Reading & Leeds festivals return this week, and speculation surrounding potential secret sets has begun.
The 2023 edition of the twin-site event is due to take place at Richfield Avenue in Reading, and Bramham Park in Leeds between August 25-27. You can buy any remaining tickets here.
Headlining this year’s R&L will be Billie Eilish, Sam Fender, The 1975, The Killers, Foals and Imagine Dragons. Also featured on the line-up are the likes of Wet Leg, Central Cee, Inhaler, Steve Lacy and Knucks.
Yesterday (August 21), Soft Play – formerly known as Slaves – announced that they’ll be playing the Festival Republic Stage at Reading on Saturday (August 26) and Leeds on Sunday (27).
Now, it is rumoured that both Girl In Red and Bombay Bicycle Club could be appearing as surprise special guests.
As Leeds Live reports, Ticketmaster currently lists Reading & Leeds’ dates when you search for the former – real name Marie Ulven – on its website.
The Norwegian singer-songwriter is scheduled to perform at All Points East in London on Friday (August 25) and Monday (August 28) in support of The Strokes/Yeah Yeahs Yeahs and Haim, respectively. Girl In Red, who last played at R&L in 2021, is free this Saturday and Sunday at the time of writing.
Bombay Bicycle Club, meanwhile, have teased that they could also be popping up onsite. Following the release of their latest single ‘Diving’ – a collaboration with Holly Humberstone – the group quote-tweeted a post from Reading & Leeds’ official Twitter (X) account.
“If only there was a way we could play this [track] on stage @OfficialRandL this year 🤔,” Bombay Bicycle Club wrote. “Let’s work something out 👀.”
If only there was a way we could play this on stage @OfficialRandL this year 🤔 let’s work something out 👀 https://t.co/RGHxqQTqzA
— Bombay Bicycle Club (@BombayBicycle) July 21, 2023
The band are set to perform at Rough Trade Bristol on Thursday (August 24), but are then available for the rest of the week.
Humberstone will play on the Main Stage East at Reading on Saturday, and Leeds on Sunday.
You can see the full stage and set times for Reading & Leeds 2023 here, and check the latest weather forecasts for both locations here.
In other news, R&L organisers have confirmed that they have increased security to “weed out” drug dealers operating at the sites, and banned campfires, BBQs and disposable vapes.
Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2023.