Leeds Festival 2019: all the lesser known bands you need to see

It's less than three weeks until Leeds Festival and so the hype begins around this year's headliners: The 1975, Twenty One Pilots, Post Malone and Foo Fighters. But who else is performing?

Friday, 9th August 2019, 4:49 pm
Who are you keen to see this year?

Are there any underground gems that you should check out before they blow up? Here are our recommendations for this year.


Milk Teeth

Who are you keen to see this year?

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When: Main Stage, Friday

Milk Teeth return from last year to open up this year's main stage. This “gross-pop” band experiment with genres ranging from grunge to pop and they do not care what you think or what you have to say about it. It's a possibility that we could be treated to new music, given that they released a new single Stain towards the end of last year, so one can imagine that a new album is on the horizon. This trio are a young, exciting band who have many great things coming their way and they are only just getting started.

The Faim

When: BBC Radio 1 Stage, Friday

Florida's A Day To Remember will return to Leeds Festival after five years

Also making a return from last year, The Faim have moved up from The Pit / Lock Up Stage. Having worked with John Feldman (Goldfinger) on their debut EP, they are now about to release their debut album State Of Mind following a successful tour across the UK and Europe. Given the success of their performances at Download, Leeds and Slam Dunk Festival last year, one can only expect how much bigger and better their set will be this year.

Hot Milk

When: The Pit / Lock-Up Stage, Friday

Formed only three years ago, Manchester-based Hot Milk seem to have popped up out of nowhere when their debut single Awful Ever After dropped at the start of the year. What followed were opening slots for You Me At Six and Deaf Havana, and an appearance at this year's Download Festival. In their own words “genre is a lie” as their singles range in different sounds and instrumentals, for the most part they listen to everything and therefore are influenced by everything. Big things are coming for Hot Milk.

Stand Atlantic

When: The Pit / Lock Up Stage, Friday

Sydney-based pop-punk band Stand Atlantic were formed in 2014 but it's been in the last two years that they have started to gain international attention. In 2017 they released their EP Sidewinder that got the attention of the music community and media, so it was only natural for them to go on to open for pop-punk veterans New Found Glory and to make an appearance at Slam Dunk Festival. A year later they put out their critically acclaimed debut album Skinny Dipping which helped to elevate their success. Now well known for their energetic, mad live shows, their appearance at Leeds Festival is going to be something no one will forget.

I Don't Know How But They Found Me

When: Main Stage, Saturday

Coming back from last year, IDKHOW have moved up from The Pit and are now set to make an appearance on this year's main stage. Their formation started out as a secret with a name implying a greater story according to member Dallon Weekes (ex-Panic! At The Disco). Considered a band “out of time” it was only late 2018 that they released their debut EP 1981 Extended Play but in the two years prior they had built up a cult following through their secret pop-up shows, independent short tours during 2017, and opening for Dashboard Confessional. They are exciting as they are mysterious.

Patent Pending

When: The Pit / Lock-Up Stage

A throwback to the more laid-back and fun side to pop-punk, Patent Pending are reminiscent of the slapstick humour seen in the early days of Blink 182 and Bowling For Soup. But hey, just because they like to have fun doesn't mean that they don't put on a good show, their sets are known by fans for being energetic and entertaining. They can both be great performers and joke around, as seen by frontman Joe Ragosta's charismatic comedy and star quality. Whether it's their fun cover of Cascada's Every Time We Touch, singing along to Hey Mario or relating to Douchebag, it's going to be a fun time.

Dream State

When: The Pit / Lock-Up Stage, Saturday

A post-hardcore band hailing from South Wales, Dream State have already made a name for themselves in the rock music community. They started to get attention in 2017 with their song White Lies that is now at nearly 10 million views on YouTube, followed by their signing to UNFD (Architects, Frank Iero). It was only right for them to go on and make an appearance at Download, tour with As It Is and win Kerrang's Best British Breakthrough Award last year. They previously performed at Leeds Festival in 2017 on the same stage, so their return is greatly anticipated given how more established they are now, it's going to be an unforgettable show.

Boston Manor

When: BBC Radio 1 Stage, Sunday

Possibly one of the most exciting new bands right now, Boston Manor started out as your typical pop-punk / emo band when they released their debut album Be Nothing but last year they put out Welcome To The Neighbourhood which saw them take on a more alternative, grunge type sound. The album was critically acclaimed and what followed was a string of memorable performances that showed off their talent and ability to bring their tracks to life. They are honestly a band you cannot afford to miss, do not ignore them, something is happening here.

Against The Current

When: Main Stage, Sunday

This pop-rock band got their career started through several viral song covers on YouTube before independently releasing their EP's Infinity and Gravity. Then through vigorous touring and opening for the likes of Good Charlotte, All Time Low and Fall Out Boy, Against The Current were able to make a name for themselves and began to sell out their own shows in the UK, USA, Asia and Australia. Their lead singer, Chrissy Costanza, despite her height, is a force to reckoned with and is every inch a phenomenal frontwoman. This trio are fun and exciting, and they can put on an incredible show.


A Day To Remember

When: Main Stage, Friday

Florida's heaviest pop-punk band return to Leeds Festival after five years. A Day To Remember, known for their high energy shows that contain but not limited to: loud tunes, mosh pits, crowd surfers, props and of course the more heartfelt moments. A Day To Remember are a truly unique band in a world where most would only stick to one genre or stick to one show routine. Fans have been eagerly waiting for a follow up to 2016's Bad Vibrations so one can assume that with an appearance at a festival in direct support of Foo Fighters that new music is on it's way. Maybe there's a potential for a teaser. Either way, it's going to be an incredibly fun, unforgettable set that will undoubtedly be one of the main highlights of the weekend.

Foo Fighters

When: Main Stage, Friday

It's tempting to just write “Foo Fighters” and then move because their name pretty much speaks for themselves. Legends of rock music Foo Fighters return to Leeds Festival after seven years to once again headline the Main Stage. What can we expect from their set is a mixture of songs all the way from their 1995 self-titled debut all the way to their 2017 release Concrete and Gold which saw them go on a massive tour spanning nearly two years that also included a critically acclaimed headline performance at Glastonbury 2017. All that we can really say that it will almost undoubtedly be an unforgettable performance that you cannot afford to miss.


When: BBC Radio 1 Stage, Friday

Headlining the second biggest stage, Bastille will be performing songs from their newly released third album Doom Days, a concept album that centres around one night at a party delving into themes to do with friendship and escapism. In the decade since their formation Bastille have gone from a relatively unknown “bedroom” band to one the UK's biggest acts. Well known for their incredible stage shows, audience interaction and all round incredible performances, Bastille are simply one of those artists who you have to see at least once in your lifetime.

You Me At Six

When: Main Stage, Saturday

Despite not being local, You Me At Six consider Leeds as their second home. A usual favourite to appear on the line-up, You Me At Six are set to perform at Leeds Festival for the eighth time. They released their sixth album, VI, last year as well as celebrate the tenth anniversary of their debut album Take Off Your Colours with shows performing the album in full. No matter who you are or how you are, it's almost guaranteed that you've enjoyed and / or related to You Me At Six at some point, or even still love them now, whatever the case, their set will give you nostalgia. It's going to be a great time for everyone there, you should be there too.

Royal Blood

When: Main Stage, Saturday

It's been a while since Royal Blood last performed at Leeds Festival (four years) and, wow, have they been missed. They were a breath of fresh air when they released their self-titled debut album back in 2014 with their unique instrumental approach – only using the drums and bass guitar, with pedals that make the bass sound more like a lead guitar – and with bringing bluesy, hard rock into the mainstream. After a three year gap they released their sophomore effort How Did We Get So Dark? which saw them go on a huge UK arena tour, followed by touring the USA with both headline shows and opening for rock legends Queens Of The Stone Age. Their return to the main stage in direct support to The 1975 is something to look forward to.

The 1975

When: Main Stage, Saturday

Probably one of the most creative and biggest UK bands today, Saturday's headliners are The 1975. Since the release of their self-titled debut back in 2013, The 1975 have seen several shifts in sound and image, going from alternative to 80s synth to psychedelic, one thing you cannot claim is that they do not put on a strong performance nor can you claim that they are uncreative. Following a massive UK arena tour at the start of the year in support for their third album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships that garnered praise for their visuals, strong performances and all round star quality talent seen with each member. It's going to be a spectacular night.

Bowling For Soup

When: The Pit / Lock Up Stage, Saturday

One of the more influential, gimmicky pop-punk bands in the past twenty-five years. It's pretty much guaranteed thatwould heard one of their songs at some point in your life; you Girl All The Bad Guys Want, 1985, High School Never Ends and even the Phineaus and Ferb theme tune probably spring to mind. Some may wonder whether a band of this genre still going after twenty-five years are still worth seeing to this day and if they will ever stop claiming that this is their “last ever” UK tour (three times guys, make up your minds?). The answer to that is yes: they are still just as entertaining and fun as they were when they first started out.

Billie Eilish

When: Main Stage, Sunday

Billie Eilish is currently the biggest, most unconventional pop star on the planet right now. While some may wonder what someone like her is doing on a Leeds Festival line-up don't forget in the last few years we've seen the likes of Dua Lipa and Charli XCX (also on this year's line-up) perform here. And in fairness to Billie, her music isn't your typical pop music, her music has a dark side to it, covering topics from mental health, suicide, loss, peer pressure and feeling alone, with deep bass and grim synth tracks to go along side it. To put it mildly: she doesn't fit in with the mainstream pop crowd as she's “too dark” but yet doesn't fit in with alternative crowd because she's “too soft”. She's different, original and exciting. That's why she's on this line-up.

Twenty One Pilots

When: Main Stage, Sunday

The first part of Sunday's co-headline is the duo Twenty One Pilots, returning to the festival after three years. This duo use a variety of genres in their music to the point where absolutely no song sounds the same, from punk to EDM to acoustic to psychedelic to reggae to pop, they are innovative. Following the huge success of 2016's Blurryface they released their follow-up Trench that saw them go on a massive world tour that included a UK arena tour in March of this year. What we can expect is them bringing in some elements from their tour, as well as brilliant performances from members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. And to make it even better it's not even the end of the night!

Post Malone

When: Main Stage, Sunday

Last year he made his debut on the Main Stage performing in the middle of the day, this time he's headlining. Post Malone is one of the most talked about new performers in the last few years, he seem to come out of nowhere during 2017 and now he appears to be unstoppable. Self-described as “genre-less”, he incorporates the likes of rap, trap, grunge, country and R&B into his music. His music may divide opinions but everyone still remains interested in him. His performance last year was unforgettable and one of the most talked about moments, so how is he going to top it this year? You'll have to go and see him to find out.