How to watch Reading and Leeds Festival

Everything you need to know about the BBC's celebration of Reading and Leeds over the years

Billie Eilish at Reading Festival

It’s August, which means we’re welly-deep into festival season and while summer 2020 has been arguably the worst time for live music, that doesn’t mean the show can’t go on!


Like many festivals due to take place this month, Reading and Leeds Festival was forced to cancel its 2020 events for the first time in 65 years due to COVID-19, however the BBC has swept in to save the day by dedicating various channels to the iconic British music celebration.

From Billie Eilish to Biffy Clyro, BBC channels will be airing some of the most memorable sets from Reading and Leeds throughout the years for you to experience without leaving your living room.

Here’s everything you need to know about Reading and Leeds Festival BBC Weekend.

How to watch Reading and Leeds Festival BBC Weekend

From Friday 28th August to Sunday 30th August, a number of BBC channels and radio stations will be airing highlights and sets from previous years.

From BBC Four and BBC iPlayer, to Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio 6 Music, you’ll be able to get your Reading and Leeds fill across a variety of mediums next weekend.

What is the Reading and Leeds Festival BBC Weekend?

In absence of the Reading and Leeds festivals this year, the BBC is stepping in to provide music-lovers with a nostalgic look-back at some of the event’s greatest sets from the last 65 years.

BBC Four will be showcasing highlights from Reading Festival 2019, featuring Foo Fighters, The 1975 and Post Malone, on Saturday 29th August from midnight until 2am.

While over on BBC iPlayer, a pop-up Reading and Leeds channel will be launching over the weekend. Fans of the festival will be able to stream some of Reading and Leeds’ most iconic sets throughout the weekend from midday to midnight. 

As well as some of the bigger acts that took the main stage in previous years, like Kendrick Lamar, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Charli XCX, you’ll also find a handpicked selection of performances from the BBC Music Introducing Stage, which marked the musical beginning for a number of big names.

If you’ll be near a radio this weekend, a number of the BBC’s stations will be revisiting the cultural mammoth that is Reading and Leeds Festival.

On Saturday and Sunday, Dev and Jordan North will be hosting two specials featuring their favourite live performances from the festival from 11am-3pm, while Dan P Carter and Jack Saunders are battling it out with their top rock vs indie tracks on the Sunday, before airing a special show on the Bank Holiday Monday from 7pm-9pm.

BBC Radio 1 Xtra will also be airing Reading and Leeds-dedicated shows on Friday and Saturday, featuring the performances of AJ Tracey, J Hus and Wizkid, while BBC Radio 6 Music is airing a special edition of The BBC Introducing Mixtape.

Which performances will be airing?

Foo Fighters performing at Reading Festival 2019
Foo Fighters performing at Reading Festival 2019

Reading and Leeds has confirmed that the BBC weekend will feature past live performances from the likes of The 1975, AJ Tracey, Anne Marie, Foo Fights and Radiohead.

While there are more acts to be announced, you can find the current list below:

The 1975 (2013, 2014, 2016, Headlined 2019)
AJ Tracey
(2017, 2018, 2019)
Anne-Marie (2017)
Biffy Clyro (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, Headlined 2013, 2016)
Billie Eilish (2019)
Charli XCX (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Enter Shikari (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019)
Foo Fighters (1996, 1998, 2000, headlined 2002, headlined 2005, headlined 2012, headlined 2019)
Georgia (2019)
J Hus (2017, 2018)
The Libertines (2002, 2003, 2004, 2010, headlined 2015)
Muse (1999, 2000, 2002, headlined 2006, headlined 2011, headlined 2017)
Olivia Nelson (2019)
Pale Waves (2018, 2019)
Queens of the Stone Age (2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2010, headlined 2014, 2017)
Radiohead (1993, 1994, headlined 2009)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (1994, headlined 1999, headlined 2007, headlined 2016)
Sigrid (2017, 2018)
Stefflon Don (2017, 2019)
The Big Moon (2017)
Wizkid (2018)
Wolf Alice (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)


While you’re waiting visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.