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BBC Introducing line-up at Reading & Leeds Festival announced

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Tom Young Tom Young | 12:03 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2012

Today is a good day. We can now announce the line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival which takes place from August 24th-26th 2012.

Celebrating its fifth year at the festival, the stage has previously seen debut performances from Pulled Apart By Horses (who will make their Main Stage debut this year), Two Door Cinema Club (NME/Radio 1 Stage second headliner 2012) and Don Broco, who move onto the Festival Republic Stage this year after their amazing performance in 2011 on the BBC Introducing Stage.

The bands that play are chosen through a combination of the BBC's countrywide Introducing shows, Leeds promoters Futuresound, festival promoters Festival Republic and Martin House's Centre Stage competition.

Here's the list of bands in alphabetical order. The breakdown of the days at both festivals can be found on the Reading & Leeds line-up page.
Attention Thieves
Bearfoot Beware
Black Moth
Crooked Tongues
Cut Ribbons
Danica Hunter
Deaf Club
Dear Prudence
Dingus Khan
Empror & Duppy Beatz
Escape To New York
The Establishment
Family of the Year
Fish Tank
Hawk Eyes
Ifan Dafydd
Lady Lykez
Max Raptor
Mikill Pane
Park Bench Society
Rachel Sermanni
Sarah Williams White
Vengeance and the Panther Queen
Wet Nuns
We Walk On Ice
We Were Frontiers
Plus more to be announced...

As always, we will bring you highlights from the Introducing Stage across the weekend including videos, photos and updates on Twitter. Details of the full Festival line-up as it stands can be found on the BBC's Reading & Leeds Festival website which is where you'll also be able to see sets from Foo Fighters, The Cure, Kasabian and many more over the weekend.

Read all about how bands are selected for BBC Introducing stages at festivals.


  • Comment number 1.

    Ahhh - so the presence of Leeds promoters Futuresound (who they?) might explain why 10 or 11 of the 36 acts are from the Leeds area - acts like Establishment, Max Raptor and Black Moth are already signed and have appeared at major festivals in the past few years (not exactly under-the-radar then) - what about the two acts from the USA and Eire (Family Of The Year and Vengance & The Panther Queen) - how do they qualify then? Care to explain these to license-payers? And with a couple of exceptions Kent and London seems to be the place to claim residency - did the Hackney act miss out on his Big Weekend spot? Here in the 'western shires' we haven't had an act on a BBC Introducing stage for more than FOUR YEARS - and he wasn't exactly the brightest spark of the amazing scene we have round 'these parts'. Note that each of the 36 acts get to play BOTH Reading and Leeds - wasn't one spot enough? Pathetic - check out the 'how bands are selected for BBC Introducing stages at festivals' link - total bullshit...

  • Comment number 2.

    A quick look at these acts' online presence shows that the bulk of them gig quite infrequently though what they have in common is some sort of booking agency or minor label, and hence contacts and canvassing power. One wonders how a band such as Escape to New York can form in June 2012, perform one single gig and wind up on this list. Sorry but the process has zero transparency and zero credibility.

  • Comment number 3.

    here's an irony for everyone… go to the BBC Introducing homepage and you are immediately faced with a link to Hey Sholay's Maida Vale session - yet they're nowhere to be seen on the lineup????
    Yet to catch them live so i was mightily disappointed by this!

  • Comment number 4.

    I totally agree with the comments posted above. How is it that a) there are so many bands from Leeds?? b) why are there 2 American bands?? c) how is it that a band formed only 1 MONTH AGO (Escape to New York) gets chosen d) why are there bands who are already signed chosen?? Is anyone from the Introducing team going to explain this or are our comments going to be ignored?? My guess is that they'll be ignored....

  • Comment number 5.

    Two out of the four on the selection committee are from Leeds - so no surprise - what's more a matter of concern is how the Centre Stage battle of the bands competition with prizes of places at Reading/Leeds squares with the BBC's policy on competitions. Artists/bands wanting to enter had to be Leeds-based and to raise £1000 each for a local charity - very noble - but what about the music?

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree so-sue-me, its starting to become a big leeds mates club. i do hope the 'more to be announced' isn't the kaiser chiefs or hope is lost...

  • Comment number 7.

    Here's an idea - how about the BBC sponsors stages at these big festivals showcasing unsigned, under the radar music. That would complement quite nicely the daddy's got a mate "Introducing" stages. There could be some simple rules for example 1) No signed bands; 2) No bands with major festival experience - let them compete for the big slots if they're any good; 3) no bands formed last month 4) Choose from bands who gig regularly and often and who at least a few BBC people have seen on a decent sized stage 5) Choose only from bands nominated by local BBC stations maybe max 2 per station 6) No dodgy competitions that demand a cash input from the bands, and finally, 7) in years of scarcity eg no Big Chill and no Glastonbury, let's allocate one slot per band eg Reading or Leeds and not both. (Get twice as many bands in the system that way.)

  • Comment number 8.

    Great points made Ironskullll!!! And everything you've said is what I thought the BBC Intro scheme was about - apparently not any more...

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi. Thanks for all your comments. They have been passed onto the wider BBC Introducing team. Tom

  • Comment number 10.

    Thank you Tom - the information that follows is in the public domain and may be incomplete - it might also take a little bit of reformatting to make it easily readable but quick scrutiny of it raises serious questions about the integrity of the selection process for this year's stages. I would like to know who you mean by the "wider BBC Introducing team" as well please. Exactly WHO has had this information passed to them? Would this include Introducing presenters in the regions, or just one or two more people than were involved in the first place? Can you also please shed some light on who was responsible for the shambolic process so far? How many people were involved? Are they involved with any of the bands chosen? Is there a natural bias involved? Why is each band being given 2 slots, particularly when there is no Big Chill or Glastonbury this year? For example, if the selection process was conducted by, say 4 people, can you confirm for example that there were not, say 2 people from the Leeds region involved? Were the various BBC local stations involved in the process? Did they submit recommendations on behalf of their regions; if so was the music recommended listened to, and if so by whom? Etc etc. We are looking for total and utter transparency please.

    Band From Formed * FB Likes FB "TAT" Ratio
    Attention Thieves Reading 2009 5383 119 45.24
    Back Yards Leeds 2010 499 100 4.99
    Bearfoot Beware Leeds 2010 484 36 13.44
    Black Moth Leeds 2010 1906 184 10.36
    Crooked Tongues Leeds 2010 889 58 15.33
    Cut Ribbons Llanelli 2010 1509 64 23.58
    Danica Hunter Reading 361 1 361.00
    Deaf Club London 2010 1093 83 13.17
    Dear Prudence Brighton 826 128 6.45
    Dingus Khan Essex 2010 1031 245 4.21
    Empror and Dubby Beatz ** Bristol 624 3 208.00
    Escape to New York Derby June 2012 125 27 4.63
    Escapists London 2010 1356 5 271.20
    The Establishment Nottingham 2006 1497 79 18.95
    Family of the Year USA 2009 8407 312 26.95
    Fish Tank Kent 845 32 26.41
    Glassbody Leeds 2010 693 257 2.70
    Hawk Eyes Leeds 2914 82 35.54
    Hildamay Kent 2008 5130 176 29.15
    Ifan Dafydd N. Wales 2005 6000 279 21.51
    Lady Lykez London 337 51 6.61
    Marmozets Leeds 2009 5556 215 25.84
    Max Raptor Leeds 2007 3132 236 13.27
    Mikill Pane 2007 6704 480 13.97
    Park Bench Society Loughborough 2011 2263 73 31.00
    Proxies Leeds 2010 16971 213 79.68
    Rachel Sermani Scotland 2009 8831 283 31.20
    R10 ERR
    Samoans Cardiff 2008 992 8 124.00
    Sarah Williams White London 2008 481 22 21.86
    Seasfire Bristol 2012 1940 87 22.30
    Vengeance and the Panther Queen EIRE 2010 190 1 190.00
    Wet Nuns Leeds 2010 2978 165 18.05
    We Walk on Ice London 2010 383 6 63.83
    We Were Frontiers Leeds 2011 281 110 2.55

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi, I'm in Escape To New York. If you see our profile on the Reading and Leeds sites you'll see that we were in a band called Rugosa Nevada before forming this band with a slightly different line-up. It was the hard work from our time in Rugosa Nevada that got us the slot. So fear not, our slot was not the product of some shady conspiracy.

  • Comment number 12.

    I can also add that, as I stated about my band previously being Rugosa Nevada (google them/us if you like) that we most definitely went through the process of selection outlined in the BBC link above. We played BBC stages at small local festivals for a few years and received a good local following through our local BBC Introducing Team in Derby and Nottingham. The fact that we changed our name and now state that we formed a month ago is irrelevant as although ETNY did in fact technically form a month ago, our previous band earned us that spot so any change to image, line-up and/or name would not detract from that hard work (unless of course we pulled a sugababes and changed every member ten times, then fair play! Haha).
    However, I obviously acknowledge that this information is not widely known and you would of course have had to have been a Rugosa Nevada fan to know this. Google Rugosa Nevada and see our stuff on YouTube, Facebook etc and you'll see we're just a genuine band, working hard to get our music heard.

  • Comment number 13.

    Drewdrewdrew you cite a different genre, different influences, you've lost the singer who one would expect would have been fairly definitive in terms of the sound, so it's still pretty much a brand new band and unproven at that. Despite that, as you say, lots of hard work and quality lies behind the decision; OK let's accept that but this is about the selection process rather than anything else, and it still stinks to high heaven, even more so, I'd suggest in the light of what you've revealed. How about the BBC coming out and saying something TOM?

  • Comment number 14.

    Drewx3 - I'd also probably appreciate what you say a little more - if the only gig you've played as ETNY hadn't been with Max Raptor - you sure there's no 'shady conspiracy'? With no Big Chill, Glasto and Big Weekend being 100% Hackney - Intro stage places are few and far between this year - but Leeds-based acts have grabbed 22 of them - 11 of them at Reading - still there's two Reading-based acts to keep it balanced...

  • Comment number 15.

    Hmmm - seems also that the head of BBC Intro has conveniently taken a week's leave - but has left a forwarding email address for 'any queries about Reading/Leeds' - which doesn't work...

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi So-Sue-Me,

    We played with Max Raptor as Rugosa Nevada as they are a Derby-Midlands band, not from Leeds so not sure where that is from. I think you guys have some fair comments when it comes to selection of bands from county's outside of those near the festival areas though.

    Either way it's always hard for bands to justify why they have been given slots to people who really want to dig out something dark and negative from it all.

    Like I say though, you guys have some good points there about dealing opportunities out like this to bands from areas not near the main cities or near festivals. Also I agree that that is more a prominent thing this year with the absence of some great festivals.


  • Comment number 17.

    Note that Futuresound also ran a competition (only for Leeds bands) with 5 places on the BBC Intro stage and 1 on the NME/Radio 1 stage as prizes - trying to find more details about this. Note that the Centrestage competition entries have prizes for the best fundraisers - very similar to the 'exposure awards' run by other 'unsigned' competitions...

  • Comment number 18.

    Note also that 1/3 of the slots have been allocated to bands who are on the rosters of the same major booking agencies as handle the bookings for many of the headliners, such as Paramore, The Vaccines and The Black Keys, and at least 1/4 have had experience of playing major festivals such as Download and T in the Park. These bands do not fit the criteria of "Unsigned, Unknown and under the Radar", and should not have been awarded these slots.

  • Comment number 19.

    Marmozets formed in 2006 and are the nicest band i have ever met, they deserve it. Especially after 6 years of hard work. Im happy for them

  • Comment number 20.

    It's so sad and wrong that the BBC is not responding to this scandal. Accordingly:


    Sun, 29 Jul 2012 22:54:08 +0100
    Complaint Regarding BBC Introducing Stages at Reading and Leeds

    Dear Ms Thomas, I wish to register a formal complaint concerning the selection of acts for this year’s BBC Introducing stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.

    The British music consumer has a universal understanding of the BBC Introducing scheme as championing “Unsigned, Undiscovered, Under the Radar” music. Furthermore, the British music consumer and BBC licence payer understands the choice of acts for for BBC Introducing stages to be representative of the nation as a whole and to be drawn from the BBC Introducing scheme as run by the BBC’s network of regional radio stations.

    This year approximately one third of the acts chosen are from Leeds and the surrounding areas.

    This year approximately one third of the acts chosen are on the booking roster of the major booking agencies, alongside festival headliners such as Paramore, The Vaccines and The Black Keys.

    This year approximately one third of acts chosen have previous experience of having played at major festivals such as Download and T in the Park.

    A significant number of acts chosen have minimal gigging experience. For example, one band chosen was only formed last month.

    In the absence of festivals such as The Big Chill and Glastonbury this year it is unreasonable for the acts chosen to be allocated slots at both Leeds and Reading.

    These five facts point to a betrayal of the BBC Introducing scheme’s fundamental principles. The acts chosen have not been chosen on the basis of being “Unsigned, Undiscovered and Under the Radar”. True acts fitting this description have been betrayed by the BBC. This begs serious questions as to why this is the case, calling into question the integrity of those involved, and representing a grave misuse of licence fee revenue by the BBC.

    Would you please address this complaint immediately.

    Yours Sincerely,

  • Comment number 21.

    (Just copied and pasted this - maybe time to stop misleading acts)

    How are bands selected to play on the BBC Introducing stage at festivals?

    The BBC Introducing Stages at festivals throughout the UK are there to give aspiring new bands and artists the opportunity to play at some of the biggest festivals in the UK and sometimes internationally!

    Not only might you get the opportunity to play the festival but we also aim to record and film your set for broadcast across BBC Radio, online and TV.

    The line-ups are chosen via suggestions from all the BBC Introducing shows across the BBC. These suggestions represent who they see as the hottest artists from their patch at that time and is normally representative of the tracks they are playing on their show, some of which are submissions that have been uploaded via this site. So if you haven't already uploaded your tracks to BBC Introducing, do it now! We treat each stage individually, so producers and presenters can tailor their suggestions depending on the festival.

    We then get a panel to listen to all the suggestions and decide upon the final line up. These vary from festival to festival but previous panel members include: Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Emily Eavis, Gary Lightbody, Head of Music at Radio 1, Head of BBC Introducing. They all listen and send us their top rated and from this we get our final line up. At some events, we also take suggestions for bands from the festival promoters and local organisations.

    So if you do make a stage you can see that before even playing you have hit the radar of some pretty big names in the industry.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your comments. We've just put live a blog post from BBC Introducing's Executive Producer Claire Thomas which can be found here:

    Thanks, Tom

  • Comment number 23.

    With reference to the blog identified above:

    As a licence payer I do not find this acceptable. How many of the acts selected this year for the BBC Introducing stages at Reading and Leeds were actually selected via the Reading and Leeds panel? And which ones were they? There needs to be utter transparency in this respect.

    It is not reasonable to suggest that an artist which shares an agent with Paramore, The Black Keys or The Vaccines, to name but three festival headliners this year is under the radar. Nor it is acceptable to suggest that artists who have previously played, for example, Download or T-in-the-Park are under the radar. They are not, and it is ludicrous to suggest they are.

    The argument that a tradition unique to the Leeds festival should be allowed to impact on 33% of the lineup for the BBC Introducing stage at Reading is tenuous at best. You refer to "working with Futuresound, via Festival Republic". There is in fact a Festival Republic stage, and that is where I would expect such a tradition to be honoured, not on the main BBC Introducing stage. There is no justification at all for allowing such bands to appear on the Introducing stage at either Reading or Leeds when Festival Republic already have their own stage.

    Suggesting somehow that acts not selected by the BBC will not benefit from BBC coverage is disingenuous. Clearly they are already benefiting from the BBC brand name, as a quick look at facebook will establish. For every act chosen by means of the unsatisfactory non-BBC methods and by virtue of the questionable criteria involved, as highlighted in your blog, one act that might have benefited via the BBC Introducing scheme has been betrayed, which is why it is essential that utter clarity is allowed to prevail.

    Your comment that it is important to treat the scheduling of the Introducing stage the same way as the rest of the festival does not hold water. There must be a balance between your desire for homogeneity and the needs of the artists enrolled in the Introducing scheme. Clearly, the marketing and promotion of Leeds and Reading festivals identify the festivals as having the same lineups, and it is the expectation of the paying public that this should be the case. This expectation would certainly not extend to the Introducing stages. Quite the opposite, in fact, and I would suggest that the vast majority of the paying public would endorse a policy whereby the number of bands given the opportunity of playing these stages was maximised. This would also be a fairer and more correct allocation of licence fee money.

    My final comment pertains to the light you have shed upon the function of the BBC panel. I find it absurd that slots at festivals are allocated to bands with no reference at all to their ability to perform live. It might be OK to allocate radio play according to the recorded sound, but where we are talking about live slots, the entire entertainment value of the artist must surely be considered, and I am very surprised indeed to hear from you that this is not the case.


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