Reading Festival Isn’t All About The Rock Music…

This year’s Reading Festival lineup is walking in the footsteps of a number of other UK music festivals this year as it seems to have taken note of the trend of more diverse and alternative music genres being offered. Reading Festival, like Glastonbury once upon a time, has typically been aimed solely at the rock purists and the idea of a dance or rap act appearing would have seemed extraordinarily odd. The 2008 Glastonbury performance from self-proclaimed king of rap Jay-Z is perhaps the most obvious example of the changing festival climate.

As more and more festivals pop up on the annual circuit and cost-effective European festivals continually lure more and more UK festivalgoers across the English Channel it seems that Reading is another event to have changed its image. The number of dance, dubstep and electro acts, and fantastic acts they are too, has increased dramatically for the 2010 festival with several offerings across all stages, with the exception of the Main Stage which remains rock-only, for now anyway. So without further ado Plain and Simple brings you the definitive guide to all things dance at Reading this year.

The Main Stage Remains Rock-Central…

With the exception of a few crossover rap and hip-hop acts at Reading Festival this year the main stage continues to be a dance-free zone. This year will feature Dizzee Rascal on the Saturday and Cypress Hill and Limp Bizkit on the Sunday, traditionally the heavy rock finale of the weekend, but the rest of the festival will see the usual long hair, head banging and guitar thrashing that it is used to on the giant main stage.

The NME/Radio1 Stage Sees Some Surprising Changes…

All three headliners of the NME/Radio1 Stage are technically more comfortable being placed in the dance genre than anywhere else, which, for a festival that has traditionally seen pop, punk and rock acts headline the stage, is an interesting shift indeed.

The opening day of the festival, Friday 27th, will see LCD Soundsystem take to the stage whilst the Saturday will be headlined by Pendulum and the Sunday by Klaxons. Compare this to 2009 when the three headline acts were Faith No More, The Gossip and Lostprophets and the change in generic focus becomes ever clearer.

And it doesn’t end with the headliners of the Radio 1/NME Stage either as the ever-impressive electro-pop band Crystal Castles, the solo electronic efforts of Bloc Party’s Kele and the dance-pop duo 3OH!3 will take to the stage also. To say that these wouldn’t be Reading Festival choices in earlier years would be a lie, but to see them so far up the bill, above arguably more popular and more suited acts, is evident of the festival’s shifting focus to dance, pop and electro genres.

The Sunday Dance Stage – The Cherry On Top…

Every year dance, trance and dubstep fans are treated to a dedicated tent for their fix of non-rock, punk and metal music. This year however it seems that the dance stage, which traditionally takes over the heavy metal Lock-Up stage for the final day, is little more than a continuation of much of the festival’s Friday and Saturday music.

The lineup is as impressive as ever boasting a host of popular DJ’s and live dance artists, improving upon last year’s rather lacklustre offering of just a few mentionable names plus the main attraction headliner DeadMau5. Headlining the 2010 Dance Stage at Reading Festival will be the dub/dance/hip-hop MC Roots Manuva who has quickly become one of the must-see live acts in the UK with his unique stage presence and style. Supporting him will be a guaranteed dubstep-heavy DJ set from Rusko who follows fellow-dubsteppers Magnetic Man (the collective name for Skream, Benga and Artwork.

The rest of the day on the dance stage will see a DJ set from drum ‘n’ bass heavyweights Sub Focus, electro-popsters Metronomy and Four Tet. Chiddy Bang, Holy F**k, Health, Japanese Popstars and Lights will also all grace the dance stage on the Sunday to deliver a high quality, eclectic mix of all things dance.

So, whilst Reading Festival remains a rock festival at heart it’s brain is telling it to include some of the finest dance and DJ talent around to appeal to a wider audience and ever-growing need for diversity and mixture in the lineup. The result is a wonderful mix of rock, pop, dance and everything in between.

The Down-Low…

As you might have guessed, in true Reading style tickets sold out within hours of going on sale at the end of March but if you managed to get one or are considering a last-minute purchase from Ebay or Viagoga and the like then here’s what you need to know:

When: August Bank Holiday Weekend – 27th-29th August

Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading.

See you there!