*ARTICLE BY THOMAS LYONS*
For any signature artist, the pinnacle of performing at a headline-topping festival full of chart-dominating acts such as Dua Lipa, AJ Tracey, Jax Jones and many more highlights the importance of the diversity in music to portray different musicians, bands and solos with different ambitions to deliver for their fans.
90,000 plus spectators packed into the iconic Richfield Avenue campsite to start a weekend of crazy antics and enjoy the wealth of talent on show on the Main Stage that saw Kendrick Lamar, The Courteeners, Jhus and other top names deliver electrifying sets whilst the smaller setup on the BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio One Music stages certainly made up for the gaps in the daily lineup and anticipation for the very best under Festival Republic.
There was a stark contrast between the scorching Saturday scene and mucky Sunday picture, nevertheless both days provided us with exhilarating anthems among booze, food and funky outfits. Only for the weather, the weekend’s antics was rounded off with a superb set by the sublime King of Leon, showcasing their most recent album ‘Walls’ and some instant classics over the years.
Ladbroke Grove’s kingpin AJ Tracey turned up in the aftermath of Kings of Leon’s Main Stage showdown and set the 1xTRA tent alive with his ‘Secure the Bag’ album and new single with Not3s, ‘Butterflies.’ The 24-year-old has declared his music isn’t solely attached to ‘Grime’ and that he’s getting to grips with new genres of music and taking different avenues to expand his own genre of recorded music.
The surprise acts of the week included BROCKHAMPTON, 23 UNOFFICIAL AND SAM FENDER who all brought unrivalled energy to their crowds and this carried through from the Friday to Sunday night.
Reading never fails to excite and festival goers are already planning ahead to next year’s festival. Over the years, the likes of Eminem, Oasis, Mumford and Sons and Arctic Monkeys have all captivated and graced the Reading Main Stage platform.