Reading has had eclectic lineups before, but the past few years have seen that evolution supercharged. Everything has always been welcome at Reading & Leeds but for whatever reason, true pop music hasn’t always fit at the top table.
It only seems right that Dua Lipa be the artist to change that. She’s broken records, provided a soundtrack for the past two years and become one of the biggest artists in the world, with songs about self-belief, self-love and standing up for yourself. Today she kicks down the door to the Main Stage.
“I want you to be yourself. Be your authentic and true self. Lose all your inhibitions. Be your most unapologetic you and never listen to anyone who tells you otherwise,” promises the introduction. From the moment Dua sprints onto the stage and blows the festival a kiss, she lives that message. ‘Blow Your Mind’ is confident and assured, full of swagger with no time for the doubt, ‘Dreams/No Lie’ sparkles with synchronicity and ‘One Kiss’ instigates dancing mosh pits.
The forty-five minutes fly by with hit after hit landing true. ‘Be The One’ and ‘Hotter Than Hell’ overflow with jubilance and sparkle, ‘Scared To Be Lonely’ flashes quiet and vulnerable before thrashing through. A final one-two of ‘IDGAF’ and ‘New Rules’ underline this as a moment. In years to come it’ll been heralded as ground-breaking. Right now, Dua will have to make do with ground-shaking as she gets the whole of Reading dancing to her beat.
Words: Ali Shutler