With an unprecedented five headliners on this year's line-up, Reading and Leeds 2016 saw 170,000 festival fans treated to sets from Foals, Disclosure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro alongside hundreds of performances from an array of artists, bands, DJs and comedians.
Friday at Reading and Saturday at Leeds saw Foals and Disclosure play to huge crowds at the Main Stage. Having been a highlight of the festival as secret guests in 2015, Foals returned to the festivals with an epic set spanning their four albums and including a rare outing for early fan favourite 'Cassius' as well as an appearance from co-headliners Disclosure during 'Two Steps Twice'.
Also on fine form, Disclosure proved the rude health of the UK's dance music scene with a set that kept the crowd moving from beginning to end. With huge stage production the bass-loving brothers Lawrence wowed the crowds with the incredible garage-tinged house of last year's album 'Caracal' alongside huge hits from their breakthrough 'Settle'.
Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a career-spanning set on Saturday at Reading and the closing night of Leeds demonstrating exactly why their success has been so enduring. Delving into a back catalogue spanning four decades the rock legends had huge crowds singing along from the first line of opener 'Can't Stop' to the final bars of 'Give It Away'.
Biffy Clyro returned to the top slot on Sunday at Reading and Friday at Leeds armed with their new, chart-topping LP 'Ellipsis' and the three-piece once again proved their status as one of the UK's biggest rock bands. Co-headliners Fall Out Boy also stepped up to the plate with an anthemic and energetic set that drew huge crowds.
The Main Stage was once again an eclectic mix of musical delights, featuring a special opening performance from Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls , the debut of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes , the audio-visual onslaught of Die Antwoord , Chvrches' signature electronic pop and the Grammy Award winning Imagine Dragons.
Elsewhere, the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage proved a popular destination with headline slots from Diplo and Skrillex's Jack Ü , Irish indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club and the irrepressible The 1975 . Twenty One Pilots delivered a really well received set and performances from the likes of Nas and Jack Garratt will live long in the memory.
In the biggest year for the genre yet at Reading and Leeds, Grime took pride of place at the festivals, bringing scene stalwarts and future stars together across both sites. Led by brothers Skepta and JME, Boy Better Know brought some early pyro to the festival for a great debut Main Stage appearance, whilst the BBC 1Xtra stage saw packed headline sets from Wiley , Stormzy and Mercury Prize nominated Kano. Elsewhere, rising star Elf Kid rocked the Jägerhaus at Reading and London legend Giggs took on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage.
The BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage featured headline sets from Oliver Heldens , Duke Dumont and garage legend DJ EZ , while the Pit and The Lock Up provided a one stop shop for all things rock, metal and punk, showcasing big names, such as Mastodon , Asking Alexandria and Good Charlotte , alongside upcoming talent like Milk Teeth , Creeper , Greywind and fast-rising Leeds act Fighting Caravans.
Comedians Bill Bailey , Russell Howard , Sara Pascoe and Lee Nelson all made appearances on the Alternative Stage alongside 'People Just Do Nothing' stars Kurupt FM , while the Festival Republic Stage hosted a varied line-up including The Gaslight Anthem , The Sherlocks, Brian Fallon and the Crowes , indie stalwarts Maxïmo Park , Australian rockers The Temper Trap , Watford squad The Hunna and the beautiful voice of Låpsley.
On the Thursday, the Dance To The Radio Stage kicked off the party at Leeds with Blood Red Shoes headlining a line-up including grunge rockers The Wytches . Leeds also played host to the Relentless Stage which housed a massive dance line-up featuring Jaguar Skills and Andy C , while the Jack Rocks This Feeling Stage hosted an array of upcoming talent culminating in Liverpool band Judas running straight from the stage to make an impromptu performance on the Main Stage. Over at Reading, the Jägerhaus played host to Gnarwolves , Shikari Sound System , Hinds and The Skints.
As ever fans were treated to a few surprises across the August Bank Holiday Weekend including veterans of the Main Stage You Me At Six who played packed secret shows on The Pit at both sites. Forever championing new talent, the BBC Introducing Stage saw big acts come back to pay their respects for the leg up with Blossoms , Slaves and Clean Cut Kid all taking the time out to play intimate, but no less raucous secret shows, to those lucky enough to get there in time.
Reflecting on the weekend, Festival Republic's Melvin Benn said: "I knew 2016 was going to be a great year for Reading and Leeds, with five headliners over three days and sold out crowds. I'm so proud of the line-up and the fact we're still giving fans the best music line up.
"I was blown away by Fall Out Boy's set and it was great having Biffy Clyro back at the festivals, closing Reading with an incredible stage production last night. Red Hot Chili Peppers delivered a set even more impressive than their previous in 2007. Disclosure co-headlined alongside Foals; a band who have risen through the Reading and Leeds ranks and proved they truly belong on the Main Stage, that performance was a long time coming.
"Thank you to everyone who made this weekend one to remember, I look forward to seeing you again in 2017.”
When: Friday 26th August to Sunday 28th August
Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire / Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire