When The Pit was introduced at Reading & Leeds to sit alongside the historic and famous Lock Up Stage, the festival has brought together some of the best talent the Metal world has to offer. But whilst previous years have been good, the line up across those two stages this year is verging on monumental. You’ve got some of the very best live bands in all of heavy music all packed into the tight confines of a sweaty tent on the outer rim of the festival and it is going to get LOUD. Part 1 of our Reading & Leeds preview looked at some of the heavier acts gracing the top stages, but looking at the poster this year it is all about the Lock Up/The Pit stage. There are just so many great bands playing we’ve had to break it down by day and painfully only sticking to five acts a day. Bang those heads and get your mosh on.

The Lock Up Stage - (Friday - Reading, Saturday - Leeds)

Whilst historically The Lock Up always used to run over two days, with the introduction of it’s evil twin brother on the same weekend we now see the very best of the Punk world all packed in to one day. Here are the top five bands to check out on the day...

The Bronx

The Kings of Hardcore Punk. What more can we say? One of the most ferocious live bands in all of Heavy Music, The Bronx never, ever, fail to turn up and show just about everyone exactly how it should be done. Whoever your favourite Hardcore band are now, they were influenced by The Bronx. Front man Matt Caughthran will grab your attention by the throat and not let go. Do not expect to be able to hold on to your drink during this set, doesn’t matter where you’re standing.

Modern Life Is War

Easily one of the better band names across the whole line up, much like The Bronx, Modern Life Is War deliver a live show which absolutely pummels at your senses. Since their return from hiatus back in 2012 they’ve continued to deliver their breed of eclectic Hardcore without a shred of energy lost from the shows which made them in the first place. On record this band are impressive, but live they are something else. Do not miss this.

God Damn

This is the third Festival preview we’ve written this year which has included God Damn so if you haven’t got the hint yet we’re worried for you. This duo bring a wall of sound which most bands with more than double the membership would fail to recreate. This is a genuinely exciting band who are fiercely addictive to listen to. They’ll hook you in with their recordings, they’ll make you a huge fan live.

New Found Glory

Headlining the stage are one of the biggest Pop Punk acts of all time. New Found Glory cut their teeth mainly in the early 2000’s and built up an absolute army of fans. They deliver the quirky, catchy and fun that defines Pop Punk better than most other bands in the scene. For modern day Pop Punk artists breaking through at the moment, New Found Glory will be right up there amongst the big hitters as being a key influence. Expect a catchy, and mad, live performance with plenty of sing alongs.

Bo Ningen

If you’re after something a bit more left field over the weekend then look no further than this four-piece Japanese Acid-Punk band. They’ve mainly built their reputation on their astounding live shows so even if you’ve never heard of them before and have absolutely no idea what they’re saying, one can guarantee you’ll come out of the tent with your mind slightly blown. If you’re still questioning what the point of everything is by the time you’re leaving the campsite on Monday then they’ve done their job.

The Pit - Day 1 (Reading - Saturday, Leeds - Friday)

So then we move on to aptly titled ‘The Pit’. Curated by none other than Daniel P. Carter, he’s really exceeded himself this year, influencing the booking of an absolute who’s who of top names in Metal and Heavy Music at the moment. In the mix we’ve got rising stars, groundbreaking leaders of the scene and bands who wouldn’t be out of place on the Main Stage. Here’s our run down of the the top bands rising out of The Pit this year...


One of the most unique and genuinely genre bending artists in Heavy Music at the moment, Ghost have been entrusted with the headline slot after Mastodon unfortunately had to pull out. Not the kind of band to falter at such an opportunity, mainly due to the fact that on any other given year they would be first choice in the slot, Ghost will deliver a dose of the bizarre to Reading & Leeds this year, and with a new album on the brink of release we can expect to hear some new material as well. Big riffs, soaring vocals and a man dressed as demented Pope backed by Nameless Ghouls. Exactly.


Easily the heaviest band on the line up, when Gojira play live it genuinely feels like everything in your direct line of vision is shaking. The band have been busy working away on the follow up to the absolutely superb L’Enfant Sauvage so they’ll hopefully use their slots across the weekend to showcase some of that new material. A band this punishing and this heavy in a tent? Bedlam.


Baroness have had a storied career of highs and lows, but lo and behold they keep coming through stronger than ever to deliver the kind of Sludge Metal which makes your spine rumble when they deliver it live. The band haven’t released any new material since 2012, so here’s hoping these live shows will bring a new song or two as well.

Black Peaks

A band a bit closer to home now, Black Peaks hail from Brighton and bring with them a style of Hardcore Music which adds both complexity and genuine originality. The band are seriously on the rise at the moment, beginning to pick up some real critical acclaim from across the Music Press. Definitely one to watch for the future, and definitely one to watch at Reading or Leeds.


Another band steaming ahead towards the big time are American Rockers PVRIS who since playing shows over on these shores and releasing their debut album White Noise last year have built a serious following. They’ll almost certainly draw a massive crowd.

The Pit - Day 2 - (Reading Sunday, Leeds Friday)


Headlining the stage this year are one of the most important bands in Hardcore Punk history. Much like The Bronx, Refused have paved the way for so many artists since their inception back in 1991. Since returning from hiatus they’ve been one of the most in demand acts on the festival circuit so it really is a huge coup for Reading & Leeds to have them headlining a stage this year. New album Freedom, their first since 1998, got favourable reviews and showed a band still with the fire and drive they had on their first stint. A Refused live show is something that quite frankly you need to experience at least once in your life.

While She Sleeps

Since the release of the brilliant Brainwashed back in March, While She Sleeps have been one of the hardest working bands in the scene at the moment. It almost feels like they’ve hit absolutely every City and Town in the UK as they continue on their war path to prove themselves as the very best. And if you’ve ever seen a bad While She Sleeps show, we’d like to hear about it, because they don’t exist. We implore you to be in the tent for this show.

Cancer Bats

And joining While She Sleeps are their touring mates from earlier in the year, it’s The Motherfucking Cancer Bats! One of Canada’s finest, this Hardcore unit are yet another band who, without fail, deliver chaotic scenes with every single live show they play. They blend Punk with huge Metal style riffs - the perfect combination to get any crowd going. Their cover of Sabotage will also probably be one of the biggest sing-alongs you’ll see anywhere all weekend.


Huge favourites of ours here at Room Thirteen, Turbowolf recently released their excellent second full length album, Two Hands, which has been met with an incredible response. With every single show they take another great stride towards being complete superstars. Close friends Royal Blood took them out on tour earlier this year which cemented their name even further as they rise through the Heavy Music ranks. Live they create complete bedlam, and could very well deliver one of the performances of the weekend.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

When Frank Carter parted ways with Gallows, and generally stepped away from music, it felt like it genuinely left a huge gap. Years went by, and almost out of nowhere he returns with his new band The Rattlesnakes. As soon as the first piece of music was released it was clear that Frank had not lost a shred of his vicious brutality. He will be greeted with a hero’s welcome for sure when he hits The Pit at Reading & Leeds this year.

So there we have it, Reading & Leeds is on the horizon and with our Previews you’re now well equipped for the biggest party of the Summer. There are still some ticket packages available via the official Reading and Leeds websites... so what are you waiting for?!