Reading and Leeds 2019 proved a huge hit with 200,000 festival fans over the two sets indulging in outstanding sets from the likes of The 1975, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters and hundreds of the world’s best artists, bands, DJs and comedians.
Crowds were noticeably up at Bramham Park on all three days and anticipation is already beginning for 2020, tickets for which have already gone on sale.
The 1975 made history with their spellbinding visuals as well as unreleased music from their highly anticipated next album 'Notes On A Conditional Form’ and a first live performance of their newly released single ‘People’.
“There’s not enough time for the universe”, frontman Matty Healy declared, as he used his performance to shout about the shocking impact of climate devastation. Before the finale kicked off, their collaboration with environmental activist Greta Thunberg, ‘The 1975’ was played out, with the words of her important essay highlighted across the Main Stage screens as a call to action, urging all in attendance to make a change.
Post Malone and Twenty One Pilots returned to Leeds on Sunday in big main stage slots.
Post Malone topped off his performance with the rockstar ritual of smashing his guitar on stage while Twenty One Pilots delivered an epic set; after making their entrance by striding in front of a car completely engulfed in flames. Duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun were also joined by fellow headliner Post Malone for an emotionally charged crowd singalong of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
Foo Fighters made their grand return to Bramham Park, pulling out all the stops and delving into an epic back catalogue spanning 25 years. The rock legends had crowds singing along from the first line of opener ‘Pretender’, and not stopping until the final bars of ‘Everlong’.
Dave Grohl’s daughter Violet joined the band on stage to duet with her dad on an emotional version of ‘My Hero’.And as is customary with any Foo Fighters gig, Taylor Hawkins swapped his drumsticks for microphone with Dave taking his vacant stool for a cover of Bowie/ Queen’s Under Pressure, during which a fan dressed as Freddie Mercury was plucked from the crowd to join the band on stage.
Grohl recounted fond memories of playing the festival over the years, thanking the fans for their loyalty for over two decades.
The world’s latest pop sensation Billie Eilish brought her number one award-winning album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ to the stage with a huge hits-filled performance. Fans went wild as she opened her set with ‘Bad Guy’, a thumping pop belter which instantly had the crowd bouncing. Making what’s undoubtedly a historic Reading and Leeds Festival debut, her powerful, energetic performance kept fans in a huge crowd utterly mesmerised.
Brody Dalle and her American punk rock band The Distillers played their first UK show in 15 years on the main stage, and were reunited with drummer Andy Granelli.
The BBC Radio 1 Stage featured performances from the likes of 2019 Brit Award nominee Mabel, chart-topping four piece Bastille and 21-year-old rapper Dave. Those looking to dance spent their weekend at the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage where electronic duo Camelphat, Andy C, Denis Sulta and Becky Hill took to the stage with sets that kept the crowd moving from beginning to end. The BBC 1Xtra Stage was jam-packed with headline sets from BBC Sound of 2019 winner Octavian who was joined by special guest Skepta as his set drew to a close, Hackney-born rapper and singer Not3sbrought his signature Afrobeat sound and Dappy drew fans in with no less than a high octane set bursting with energy.
The Pit and The Lock Up was a one stop shop for all things rock, metal and punk, with Bowling For Soup, Ghostemane, Enter Shikari (who also played the main stage earlier in the day), The Maine, Pup and Of Mice and Men playing alongside upcoming talent like Press Club, Plague Vendor and Queen Zee.
Forever championing new talent, the BBC Introducing Stage remains the best place to catch the most exciting emerging artists. This year saw Leeds' own indie-pop masters Marsicans, raspy-voiced rock artist LION and raucous grunge rock three-piece The Mysterines headline the stage. Over 80% of the British acts on this year’s line-up for Reading and Leeds have been supported by BBC Music Introducing across their careers, including The 1975, Royal Blood and Bastille.
On Thursday the Dance To The Radio Stage kicked off the party at Leeds Festival with Easy Life, whenyoung, Indoor Pets, BILK and DJ Jacky P and the lads from TPD TV headlined the infamous Piccadily Party.
The festival was filled with special moments throughout the weekend, including surprise sets from Yorkshire band The Sherlocks and Drenge.
Another Yorkshire talent, Yungblud, thrilled with his electric performance with Machine Gun Kelly joining him on stage, while Frank Carter orchestrated a huge female-only mosh pit during an electrifying set with his band The Rattlesnakes, advocating for a safe space for everyone at Reading and Leeds.
Fans who missed out on tickets can catch up on the weekend’s highlights on BBC iPlayer.