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Reading Festival 2017: Five To See

20 August 2017, 21:04

The August bank holiday three-dayer returns with a full-to-bursting line-up with something for everyone. With over 200 acts playing across nine stages, there's more choices than you can shake a stick at, so here's our top five picks to ensure your weekend goes off with a bang.

Marika Hackman

This year, Hackman signed with Sub Pop and released I’m Not Your Man - an album that saw her take a new musical direction from her previous alt-folk - taking in all sorts of genres from Britpop to grunge. Not only a stand-out record in its own right, it translates brilliantly live, even more so at festivals. The Big Moon, who provided backing vocals and instruments on I'm Not Your Man also play on Friday and will likely to join Hackman on stage. Marika Hackman plays the NME / Radio 1 Stage. The Big Moon play the Festival Republic Stage on Friday.

Tory Lanez

Our next act to catch is the most unpredictable. If you have ever been to one of his gigs you will know, Tory Lanez (pronounced like “Lanes”) likes to interact with his surroundings while performing…with everything from feedback monitors to scaffolding and tent poles. Basically anything he can climb on and jump off from, preferably onto the crowd. This one is going to be one wild show. Tory Lanez plays the NME / BBC Radio 1 stage on Friday.


At 20, Sigrid is one of the youngest acts to be playing the festival this year. In the past six months, she has gone from unknown to one of the biggest breakout stars of 2017 with 'Don’t Kill My Vibe' - which has topped up over 13 million streams. We were won over so much so that we even invited her to head up our stage at The Great Escape festival and we cannot wait to catch her again. Sigrid plays the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage on Saturday.

Charli XCX

We are very much hoping Charli XCX, who had to pull out from Summer Sonic due to illness, will be fighting fit for the bank holiday. A seasoned entertainer, she knows how to turn any space into a massive party. This will be the last chance to see her perform in the UK for a while as she heads state-side with Halsey - who in fact joined Charli on stage to cover Spice Girls’ 'Wannabe' at Lollapalooza. As both acts are performing on Sunday, we would love to see a repeat performance. Charli XCX plays the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage. Halsey plays the NME / Radio 1 stage.

Liam Gallagher

We are still unsure whether the lets‘ave it attitude and swagger Liam Gallagher continues to display is now an act or he genuinely never grew up. Regardless, it is endless fun to listen to his banter, whether it is about the state of the world, himself or Whatsapp Ricky. Considering the singles released from his upcoming album As You Were were not overshadowed by his persona and received very positive reactions from fans and critics alike, his performance at Reading festival makes it a must a see one. Liam Gallagher plays the Main Stage on Sunday…likely to be after Blossoms – which should be interesting.

Finally - earlier this month, Melvin Benn, the co-founder of Festival Republic, announced the ReBalance initiative - to address the gender imbalance in music industry. It is welcoming then, the festival this year has noticeably more female and female fronted bands and singers playing compared to any other year.

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