What performances will be available?

The majority of performances on the Main stage, Radio 1 stage and BBC Introducing stage will be recorded by the BBC. We will endeavour to air each of these performances live or show extended highlights on BBC Three, Radio 1, Red Button and here online.

Why don't we show all artists and songs?

When the BBC decides to cover a music festival, it needs to work within a tight budget to provide the best value for money for Licence Fee payers. This means we cannot always afford to record all performances from every stage. At Reading festival we are recording the Main stage, Radio 1 stage and BBC Introducing stage. These stages offer the main headline acts from the festival and interesting newer artists.

On occasion an act may not wish to be filmed or recorded. Artists may also agree to be recorded but only allow a limited number of songs to be aired. This could be for a number of reasons for instance: the quality of some parts of the performance, because they do not wish to broadcast new or unreleased material, or they do not want to broadcast their entire live set.

The material an artist plays may not agree with the BBC Taste & Decency guidelines, such as containing excessive swearing. In these instances there is no way for the BBC to air that material.

The BBC is committed to making sure the sound and visual quality of a performance is high. In live open air arenas, the quality of recordings and performances can vary greatly due to environmental and technical factors. The BBC may decide that the recording of particular songs are not of a high enough quality to air, although we endeavour to provide at least a sample of a band's show if we feel they are central to the festival.

Another reason why certain songs are not available on the BBC is due to there being a limited number of broadcast slots to air material. Around 40 hours of performances will be recorded at Reading festival, but TV and Radio slots will amount to much less. This means TV and Radio producers select the performances that reflect the festival best and appeal to the different audiences for networks and channels. Much more material is featured on Red Button and online but even then the practical limitations of editing such a large amount of material quickly can prevent performances from being available.

Have Your Say

There's more information about how and why the BBC broadcasts festivals at the Coverage FAQs

To comment on BBC Television programmes or the BBC in general - visit the Points of View messageboard.


  • 10. At 10:31pm on 27 Aug 2010, Redallover wrote:

    It's pretty bad how you've done all us Queens of the Stone Age fans over. They're one the main stage for a reason - because lots of people like them. Thanks for assuming we'd all rather hear Mumford and Sons.

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  • 11. At 10:53pm on 27 Aug 2010, Tim Clarke wrote:

    Queens of the Stone Age WILL be on Red Button shortly and on this site tomorrow morning as an extended highlight. Hope you enjoy it, it is a cracker.

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  • 12. At 10:54pm on 27 Aug 2010, Tim Clarke wrote:

    Afraid our full screen video is restricted to UK users only. Part of our rights restrictions.

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  • 13. At 11:42pm on 27 Aug 2010, The Dude wrote:

    Why are you not showing the HEADLINERS live? V weird decision!! GNR fans everywhere are going mental!!!! Mumford and *** is all well and good but lets get to the main event!! GNR ROCK, let them rock!! I have heard no mention of them throughout your BBC3 coverage what is going on!! Did you not see who are top of the bill!! and I'm guessin your highlights will be sweet child, how boring you are!! My bro said Rocket Queen rocked!! Show it!!! Gutted!! GNR Fan!!! oh dear, you really have ley yourselves down Mr and Mrs BBC!!!

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  • 14. At 00:01am on 28 Aug 2010, The Dude wrote:

    My comment wasn't that controversial was it? I promise I'm not Axl in disguise!!

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  • 15. At 11:50am on 28 Aug 2010, jdevlin2006 wrote:

    Why only footage of reading and not leeds?

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  • 16. At 2:15pm on 28 Aug 2010, Rich wrote:

    Waited for a couple of hours last night to see two door cinema club's performance. Said on the 'coming up' screen that they would be shown then they mysteriously disappeared off the screen. Obviously it's been recorded but it's not going to be shown. Annoyed about that because the same thing happened with Glasto coverage! Get the priorities straight! Nobody wants to hear a continuous hour of mumford and sons...half an hour is enough...make it more varied!

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  • 17. At 3:07pm on 28 Aug 2010, Tim Clarke wrote:

    Two Door Cinema Club extended highlights can be seen here http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/festivals/readingandleeds/2010/artists/twodoorcinemaclub/

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  • 18. At 7:51pm on 28 Aug 2010, GemmaATL wrote:

    Are you going to show performances from All Time Low either online or on the red button on the tv? There the only band I've really been looking forward to watching.

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  • 19. At 11:27pm on 28 Aug 2010, Tim Clarke wrote:

    Afraid we're not filming All Time Low I'm afraid. Cameras get turned on at 15:40 on the Main Stage at Reading on Sunday.

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  • 20. At 00:08am on 29 Aug 2010, eddyihavelastfm wrote:

    The BBC coverage is getting better on television however the online features are getting worse and worse. Last year performances were recorded and posted online for a short period online and then replaced with 30 second clips. This year seems like hardly any bands are available online to view. Most of the main stage performances have been recorded yet aren't available. An example being "The Maccabees". Their performance has been recorded but not available. On television most main stage performances are viewable however online I cannot just click a band a view their performance. Very limited. Don't believe it's anything related to the license fee either as the BBC waste plenty of money of paying presenters, etc huge sums of money. Why not focus on providing the service than getting "big name" stars to appear on sub-par shows.

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