“It seals the summer.” Greg James
"Reading & Leeds Festival 2012, more than just a music festival it is a rite of passage for so many of you.” Annie Mac
“The Reading thing is really special it’s a good way to sign off a record to end it like that its beautiful, there is not much left” Sergio Pizzorno, Kasabian
This year was a massive year for headliners, from the indie/Goth legends the Cure and their three hour set, to the debut headline performance from Kasabian, to Foo Fighters closing the proceedings in a true rock gods fashion, the line up represented the most awesome value for money of any of the summers festivals.
Second slot on the mainstage went to bands that had proved their worth elsewhere and were playing their sets thanks to very high merit and recent quality albums.
Paramore made their 3rd mainstage appearance on the Friday, with headline status only a breath away. Everyones Kate Bush for the indie generation – Florence + the Machine left the crowds wanting more on the Saturday and Sunday featured the Black Keys, indie guitars and a back catalogue to die for, proving that their slot was greatly deserved.
Other bands on the mainstage included festival regulars Cancer Bats, Coheed and Cambria back again, Kaiser Chiefs still proving themselves to be a great festival band with a greatest hits set and the controversial mainstage debut of OFWGKTA, who played the majority of their set from the security pit before their sound was cut when they ran over.
The NME Radio 1 stage had headline slots by the fast rising Maccabees on the Friday, Saturday had the recently reformed At The Drive In back for a second time and a Sunday festival closer by the electronic French dance legends Justice, who had built up a massive UK following having played a full sell out tour in Britain the year before. There was also the ‘secret set’ by Green Day at 11:30am on this stage and it was absolutely packed to the rafters, everyone having found out about the set before it was due to take place.
If you looked through the lower reaches of the Festival Republic stage you would find performances by Bastille, Alt J, Jake Bugg and Palma Violets, the quality of the supporting line-up on this stage was second to none.
The Lock Up included the UK festival debut of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the punk supergroup covers band and the one of the early UK shows of Frank Turner’s new hardcore band Möngöl Hörde, who ended their set with a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Territorial Pissings’ – all was good in the world of the festivals tent shows!
So as another festival came to an end with the sound of Foo Fighters ‘Everlong’ reverberating in our ears, we strolled back to our tents, hotels and journeys home extremely content, pleased that we had caught some amazing bands at another year that delivered the goods to a very high caliber.
Ian Carroll- Author of ‘The Reading Festival Music, Mud And Mayhem: The Official History (available on Amazon.co.uk)