I was 100% dead set on going to Reading and Leeds 2019. The lineup is everything I could have ever dreamed of, I miss London, and I haven’t really taken any vacation days all year. I was READY. And now the festival is in a couple days and I’m sitting in Mississauga, Ontario like some kind of chump.

I will absolutely be muting everything to do with the festival all weekend so the power of FOMO doesn’t literally kill me… but while I’m still in denial about my attendance, here are the bands that I *would* be seeing at Reading Fest this weekend. If you’re going to be there, please check them out and let me know how they are. And don’t be upset if I don’t respond right away. It’s hard to see my screen through the tears.

Warning: long post is long


The 1975

Duh. I saw The 1975 play this festival already in 2014 and 2016, and after the latter performance Matty said “we’ll be back once the new album‘s out and we’re gonna headline this thing.” I swore I would come back for that set. I will not be there for that set.

Twenty One Pilots

Another obvious choice. So many people love to rag on TOP and their fans (leave them alone, get a JOB) but man… that live show. Even if you don’t love their music, how can you deny the live experience they bring to the stage? I feel like they were made to play arenas, I can only imagine what’s going to happen on Main Stage.

ALMA

I!! LOVE!! ALMA!! How many times this week have I listened to “Lonely Night”?? Please don’t ask!! This would be one of those sets where I would miss whatever other bands I had to in order to see her. Will they be livestreaming all of the sets? Can I watch this from home??

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

I’m pretty sure Frank Carter has played Reading Fest — and I want to be entirely accurate here — every single year that I’ve gone. And yet somehow, I’ve never seen his set. The band released their new album End Of Suffering earlier this year and I realized what I’d been missing out on this entire time. Really wish I could have finally seen what the hype was about in person, but that’s MY bad, they caught ME slipping!

IDKHOW

I’ve mentioned my dear friend Kate on here a bunch of times because she always brings me to see new bands. She doesn’t even LIVE HERE, but somehow brings me to see more bands in Toronto than anyone else. During CMW, she brought me along to see I Don’t Know How But They Found Me and I just… fell in love. I’d already listened to a few songs, but now I’m looking for volunteer positions aboard the bandwagon.

Joji

Still salty I spent so much time talking up Joji’s new professional career path and then couldn’t get tickets to either of his Toronto shows because they sold out. Please, someone go scream “UNBLOCK ME, BITCH!” in the crowd. Do what I cannot.

Boston Manor

I’m pretty sure Be Nothing is going to remain one of my all time favourite albums forever. Right from the intro of the first track, it punches me right in the gut and keeps going without checking to make sure I’m okay. I’ve seen them a few times already, but I never want to pass up another opportunity.

Poppy

I watched all of Poppy’s weird YouTube videos before I found out she was a musician and was so unsettled by the whole experience. Now I want to know how uncomfortable I’ll feel when she’s doing that live in front of thousands of people. Her Zach Sang interview still gives me chills.

The Maine

I assume there is no explanation needed?

PUP

I know this sounds wildly unlikely, but I have never seen PUP live. I live right here and yet… somehow I’ve never been able to make it work. Learn from my mistakes, don’t miss this set. If you’re not from Toronto, you’re not going to understand the local references, and somehow that makes me feel cool for once.

Anteros

I discovered this band through Flying Vinyl back in the day. I think it was in one of the first boxes I ever received. They’re always so on the pulse of what’s coming up, and Anteros playing Reading Fest is proof of that. I would have loved to see them live but I guess I’ll be waiting a little longer.

BAD CHILD

My favourite thing to do is see bands I can easily see at home in a different country. Makes me feel like I’m supporting my local scene internationally. Except when I tried to do that with Simple Plan and Pierre was rude to me (long story, maybe for another time). BAD CHILD is Kitchener-Waterloo’s finest and he’s got UGH he’s got this one song he does live that isn’t released yet and I can’t figure out what it’s called but I’m OBSESSED with it. Your only option is to catch his set and figure out what it is.

No Rome

My son!! He’s released not one but two beautiful EPs… I don’t know which one I like more at this point, but Crying In The Prettiest Places is making a good argument for the top spot. I saw him open for The 1975 this summer and he was so precious and wonderful, but everyone was so LOUD and DISRUPTIVE. I would love to see him playing his own set for his own fans.

The Japanese House

I may as well just say “go see the whole Dirty Hit roster” because

SWMRS

The first interview I ever ran for this blog was with SWMRS before they dropped their debut album, Drive North. We actually talked about Reading Festival in that interview, believe it or not. They last played R&L as Emily’s Army five years ago, so it’s about time they find themselves back at Little John’s Farm.

You Me At Six

Okay listen, these guys scared the hell out of me earlier this year. They played a show in Toronto and Josh made a comment along the lines of “this is it, you’ll never see us again, sing louder”. I thought they were QUITTING. I thought Reading Fest was gonna be their last ever show. But then they released a new track and a new video, so I’m hoping I’m wrong. If I’m not, I’m going to be kicking myself for a loooooong time for missing this.

Allan Rayman

Great music, even greater last name. I don’t know if this song blew up the same way outside of Canada, but you probably know “13” I think? Anyway, all of his music is equally fantastic and I want to hear it live. I can’t seem to find any local tour dates so I guess I’ll just SULK.

Queen Zee

I haven’t listened to Queen Zee before but I was looking forward to discovering them this year! I’ve seen Zand mention them before and I think they toured together (or maybe they were one off shows?). Just based off my love of Zand, I wanted to make sure I caught this set. But now I’ll be catching is feelings while watching everyone else have fun while I sit in bed eating chips all weekend.


If you’re going to Reading and Leeds, please send me updates on what bands you see so I can live vicariously through you.