Reading & Leeds 2023: underlined

The names you might have missed beneath the headliners at Reading & Leeds 2023

Reading & Leeds is less of a weekend away and more of a right of passage. Whether it’s your first festival or your fifth year running, you’re never quite ready for everything that these three days have to throw at you.

The Reading & Leeds line-up is just as jam-packed as ever, with huge headliners such as Billie Eilish, the 1975 and Sam Fender topping the bill. With some of the UK’s biggest names in pop, indie and hip hop taking to the Main Stages across the weekend (Rina Sawayama, Nothing But Thieves and Becky Hill to name a few) it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. We’ve got you covered. Here are the acts you might have missed on the line-up but you definitely won’t want to miss on the day.

Nessa Barrett

Radio 1 Dance Stage, Friday (Reading) and Saturday (Leeds)

Nessa Barrett - hell is a teenage girl (official music video)

Grit-glam, gothic and effortless, Barrett’s pop celebrates doomed love affairs and glorious revenge. The singer-songwriter will be playing tracks from her full-length debut, young forever, and the scorching EP hell is a teenage girl. Catch her set to hear her sweetly sing about how she wants to murder her ex.


Radio 1 Dance Stage, Sunday (Reading) and Friday (Leeds)

Joesef - It’s Been A Little Heavy Lately (Official Video)

An endorsement from Elton John is a valuable thing. Still, at the risk of sounding sacrilegious, Scottish singer-songwriter and producer Joesef would likely still be on his fast ascent regardless. His first gig sold out before he’d released a single song – four years later, you may need to jostle for a good spot.


Radio 1 Dance Stage, Sunday (Reading) and Friday (Leeds)

Wallice - 23 - Official Music Video

Self-described ‘jazz school dropout’ Wallice is a lockdown sensation turned unmissable live act. Expect energetic, witty indie pop and lyrics packed full of references to a childhood spent in and around Hollywood.  

The Last Dinner Party

Festival Republic Stage, Friday (Reading) and Saturday (Leeds)

The Last Dinner Party - Nothing Matters

They’ve been on everyone’s radar this festival season, but in case you happened to miss them on the line-up, let us remind you just how much you need to see The Last Dinner Party. There’s something mythological going on around the art-rock five piece, but all of the stories are true – this is a group you’re going to want to get to know.

High Vis

Festival Republic Stage, Saturday (Reading) and Sunday (Leeds)

High Vis - "Trauma Bonds" (Official Video)

The hardcore group have steadily grown their audience over the last five years, thanks to the no holds barred way in which they wrangle with working class issues. Now two albums in, and the recipients of much mainstream attention, you might say that the band have become… highly visible (oof).

TV Girl

Festival Republic Stage, Sunday (Reading) and Friday (Leeds)

TV Girl - Blue Hair

Get your dose of shimmering California pop. TV Girl will be bringing their 60s-tinged sound to Reading & Leeds for a set that may give you the urge to start smoking. The hugely successful indie group could easily be holding down a mainstage slot, so there might be a little competition for space in front of the Festival Republic Stage.

English Teacher

Festival Republic Stage, Sunday (Reading) and Friday (Leeds)

English Teacher - Polyawkward (Official Video)

English Teacher are something just shy of a post-punk band and just fringe enough to avoid Wet Leg comparisons. The group have described their sound as “silly, noisy guitar music” – we’d call it full of energy, sharply observational and a great addition to your festival weekend.


Radio 1 Xtra Stage, Friday (Reading) and Saturday (Leeds)

Sainté - Champagne Shots (Official Video)

Leicester-based musician Sainté has the British rap world on alert. A smooth flow, an effortless energy and a lyrical skill well beyond his years have all set the rapper up to be one to watch in a major way. Catch him on the Radio 1 Xtra Stage whilst you can still get this close.

Lost Girl

Radio 1 Xtra Stage, Sunday (Reading) and Friday (Leeds)

Lost Girl - Trust Issues (Official Visualiser)

It’s been a sharp, recent rise for Lost Girl, whose social media following has grown massively in the last few months. The definition of a versatile artist, she combines elements of pop, R&B and dance with singer-songwriter lyrics. At any given moment there’s no telling what her next release will sound like – only that we’ll probably like it.

Antony Szmierek

BBC Introducing Stage, Friday (Reading) and Saturday (Leeds)

Rock and a Calm Place - Antony Szmierek (Official Video)

Szmierek is a truly unique storyteller; an artist able to paint incredibly specific but still deeply relatable pictures in his music. Breakthrough track ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Fallacy’ can best be described as spoken word poetry for the club. Tell us you’re not intrigued.


BBC Introducing Stage, Saturday (Reading) and Sunday (Leeds)

Pixey - Just Move (Official Video)

You’ll be drawn towards the BBC Introducing stage by Pixey’s clear vocals and joyful sound – you’ll stay for her clever lyrics and precise guitar melodies. The Liverpool singer-songwriter has had a triumphant start in the music industry, with a string of Spotify successes and much-praised live performances. Long may it continue.

Matilda Mann

BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday (Reading) and Friday (Leeds)

Matilda Mann - Bloom (Official Video)

Introspective songwriter Matilda Mann is an exceptional lyrical talent. Telling her stories with gentle, emotive vocals, she cuts straight to the heart of the listener and feels destined to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s most successful singer-songwriters. Her spot on the BBC Introducing Stage is a great opportunity to get to know her before she climbs any higher.

Thanyia Moore

Alternative Stage, TBC

Thanyia Moore On Being An “Empress Queen“ | Comedy Central Live

Moore made her fringe debut only last year and is already a noticeable name in UK comedy. Her debut show, Just Being Funny, was a sell-out success, and she’s since been delighting audiences across UK television. A dynamic presence onstage, she’ll be a fiercely funny addition to your Reading/Leeds weekend.

Find remaining Reading & Leeds Festival tickets here.

Photo credit: Dimitri Hakke / Getty