BBC Music is set to make a triumphant return to the Reading and Leeds Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The event will feature extensive coverage across television and radio platforms, including BBC One, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, and BBC Introducing.
From Friday 25 August to Sunday 27 August, the Radio 1 Dance Stage and 1Xtra Stage will take centre stage, showcasing some of the most prominent names in the music industry. Simultaneously, the BBC Introducing Stage will continue to serve as the prime location to discover the most promising emerging artists.
Radio 1 and 1Xtra will provide live broadcasts from Reading, delivering the most memorable moments directly to listeners throughout the weekend. This exclusive content will encompass backstage interviews and headline performances from some of the world’s most renowned artists. Audiences can tune in live on BBC Sounds as well as on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. The festival coverage on Radio 1 will be presented by Matt Edmondson and Mollie King, along with Katie Thistleton and Vicky Hawkesworth. Over on 1Xtra, DJ Target will be leading the coverage.
BBC One will present two special shows featuring highlights from the headline performances by Billie Eilish and The Killers.
Television-wise, “The Killers @ Reading & Leeds Festival 2023” is scheduled to air on Sunday 27 August at 11.40pm. The Killers are set to return to the Reading Festival for their second headline performance, having previously topped the bill in 2008. Nearly two decades after the release of their iconic debut album “Hot Fuss,” the band is expected to deliver a setlist brimming with sing-along anthems and indie disco classics.
Meanwhile, “Billie Eilish @ Reading & Leeds Festival 2023” will be broadcast on Monday 28 August at 11.15pm. International sensation Billie Eilish will grace the Reading Festival’s Main Stage East as a headline act. Notably, in 2019, she drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend at the same festival. At just 21 years old, she will become the youngest solo artist to headline this prestigious event.
In the realm of radio, the Radio 1 Dance Stage will feature scintillating performances from prominent names in the realm of dance music. The lineup includes electrifying sets from MK, Eliza Rose, Sub Focus b2b Dimension, LF System, and Girls Don’t Sync.
Radio 1’s live broadcasts from Reading will take place from 11am to 4pm on Friday 25 August and Saturday 26 August, and from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday 27 August. The coverage will offer live tracks from major artists gracing the two Main Stages (Main Stage East and Main Stage West). Presenters Katie Thistleton and Vicky Hawkesworth will kick off the coverage on Friday morning (11am – 1pm), followed by Matt and Mollie taking over from 1pm to 4pm. The same duos will continue to lead the coverage on Saturday, and on Sunday, Matt and Mollie will provide backstage build-up for the final day of the festival (1pm – 4pm).
Moreover, Sunday 27 August will feature a special show called “Radio 1 at Reading and Leeds Festival” from 10pm to 11.20pm, exclusively dedicated to Billie Eilish’s performance, including live coverage from her headline set at Reading.
Radio 1’s Indie Show with Alyx Holcombe (9pm – 10pm) and BBC Introducing on Radio 1 with Gemma Bradley (11.20pm – 1am) will also be entirely focused on the Reading and Leeds 2023 Festival, featuring the most outstanding sets from across the weekend.
For those grappling with post-festival blues, on Monday 28 August, Daniel P Carter will relive some of the festival’s highlights on Radio 1’s Rock Show (11pm – 1am).
At the 1Xtra Stage in Reading and Leeds, audiences can expect performances from the hottest names in Black music, both from the UK and beyond. Artists like Meekz, Dréya Mac, D Double E, K-Trap, Lost Girl, and many others will grace the stage. The weekend will also feature appearances by Radio 1 and 1Xtra hosts Kenny Allstar and DJ Target.
On Saturday 25 August, DJ Target will bring the excitement and festival vibes from Reading to listeners through 1Xtra’s Reading Party, airing from 7pm to 9pm. On Friday 1 September, 1Xtra’s Rap Show with Kenny Allstar will showcase highlights from Central Cee’s Main Stage performance at Reading.
BBC Music Introducing has been an integral part of the festival for over ten years, acting as a platform for festival-goers to discover new favourite acts before they hit mainstream recognition. It has played a pivotal role in catapulting UK acts to new heights. In fact, over half of the 2023 festival lineup, including Yard Act, Bilk, The Snuts, Georgia, The Amazons, Don Broco, and Easy Life, have emerged from the Introducing Stage, going on to achieve significant success. The stage has also witnessed surprise sets from superstars like Ed Sheeran, The 1975, and Loyle Carner in the past.
This year’s Introducing Stage promises unforgettable performances from influential and exciting names spanning indie, alternative, hip-hop, and dance genres. With over twenty acts scheduled to perform, highlights include ALT BLK ERA, a nu-metal-influenced sister duo headlining Friday at Reading and Saturday at Leeds; vibrant indie breakout girl band HotWax, headlining Saturday at Reading and Sunday at Leeds; and Ivor Novello-nominated folk-pop artist Matilda Mann, headlining Friday at Leeds and Sunday at Reading, among others.
Each artist performing on the BBC Introducing Stage will have one track filmed and made available on bbc.com/introducing.
In addition, a special live show from Reading will air on Saturday 26 August (8pm – 10pm) on BBC Music Introducing in Berkshire. Similarly, BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire, BBC Music Introducing in York and North Yorkshire, BBC Music Introducing in Sheffield, and BBC Music Introducing in Humberside will present live shows from Leeds featuring hosts Emily Pilbeam, Christian Carlisle, Alan Raw, and Jericho Keys. These broadcasts will showcase live performances from the BBC Introducing Stages.