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Reading/Leeds celebrates hottest, biggest year yet

Nearly 200,000 people a day collectively attended the twin Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK last weekend (23–25 August), according to promoter Festival Republic.

Hundreds of artists, DJ and comedians played the 2019 editions of the long-running events (Reading is in its 48th year and Leeds its 21st), which occupy the end-of-August public holiday weekend in England. According to the BBC, it was the hottest August bank holiday on record, with Sunday temperatures reaching 33.3°C (92°F).

As Skiddle notes, the festivals are now a “faint shammer of [their] former rock-purist roots”, offering a greater spread of artists from all genres, including the highly anticipated Reading/Leeds debut of rising star Billie Eilish. The NME’s reviewer, Thomas Smith, says Eilish’s Reading show “may well have been the biggest crowd at a Reading show there’s ever been. “When the camera side of stage pans out to show the punters what they’re in the middle, there are audible gasps at the sheer volume of bodies packed into the field,” Smith writes.

It was the hottest August bank holiday on record, with Sunday temperatures reaching 33.3°c

Headliners were the 1975, Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots, with other performers including Bastille, the Distillers, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals and Bullet for My Valentine, who played a surprise show.

The 1975 debuted tracks from their upcoming album, Notes on a Conditional Form, as well as environmentally conscious new single ‘People’, featuring activist Greta Thunberg, while Foo Fighters were joined on stage by frontman Dave Grohl’s daughter, Violet, as well as special guest Rick Astley.

Organisers also tout the festivals as the most environmentally friendly yet, with “a robust green initiative in place across both sites”.

Tickets for Reading and Leeds 2020 are on sale at noon today (27 August).

 


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Reading Festival 2019 sells out

With just over a month to go, Reading Festival promoter Festival Republic has revealed that all tickets for the 105,000-capacity UK festival have sold out.

Reading and its Leeds sister festival return this August bank holiday weekend (23–25 August 2019), with Foo Fighters, the 1975, Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots headlining. Other performers include Billie Eilish, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Bastille, Machine Gun Kelly, Charli XCX, Dace and Royal Blood.

A limited number of day and weekend tickets remain for Leeds Festival.

All tickets for 105,000-capacity Reading have sold out

Tickets for both events were priced at £205 + booking fee for a full weekend pass, with day tickets starting at £69.50.

Reading’s capacity was increased by an additional 5,000 for 2019, reflecting Festival Republic’s positive relationship with local authorities. Councillor Sarah Hacker, Reading council’s lead member for culture, heritage and recreation, said: “Thank you for the sheer amount of hard work that is put into these festivals, both by Reading Borough Council and Festival Republic.”

Other events produced by Live Nation-owned Festival Republic include Download, Community, Wireless, Lollapalooza Berlin and last weekend’s Latitude, which also sold out.

 


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