I don’t pretend to be able to tell the future. In fact I’m notoriously bad at predictions. Five years ago I thought I would become a 20 year old rock star with a model girlfriend, 4 houses and a substantial, yet non-life threatening cocaine addiction. Maybe it’ll be another 5 years before my coke fuelled career kicks off…I digress. The point is, its January, Reading and Leeds line up announcements are round the corner and I’m here to throw my hat into the predictions ring. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers have already been announced and with such an iconic act, there is little that could be done to make 2016’s Reading and Leeds a disappointment. If my predictions are wrong you can refer me back to the time I thought I was going to be a coke infused 20 year old rock star and laugh. If I’m right I’m dropping out of Uni to become a soothsayer. It’s a much more stable career path and you have an excuse to own a crystal ball.
Predictions for Reading and Leeds 2016
Headliner #1 Prediction: Guns N Roses
Now I know what you’re thinking: the last time Axl ‘It took me 20 years to write an album’ Rose graced the R+L stages, things didn’t exactly go smoothly. When I say things didn’t go smoothly I mean that he was two hours late to the stage. That’s some next level diva activity. However, with former guitarist Slash due to join the band for an original line up performance this year, a return to the good old days could be on the cards for Guns N Roses. Maybe the staff will need to hire out a few giant Timex watches but it’s likely that such a grand festival will not want to miss out on Slash and Rose returning to the same stage.
Headliner #2 Prediction: Foals
I’m not particularly a fan of Foals. To me there one of those bands I could really take or leave without much thought, up until 2014 they were really just a bunch of dudes who had a massive pop hit in ‘My Number’ and a handsome frontman with a cracking beard (It really is a cracking beard I’ll allow you stop reading this just to check it out on Google), but 2015 was the year that Foals came into their own. Their new album ‘At The Gates’ was something of a hit amongst the Indie scene whilst their secret set at last summer’s Reading and Leeds made everyone within a 4 mile radius drop everything just to catch a glimpse of them on the NME stage. It’s also not unknown that secret set acts are likely to return to the festival the following year as headliners, Green Day in 2012/2013 anyone?
The Highflyers… The Other Big Names Gracing R+L 2016
You Me At Six – It can only be a matter of time before the Londoners are asked to headline this festival but for now it goes without saying that the lads could easily support one of the main stage headliners. 2013’s Cavalier Youth was nothing short of a massive success and having already graced nationwide arenas, including Wembley, it’s likely that You Me at Six will be back to prove their worth as possible headliners.
Skepta – 2015 was the year for Grime. It’s not often that a genre of music crawls from the underbelly of the British scene to conquer the hearts of rock, metal, house and pop fans with just a couple of singles but grime and Skepta certainly made that dream a reality. The South Londoner’s single ‘Shutdown’ pretty much propelled him into the hot seat of British music, dragging artists JME and Stormzy along for the ride. In short, if Skepta doesn’t headline a stage in 2016 it will be Festival Republic’s loss.
Bring Me the Horizon – Last year they upstaged Metallica on the mainstage and have since then proven why they deserve to headline every festival the world over. They are set to hit a UK stadium tour in November and will surely ride the success of their album ‘That’s the Spirit’ well into this year. Headliners one day? Definitely, but this year another raucous support slot could be on the cards.
Catfish and the Bottlemen – Apart from the fact that every Indie kid would wet themselves with sadness if this lot weren’t announced, it can’t be denied that they are deserving of a valuable slot. Catfish have certainly amalgamated a vast cult following over the last two years and their R+L performance last year was able to pull in a substantial number of fans. They are also rumoured to be working on a follow up to 2014’s ‘The Balcony’.
Wild Card –
The prediction no one is expecting and the one I will receive lots of hate for. Here goes nothing…
If you weren’t a 13 year old female in 2014 you were very much likely to consider Justin Bieber to be an arrogant little prick who made Disney-esque pop crap. Fast forward to 2016 and everyone with a set of ears is a Belieber. I bought three of his songs this year, THREE. I used to vow that I would try and end his career through relentless internet hate and now I would be happy to see him perform at R+L. It cannot be denied that his new album was an unbelievable hit and that he managed to trade in a terrible sound for one that catches the indie-pop trend right on the nose. Maybe he could do a secret set, maybe he could headline a small stage, but either way he’s likely to put on an amazing show and it would do Festival Republic good to capitalise on this new infection of Bieber-fever. You know, before he crashes another car or writes a message to the British museum about their T-Rex being a fan of his.