Reading & Leeds Festival have announced six huge headliners for 2023 as the dual main stage layout returns, meaning more massive names and no clashes. Billie Eilish, Sam Fender, Foals, The Killers, Imagine Dragons and Lewis Capaldi will be joined by the most exciting talent in rock, indie, alternative, hip-hop and dance including Becky Hill, Bicep Live, Wet Leg, Central Cee, Declan McKenna, Don Broco, Steve Lacy, MK, Inhaler, Slowthai, Tion Wayne, Trippie Redd and many more, with further acts yet to be announced.
The three-day festival will take place on 25-27 August 2023, returning to Reading’s famous Richfield Avenue and Leeds’ legendary Bramham Park. Existing Barclaycard and Three customers presales starts 09:00AM Friday 09 December. General sale tickets and instalment plans available from 9am on Monday 12th December from www.readingfestival.com/tickets and www.leedsfestival.com/tickets.
20-year-old Billie Eilish remains one of the most treasured singer-songwriters of her generation, continuing to shatter the ceiling of music with her genre-defying sound since the release of her debut single Ocean Eyes, breakout No.1 album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? and latest album Happier Than Ever, released last summer to global critical acclaim and topping the charts in nineteen countries worldwide. With multiple accolades including seven Grammy awards, three BRIT Awards, a world tour that included Glastonbury and Coachella headline slots and six nights at London’s O2 Arena, Billie Eilish is also the youngest artist to write and record an official James Bond theme song, No Time To Die, which won an Academy Award this year. She is now set to become the youngest-ever solo artist to headline Reading & Leeds as another early-career triumph. Having drawn one of the biggest crowds the festival has ever seen at her appearance in 2019, Billiemania is ready to transcend to new heights as she owns the stage at Reading & Leeds in 2023.
If Sam Fender’s debut album, 2019’s Hypersonic Missiles, introduced a smart, street-wise British songwriter with a penchant for euphoric, hard-hitting guitar anthems, it was 2021’s peerless Seventeen Going Under that sent the Geordie artist stratospheric. Following his first appearance on the Reading & Leeds main stage in 2021, selling out Finsbury Park in 2022 and subsequently selling over 110,000 tickets for two hometown stadium shows in Newcastle next year, headlining Reading & Leeds is set to become another thrilling chapter of Sam’s coming-of-age story. Now, bearing a trove of well-deserved awards to his name (including BRITs, NMEs, Ivor Novellos, and a first Mercury Prize nomination), Sam Fender has almost inadvertently become one of Britain’s most celebrated and successful musicians of a generation.
Fender says, “I first went to Leeds Festival with Dean when we were teenagers. We had a wild time, a rite of passage. Ten years later and we’re headlining. I’m so excited, it’s going to be fucking intergalactic! See you down the front.”
Foals are one of Britain’s biggest and most beloved bands, and Reading & Leeds are proud to welcome the Oxfordshire natives back as headliners for the first time since 2016. The chart-topping, BRIT Award winners recent album Life Is Yours was purpose-written for a euphoric festival summer with joyous, dance-influenced tracks and a jubilant message. Their long-standing classics My Number, Mountain At My Gates and In Degrees feel timelessly at home on the radio waves and during the band’s electrifying live shows, and will undoubtedly delight Reading & Leeds fans when returning to the main stage.
Frontman Yannis Philippakis of Foals says: “We’re so hyped to be back at Reading & Leeds. We’ll never forget the rush of headlining Leeds in the absolute pouring rain in 2016, a show that was one of our most intense ever, or back in 2008 at Reading feeling possessed, climbing the rigging and launching myself headfirst into the crowd. We’ve always had an amazing and feral time playing here, one of the greatest festivals in the world. It’s so special to be given a headline slot and we’re gonna rock it. Oh, and we might throw in a surprise or two.
See you in the pit.”
The Killers are a band that need little introduction, and Reading & Leeds is thrilled to be welcoming them back as headliners. Last seen dazzling the UK with a sold out stadium tour, the Las Vegas group return to Reading & Leeds following their acclaimed LP, Pressure Machine, and the recent single, boy. From their earliest hits and through their record-breaking seven consecutive Number 1 albums, the band spans true modern classics such as Mr Brightside, Somebody Told Me and All These Things That I’ve Done, via When You Were Young and Dustland Fairytale, Human, Runaways, to more recent favourites like The Man, Caution, Run For Cover and My Own Soul’s Warning. Their catalogue of anthems speaks for itself, and with a new studio album in the works, fans at Reading & Leeds will see a band at the height of their powers. The Killers’ grand return to Reading & Leeds 2023 will no doubt be met with a heroes’ welcome.
Sticksmith Ronnie Vannucci of The Killers says: “We have been hearing about Reading & Leeds since ever we can remember. Each time we return is a bigger mountain to climb. 2023 serves as no exception. See you at the top.”
Las Vegas quartet Imagine Dragons are incredibly excited about headlining, saying: “You never forget your first time playing a legendary festival like Reading & Leeds – there’s an energy like nowhere else on the planet. It’s an honour to come back and headline after all these years, and we plan to make it something we all remember.
Double BRIT Award winner and GRAMMY nominated Lewis Capaldi makes his Reading & Leeds headline debut in 2023. Capaldi remembers his last time at the sites saying: “I am so, so excited to be one of the headliners for Reading & Leeds Festival. Unreal that last time I played was to a wee crowd in 2018. Can’t wait to see you all next year.”
Alongside the exciting headline acts, Reading and Leeds have also announced some further additions to the 2023 line-up. BRIT Award-winning dance pop pioneer Becky Hill, the introspective hip-hop stylings of Loyle Carner, indie breakout Wet Leg, critically-acclaimed singer / songwriter Declan McKena, blazing UK rap talent Central Cee and UK Dance titans Bicep Live, are set to play the ultimate bank holiday weekender, alongside one of dance music’s first superstars MK, Australian boundary blurring alternative R&B rock heavyweights Chase Atlantic, and North London born rap royalty Tion Wayne.
The festivals will also welcome Slowthai’s unapologetic caustic charm with his hybrid of grime and punk, GRAMMY nominated Californian psychedelic pop singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Steve Lacy, euphoric queer indie pop idols MUNA, Swedish sonically unorthodox emo rap pioneer Yung Lean, a key figurehead in drum’n’bass evolution Andy C, Irish indie infused Inhaler,the viral hitmaker producers LF System, Mercury nominated producer and vocalist Georgia, angst-charged creatively fluid emo rapper Trippie Redd, and anthemic rock from Nothing But Thieves. Veteran jungle and drum’n’bass DJ Shy FX, the viral‘Baddest Of Them All’ DJ, producer and singer, Eliza Rose, raucous Scot rockers The Snuts, the playful Gen Z anti-pop of Baby Queen, roaring rock anthems from UK five piece You Me At Six, recent number 1 album boasting Bedford four piece Don Broco, the heartache laden gothic pop of Nessa Barrett, Lil Tjay’s addictively melodic hip-hop, Mancunian rap newcomer Meekz, shoegaze tinged indie pop beatmakers Lovejoy, and Reading raised up-and-coming rap star SONGER also join next year’s line-up, with more yet to be announced.
Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic said: “We are delighted to return to Reading’s Richfield Avenue and Leeds’ Bramham Park in 2023 with another epic six headline artists, and an incredible, genre-defying line-up that features some of the very best in modern music. Once again Reading & Leeds is set to be the ultimate bank holiday festival weekend – we can’t wait to be back!”
Photography by Kalpesh Patel