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.


  • 1. At 12:00pm on 27 Aug 2010, giantheman wrote:

    i have been looking in the tv listings and i can't seem to find queens of the stone age's gig. instead you have a 1 hour slot which you are going to show highlights of mumford and sons?, biffy clyro and phoenix? and then at 10'30 ur gonna show guns n roses. why no qotsa? are they on the red button and if so i dont just want one song by them that would be an insult to them and me, no i want the entire gig. also all that stuff about "we can only show a certain amount of what is filmed is rubbish. you dont need to edit it we dont want to see the edith bowman and regea yates inbetween every song or at all for that matter just show what is filmed cause people like to see what the band does between songs.

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  • 2. At 12:35pm on 27 Aug 2010, James Cowdery wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 2:29pm on 27 Aug 2010, James Cowdery wrote:

    giantheman: There will be footage of Queens of the Stone Age on the Red Button this evening. You will also be able to watch extended highlights of their set on this site for the next week. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/festivals/readingandleeds/2010/artists/queensofthestoneage/

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  • 4. At 6:01pm on 27 Aug 2010, James Cowdery wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 8:11pm on 27 Aug 2010, shamble17 wrote:

    Hi, where can i watch the libertines' performance? ive been looking around and it doesn't really tell you specifically. Also, what channel are you talking about when you say "It will be on the red button" thanks x

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  • 6. At 8:38pm on 27 Aug 2010, Hannah23_123 wrote:

    I fail to see how the BBC cant afford to have certain bands,Im pretty sure I and millions of others pay their tv licence.I think its more of if its on Radio ones playlist then they'll give it coverage.I hate Radio One for commercialising music and festivals which were there for people who enjoyed alternative music,now its all trendy and fashionable.Also I despise all the radio dj too coz although they have no apparent talent except playing a cd from a list and talking about themselves are paid ridiculous wages.Cant believe there will be no Queens of the stoneage coverage but they'll give Mumford and sons their own 1 hour programme.:(

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  • 7. At 8:54pm on 27 Aug 2010, Tim Clarke wrote:

    The Libertines performance will be on BBC Three, on Red Button (press red when watching a BBC channel) and online tomorrow.

    Queens Of The Stone Age will be on BBC Three, extended on red button and here online until 5th September.

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  • 8. At 9:28pm on 27 Aug 2010, EmoticBiotic wrote:

    *sighs* Look, at the risk of house rules...are you guys even concidering playing All Time Low? I've missed seeing them four times this year and this is my last chance. I know they're not the best and I get your on a budget but...

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  • 9. At 9:46pm on 27 Aug 2010, greg4168 wrote:

    I'm watching the live stream from the US and can't figure out how to get full screen working. I can only watch in a little box. Help?

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  • 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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