Reading & Leeds Festival: Strength in Diversity

With so many festivals taking place over the summer period, it’s hard to pick just which ones to go to. If you’re into multiple genres of music, you might not be happy with a festival like Wireless or Download, which specialise in their respective genres. Leeds Festival, however, has always had a diverse lineup, with 2018’s roster being no exception. Taking over Branham Park, just a 40-minute shuttle from the city centre, the festival will be bringing some of the biggest local and international acts to its 9 stages.

With acts covering three main broad genres—pop-rock, emo/punk and hip-hop/rap—and with a spattering of indie and not-so-indie pop, Leeds Fest has just about figured out how to construct a lineup for the streaming generation. After all, take a look at the average person’s Spotify library and you’d probably find it hard to just box them into being a fan of a single genre; music listeners today just have more diverse tastes.

We’ve listed some of the highlights below:






Kendrick Lamar is likely one of the biggest rappers of the past few years, having earned himself an enormous fanbase as well as widespread critical acclaim with his past three studio albums—good kid, m.A.A.d City, To Pimp A Butterfly and DAMN. He’s won 12 Grammy Awards, 18 BET Hip Hop Awards, and was the first musician outside of classical or jazz genres to win the Pulitzer Prize For Music. Catch him effortlessly transitioning between cutting political commentary, compassionate love songs, and undeniable bangers (you’ve heard ‘HUMBLE.’, right?).


Credit: GQ


Whatever your thoughts on the controversial rapper, Post Malone (real name Austin Richard Post) is currently one of giants in streaming music. Coming from SoundCloud rap to mainstream success, his songs are aimed squarely toward 19 year-old American college student party culture—Post is 23 himself—and, judging by his success, he excels with the demographic, blending together hip-hop, rock, country and pop.


Credit: Dork

The two-woman band, comprised of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, make some of the most exciting indie pop that the genre’s seen in years. They wrote their first album, I, Gemini, when they were just 17, a stunning collection of psychedelic bubblegum pop-rock songs. Their second album I’m All Ears, released earlier this year, is even more out there, featuring industrial electronic elements, glitchy synths and a lot of guitar, with exciting production from SOPHIE, Faris Badwan and David Wrench.


Credit: HipHopDX

Since they met on an online Kanye West fan forum, the rap collective—or maybe more accurately: self-proclaimed) boyband—have grown to be one of the most exciting groups in modern rap, injecting a refreshing jolt of youth and do-it-yourself spirit into tracks which draw from influences like 90s rap, surf-pop, and r&b. Led by rapper, singer-songwriter and director Kevin Abstract, the group’s 13 members all contribute their special something to the project, comprising of rappers, singers, producers, web designers and photographers.


Credit: BBC

The Norwegian BBC Sound of 2018 winner Sigrid Solbakk Raabe makes pop bangers the way they used to back in the halcyon days of the mid-2000s: loud, emotional and unafraid. ‘Strangers’ throbbing, unrelenting bassline will make you dance; ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ will make you feel triumphantly rebellious; and ‘Plot Twist’ will have you getting over your ex like it was no big deal at all.


Credit: DIY

If alt-rock is more your vibe, then be sure to check out Wolf Alice. The four-piece alt-rock band from North London draw from classic Britrock and meld it with Nirvana-era grunge and, oddly enough, folk music. It’s an interesting amalgamation which holds together, delivering sonically rich results. Angsty, angry and instrospective, Wolf Alice are sure to channel all of that energy during their set.

Mikhail Hanafi

Featured Image courtesy of Music Festival News