Reading and Leeds Festival is the pivotal UK event for Rap and Grime. Over the last 3 years hosting the 1xtra stage I’ve witnessed UK artists develop their craft, the crowds increase in size for each performance thanks to a collective effort from the organisers to consistantly support and embrace culturally authentic artistry.
Every MC or DJ line up has the hunger and passion to tear up the stage, every artist puts 100% in to their performance, and the crowds are live from the moment the gates open. This is truly one of the most exciting events to attend or perform at. I thought last year would be difficult to top as Young Thug, Fekky, Flatbush Zombies, Giggs, and more shut down the 1xtra stage, but this was another phenomenal year for Rap and Grime.
In 2014 BBK were on the 1xtra stage, in 2015 they levelled up and owned the Dance stage, whilst this year BBK tore up the main stage. This was the year that Giggs evolved from the 1xtra stage to the Radio 1/NME stage as did Krept and Konan, whilst new arrivals to the 1xtra stage included Section Boyz, Geko, Big Narstie, Yung Lean, and Astroid Boys who put on killer performances.
This 3 day festival is a level playing field for US and UK artists, there is no bias. Even though some of the US names pulled out at the last minute, it didn’t make any difference to the momentum of the event. G-Eazy couldn’t make it to the UK so Wiley took his place on the line up and performed a rare solo set to the delight of the crowd. Travis Scott didn’t make it to the UK, so Stormzy took his place on the line up and attracted 15,000 people in and outside of a tent that could hold 8,000 people.
2016 was another phenomenal year for Rap and Grime at Reading and Leeds Festival. Expect 2017 to be even bigger.
Nas at the Radio 1/NME Stage At Reading Festival
Anderson .Paak at the 1Xtra Stage at Reading Festival
Stormzy Headlining the 1Xtra Stage at Reading Festival
Metro Boomin at Reading Festival
Buggy Malone on the 1Xtra Stage at Reading Festival
DJ Semtex Host the 1Xtra Stage at Reading Festival