Who Can Headline Reading & Leeds In 2018?

With the first Reading & Leeds headliner announcements imminent, now seems the best time to consider which bands and musicians will potentially headline the famous festival. Here’s whom our writers seem to think fits the bill:

Foo Fighters

They headlined Glastonbury in 2017, performing in some of the country’s largest stadiums this year, surely the Foo Fighters have time to squeeze in a trip to Reading & Leeds at the end of August?

2017 saw the release of ‘Concrete And Gold,’ in which their current world tour supports, though in reality a set would rely heavily on past classics such as “Everlong,” “The Pretender” and “Best Of You.” They were the perfect mix for Glastonbury, but will they suit a far younger Reading & Leeds crowd?


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Despite gaining far less media attention, Noel Gallagher’s latest release is arguably his best since early Oasis days. ‘Who Built The Moon?’ explores far more of a diverse sound, something in which Gallagher has been in desperate need of.

The album went straight to number one for good reason, tracks such as “The Man Who Built The Moon” are atmospheric, whilst “It’s A Beautiful World” creates a surreal, dreamy environment. Mix this with reworked, classic Oasis tunes and any crowd would be in for a treat. He may not be at headline level, but don’t be surprised to see the older Gallagher high up the bill should he feature at Reading & Leeds at some point.


Arctic Monkeys

2018 is already being heralded as the return of Arctic Monkeys, who’s last UK headline dates came at Reading & Leeds in 2014. A headline slot here in 2018 would make a fitting return to the touring circuit.

Given they do return, a sixth studio album would make for an interesting setlist. Over a decade of classics prove that they are still a formidable force, once of the greatest bands of modern times!



Stormzy is arguably THE most important grime artist of our generation, very much well loved and politically relevant. The Reading & Leeds headline slot would be the perfect stage for him to send a unique, important, relevant message to the masses.

His Glastonbury 2017 slot proved that debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ elevated the Londoner to the biggest of stages, able to compete with the likes of Kanye West, Jay Z and Kendrick Lamar before a British audience. This truly could be Stormzy’s headlining year, what a rise it would have been!


Kendrick Lamar

The release of ‘Damn’ in 2017 only elevated Kendrick Lamar to a biblical level amongst his contemporaries. Having been placed below The Lobertines back in 2015, one can only assume that his next Reading & Leeds appearance will top the bill.

And for good reason, “Humble” for example, was the greatest rap song released last year. “King Kunta” and “Alright” are already classics in their own right. Lamar’s live show is also sensational. Overall, it is clear that should any US rapper follow in Eminem’s 2017 footsteps, it should be Kendrick Lamar!


The 1975

With a third album already being teased, The 1975’s rise to the top has been frantic – like it or not they’re here to stay for many years to come! 2013s self titled debut still manages to hold its own, “Chocolate” and “Sex” are fan favourites.

However, their second album saw even further musical growth, exploring a far more meaningful, emotionally diverse journey. Lead singer Matt Healy is intriguing to watch in the live setting, constantly bouncing across the stage. They headlined the BBC Radio 1 tent last time out, 2018 could be the year they top the main stages!


Wolf Alice

Its time to see Wolf Alice and a HUGE band, one in which is destined to sell out arenas in the near future. 2017 saw the release of second, critically acclaimed album ‘Visions Of A Life.’ The beautiful follow up to their 2015 debut is far darker, at times haunted.

Such diversity in sound is shown through pop classic “Beautifully Unconventional” and the powerful “Yuk Foo.” With tracks such as “Silk” and “Giant Peach” proving they have strong lyrical credentials, it is clear that Wolf Alice deserve to be at the top of any festival bill!


Royal Blood

They were omitted from last years line up, were second to last up in 2015 – one can only assume that Royal Blood are destined to headline the festival in the not so distant future. Having already mesmerised arenas across the country in 2017, headlining a large festival like Reading & Leeds seems like natural progressing.

2017’s ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ topped the charts and proved their credentials as one of the country’s finest bands. Tracks such as “Lights Out” and “I Only Lie When I Love You” are sensational, a sign that their sound has a certain amount of longevity.


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