‘Reading and Leeds Festivals 2013 proved to be typically wild and featured some of the best new and alternative acts in the world’ Metro
‘Arguably the summer's finest line-up with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Green Day and Eminem backed up by Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down and Chase & Status’ Virtual Festivals
‘Featuring some truly great indie, intriguing hip-hop artists and curveball headliners; there’s a real sense of variety on the bill this year’ Clash
It’s another year in Reading, my 27th attending the festival and it’s again another stellar line-up.
After the ‘secret set’ (that everyone seemed to know about) from the previous year, Green Day were back to destroy the mainstage for the 4th time on the Friday and their second time in the headline position. With a supporting cast of Bring Me The Horizon, New Found Glory, System Of A Down and everyones regular festival favourite Frank Turner, it was an amazing first day and very much in the rock/metal vein.
Mainstage on the second day had the return of Eminem who put in a much anticipated set of hits and more. Chase and Status proved their worth as the new dance/rock crossover band, who would give the Prodigy a run for their money. Twin Atlantic made their mainstage debut and Foals showed how popular they really had become, playing in the 3rd place spot.
Sunday was like a homecoming for Biffy Clyro who through determination, skill and an amazingly detailed and vast back catalogue had gradually climbed the line-ups to now top the festival and close it, and they closed it in style. Mentioned everywhere as the best band of the weekend and a highlight of Reading for years to come they owned the festival, ‘Mon the Biff’.
Nine Inch Nails played a set for the hardcore fans and Fall Out Boy played a more rocky set than was ever expected from them.
On other stages we had a ‘dub-step’ master class from Skrillex, headlining the NME Radio 1 tent on the Friday; Alt-J after winning the Mercury Music Prize headlined the Saturday & P-H-O-E-N-I-X closed the stage on the Sunday. The stage also included memorable performances from Bastille, Vegas legends Imagine Dragons and Jake Bugg, all drawing massive crowds.
The rest of the weekend stages were full of top quality performances including Knife Party (now that Pendulum had ended) closing the Dance Stage on the Sunday, Alkaline Trio topping the bill in the Lock Up on the Friday and Gallows featuring at one point both of their lead singers, previous and current, Frank Carter and Wade MacNeil showing that there is no animosity in the punk rock brotherhood.
Another festival drew quickly to an end with the arena covered in Biffy’s confetti streamers and everyone leaving, knowing that in Biffy’s set they had seen a band come of age; nothing was going to stop them now.
Another year over, roll on 2014.
Ian Carroll - Author of ‘The Reading Festival Music, Mud And Mayhem: The Official History (available on Amazon.co.uk)