Reading Festival 2016 has gotten bigger with the recent second announcement led by Oxford indie act Foals and electronic duo Disclosure. Other notable inclusions are LA rockers Imagine Dragons, Irish indie act Two Door Cinema Club and Skrillex and Diplo collaboration Jack Ü. The second announcement is rounded out by a series of electronic acts (Crystal Castles, Oliver Heldens, Hannah Wants), hip hop performers (Fetty Wap, The Internet), metalcore act Parkway Drive and alt rock group Nothing but Thieves. The 2016 Reading & Leads Festival will be held over the weekend of 26-28 August. Additional announcements are still ahead for the event.
First announcement led by Chili Peppers, 1975
The first Reading announcement featured festival-exclusive headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, The 1975, Courteeners, Eagles of Death Metal, Twenty One Pilots, Boy Better Know, Slaves (UK), DJ EZ, Crossfaith, Hinds and Rad Boy. Eagles of Death Metal, led by Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, are a notable inclusion. The announcement marks one of the first gigs they have booked after the surviving the Bataclan Theatre shooting in Paris last November. Reading will be the sole UK performance for the year from the California rockers. The band’s European Nos Amis Tour was interrupted by the attacks. They will resume the extensive tour on Saturday February 13 with a date in Stockholm.
Reading Festival 2016 retains broad appeal
The 2016 Reading line-up highlights the ongoing commitment to a broad genre and international bookings for festival. Foals and Disclosure gaining co-headlining billing is a step away from the harder-hitting line-ups of past years. 2014 and 2015 saw Queens of the Stone Age, Paramore, Metallica and Bring Me the Horizon take top billing. Some have questioned the ability for acts such as Foals and Disclosure to step up to the role of headliner. But then again many people panned the decision to have Metallica headline last year. Ultimately, it seems it’s impossible to please everyone regardless of the line-up. Foals have certainly proved themselves at the festival at the past, being featured in 2015, 2013, 2010, 2008 and 2007. Perhaps their elevation to headliner is some kind of long-service promotion. Foals had the following to say about the announcement:
“We’re absolutely buzzing to be headlining Reading and Leeds this year. It’s a dream come true. I used to watch Nirvana live at Reading ’92, on VHS, repeatedly while dying my hair blue and learning how to play guitar, badly. We’ve worked our way up on our own terms and to be given the chance to headline one of world’s most iconic festivals is a huge achievement for us and hopefully a sign for all bands, that, if you stick to your guns and focus on what matters, you’ll get there and smash it. Onwards and upwards friends. Long live the guitar band.”
Brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence dropped the second Disclosure LP Caracal last September. Caracal enjoyed even greater success than their 2013 debut Settle. The band recently wrapped up a successful Australian and New Zealand tour. Last week they announced a 16-date North American Spring tour, which will no doubt have them warmed up for their largest shows yet at Reading. The band are no stranger to the festival, having featured at the 2014 and 2013 events. This will be the first chance they have to perform the material off Caracal at Reading however.
The heavy acts announced for Reading Festival 2016 so far are sparse. So far only Australia’s Parkway Drive, and Japan’s Crossfaith hold down the fort. The theatrical Osaka electronicore act seems naturally suited to big stages and festival slots. They come to Reading off the back of their fourth album Xeno, which was released last year. Byron Bay metalcore veterans Parkway have done hundreds of shows annually for over a decade now. They may not be quite the studio force they once were, but the band undeniably delivers the goods live. Late last year they dropped the Ire LP, which is their most inspired effort since the early years of the band. Parkway vocalist Winston McCall commented on their inclusion:
“Leeds and Reading has such a crazy reputation worldwide – we are so stoked to be part of it this year. It seems like every year the bar gets raised higher and higher and we are looking forward to upping it once again! BRING IT!”