni Size headlined the first ever dance stage, Sub Focus is bringing the beat back, playing one of the first headline sets on the brand new three day BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, and what a show it will be! His ground breaking live show is a true spectacle, incorporating some of the most developed technology used today, including epic visuals displayed on a bespoke circular LED video installation and hypnotic lighting sequences. Sub Focus started out in the club scene, playing alongside Drum ‘n’ Bass legends like Andy C , but in recent years he’s truly crossed over with his biggest hits to date, the stunning synth soundscape ‘Out The Blue’ and most recently the epic ‘Tidal Wave’ featuring vocals from Alpines. His eagerly anticipated sophomore album will be released Spring 2013. This headline performance will be one not to be missed! 

Put simply, without Wiley, JME and Skepta, grime would not exist. For 15 years they have set the UK alight with their red hot tracks and genius flows – whether together as Boy Better Know or as solo MC’s. Now the three founding fathers of grime christen the new BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage with their first ever headline festival set. 2012 has been a stellar year for the trio with Wiley scoring two UK Top Five singles, including his first Number One with the summer smash ‘Heatwave’, the more recent Number Three ‘Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya)’ which featured Skepta and JME releasing the club smash ’96 F**kries’. Boy Better Know‘s performance will give festival goers a taste of their infamously raucous Eskimo Dance raves and is guaranteed to be a highlight on this all new stage. 

With the first wave of artists revealed across the festival, Reading & Leeds Festival 2013 are already shaping up to be one amazing weekend, with much more still to come across the Main, NME/Radio 1, Festival Republic, Alternative, Lock Up, BBC Radio 1 Dance, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Introducing Stages. 

The festivals have always been synonymous with incredible headliners, but they are also an important platform for emerging and future stars. Many festival fans will recall The Arctic Monkeys playing their first gigs to packed crowds on a small stage back in 2006, Bombay Bicycle Club’s midday crowd surfing in 2008 or The xx’s stunning first appearance to a few hundred fans in 2009. 

Since their inception, the festivals have played host to a number of now legendary performances including Nirvana’s appearance in 1992 and Them Crooked Vultures’ surprise set in 2009. Even as far back as 1972 The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood played a show with The Faces at Reading, his first ever festival appearance of any note, proof, if needed, that the festivals really are the stuff of music legend.

Editor of LLR since 2005

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