Friday 11:55 PM

Dave makes his unforgettable debut headline performance on the Reading 2022 Main Stage

As the first headline act of this year’s festival, Streatham’s finest Dave kicked off Reading Festival 2022 with an explosive set this Friday night.

At just 24, the talented star raps, sings, plays guitar and piano – he sure is an incredibly talented artist. You can see his diverse range of influences in the music he produces, spanning from Afrobeats to gospel, to R&B. Back in 2019, he was a second-stage headliner, whereas tonight he had the captive attention of a massive, hyped-up audience as this year’s first headliner, and rightly so.

It’s been quite the journey for Dave so far, with his debut body of work ‘Psychodrama’ winning the Mercury Prize back in 2019, and ‘We’re All In This Alone Together’ becoming the biggest rap album in all of a decade. He mentions that he almost failed music in college, something no one could believe now judging by his awe-inspiring success. Some of his tracks also have a more political meaning, sending powerful messages about knife crime in the UK and its impact on a younger generation.

Dave spoiled us tonight with smash hits such as ‘Funky Friday’, ‘No Words’ and ‘Twenty to One’, which all went off with a bang. And that’s not all – not one, but two special guests joined Dave up on stage. First, AJ Tracey joined him for their anthem ‘Thiago Silva’ and later on in the set, Stormzy burst onto the stage, donned with love heart sunglasses to help perform their lockdown-lifted summer hit ‘Clash.’

Megan Thee Stallion

Friday 11:26 PM

Matriarch of the rap world – Megan Thee Stallion

Hailing from Houston, Texas, critically-acclaimed artist and THREE-time Grammy winner, Megan Thee Stallion blessed us with a colossal performance on the Main Stage.

Her setlist featured certified banger after banger, with rap hits such as ‘Freak Nasty’, ‘Simon Says’ and ‘WAP’ drawing a pumped-up crowd as far as you could see. She also treated us to songs from her recently released album ‘Traumazine’, which, judging by the reaction of her adoring fans, is set to gain the same widespread affection as the albums that have come before it.

With her infectious energy, incredible dancing (the girl can move), and the production to match, Megan stole the show. Spotlight moments were hit rap track ‘Body’ and when she invited up some of her army of fans, affectionately known as ‘Thee Hotties’, to the stage. They mirrored her energy from start to finish, with dance battles galore.

All in all, this was a set jam-packed with infectious hip-hop beats that were just too good not to dance to, Megan surely proved her rightful place as a future headliner.

Little Simz

Friday 8:14 PM

The incredibly talented Little Simz bosses the Main Stage

Mercury Prize and MOBO nominated international superstar Little Simz graced us with her powerful live performance on the Main Stage this evening.

The multi-talented London based rapper, singer and actress has shot to fame and for good reason too. Influenced by hip hop, soul, funk, jazz and grime, the Brit-award winning artist stunned a wide-eyed crowd with the likes of ‘Woman’, ‘Boss’ and closer ‘Venom.’

As soon as the first notes of ‘Introvert’ rang out across the field, the crowd erupted. The hitmaker’s funky melodies and thumping beats surely put us in the party mood. Matched with her impressively pitch-perfect non-stop vocals, this was an unmissable set full of energy.

With an extensive backlog to now choose from, the rapper’s setlist covered a range of hits from both her latest album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, Mercury Prize nominated album ‘GREY Area’ and beyond.  The catchy keyboard melody of ‘Speed’ had the crowd jumping, whilst the heavy guitar riff in ‘Offence’ mirrored the impressive energy emanating from the stage. Other favourites included funky soul-fuelled ‘Selfish’ and ‘101 FM’ to which she dedicated to her hometown London.

Little Simz certainly gave us a performance we won’t forget, proving her rightful place on the Reading Main Stage.


Friday 5:37 PM

Newcomers DEADLETTER grace the BBC Music Introducing Stage with unbeatable energy

Hailing from Yorkshire, but now based in South London, six-piece post-punk collective DEADLETTER brought their rowdy energy to the BBC Music Introducing stage today.

Already signed to Nice Swan Records, they surely are set for big things. With a mix of post-punk and garage, combined with the coolness of the saxophone, they have a unique sound, which pricked the ears of passers-by who stumbled upon them.

Favourites included their second single ‘Fit For Work’ which had everyone’s heads bopping. Their often political lyrics seem to resonate with the energetic crowd, making them relatable and fun to watch. These are a band worth keeping an eye on.


Friday 5:36 PM

TikTok royalty PinkPantheress has Reading Festival swept off their feet

It’s only been a minute since PinkPantheress first uploaded her first TikTok with song ‘Just a Waste.’ Since then, the breakout 21-year-old star from Bath has sold out shows in London, attracted almost 9 million monthly Spotify listeners and won BBC’s Sound of 2022. Today she packs out the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

She’s one of the most exciting acts to see at this year’s festival. Starting off with crowd-pleaser bop ‘Break it off’ she gives us her infectious energy straight from the off. Tracks fused with bedroom pop, drum and bass, and 2 step garage, matched with her soothing and sometimes melodramatic lyrics, get the adoring crowd grooving away.

Her sound has a nostalgic feel to it, mostly contributed by the range of samples used from the 1990s and early 2000s, but she puts her own, unique spin on things. Highlights included lo-fi hip-hop-esque ‘Pain’, TikTok viral hit ‘Break It Off’ and ‘Attracted To You’, a shorter track which leaves us wanting more. She even treated us to recently released disco-house single ‘Picture in my mind’ which went down a storm.

With a performance filled with effortless coolness and boundless energy and an album on the way early next year, PinkPantheress is here to stay.

Piri & Tommy

Friday 2:33 PM

We’ve got a ‘soft spot’ for Piri & Tommy

Bouncing onto a packed-out BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage, Piri & Tommy gave us an energy-fuelled dance party to remember.

The Manchester duo burst onto the scene when their iconic drum and bass track ‘soft spot’ went viral on TikTok. Since then, they’ve skyrocketed into stardom, with the song amassing over 12 million streams.

Sophie McBurnie (aka Piri) is the brains behind the lyrics, and producer Tommy Villiers is in charge of the beats and rhythm. They’re the perfect match, with each track on their setlist today combining old school dance sounds and garage beats, with feel-good singalong choruses. With beach balls flying and the crowd jumping, their music is the perfect backdrop to an exciting first day at the festival.

The pair draw their influences from an eclectic range of genres. The jangly guitar intro on ‘Beachin’’, shows they can do it all. Other highlights included latest single ‘On&On’ (released July), iconic banger ‘words’ and infamous track ‘soft spot.’ Each song had the crowd shouting back the lyrics at the pair, to their amazement.

With lots of unreleased music on its way, we’re excited to see where these two end up.


Friday 2:31 PM

Kicking off the festival with Honeyglaze on the BBC Music Introducing Stage

South London-based trio Honeyglaze rose to the occasion this afternoon as they opened the BBC Music Introducing Stage.  With their hazy, infectious indie-rock, this set was a dreamy way to start today’s music. Formed just before the first lockdown, they’ve already attracted a solid fan base and have impressed the likes of Dan Carey and his team at Speedy Wunderground and often frequent The Windmill in London.

The band love to put their live performance first – ensuring the rawness of their music comes across in both the recording studio and on stage. With many influences spanning from 60s soul to 90s dream pop, they’ve already released their self-titled debut album in April this year, which features belters ‘Burglar’, ‘Creative Jealousy’ and latest single ‘Female Lead.’ Today’s highlights included ‘Shadows’ and closing song ‘Childish Things’ which both showed off the band’s dreamy riffs and Anouska Sokolow’s soft, soulful but powerful vocals.

If you didn’t catch them, you definitely missed out. The band showed us they’re an act you definitely want to get to know.