Thursday 19 March 2015

Preview - Are You Listening? Festival 2015

Today our first festival preview for 2015.....

If you’ve looked at any music media this week you could quite easily be mistaken and have been led to believe that there are only two festivals in the world this year, namely Glastonbury and South By Southwest. The Kanye for Glastonbury announcement and the reaction of the conservative ‘real music’ moaners (which we wrote about on Tuesday – here) picked up numerous headlines. And in a similar overload, online music social media has been full of South by Southwest commentary from those there.

Of course the two events are huge beasts and accompanying their scale comes expense; these are festivals that only the privileged can attend. Back in 1990 a ticket for Glastonbury cost £38, in 2004 it was £112. This year it is £220. 

However, for those on a cheaper budget there are other options. 

One such option is Reading’s Are You Listening? Now in its third year AYL gives you over 60 acts playing in 8 venues on one day in Reading centre. Of course the likes of Kanye and The Foo Fighters won’t be there, but you will find God Damn, who are currently running amok at SXSW, alongside a number of acts who are likely to familiar to you such as Pulled Apart By Horses, Smoke Fairies and DJ John Kennedy from XFM. The price? A tiny £12 (or £10 if you got in early) and if you're London based it's not too difficult to catch a train home and be safely tucked up in bed after. Plus for your £12 you also know that you’re doing some good in the world, as the event supports Reading Mencap, a local charity that supports people with learning disabilities and their families. In the previous two years AYL has raised a fantastic £16,000 for this charity. This is an event with its heart truly in the right place.

Breaking More Waves has been in attendance at each AYL (read our review of last year here – we called it a belter) and once again it will be our Reading festival of choice in 2015 rather than the bigger, nastier, smellier one just down the road. Why not join us there? You can't get much better value for money.

Are You Listening takes place on the 18th April 2015. Grab your multi venue wristband by clicking here and see the full line up here.

Still not convinced? Check out this video which shows footage from last year and has interviews with the organisers.

Of course no festival preview would be complete without some recommendations from Breaking More Waves of acts to catch. Here are 5 playing this year’s event on our must see list (timetable and line up clashes permitting of course!). See you down the front. 

Sophie Jamieson

Blog Sound of 2014 and 2015 nominee and an often featured artist on Breaking More Waves. Beautifully melancholy and emotional songs that will strike you and make your insides flutter. 


Oxford-based electronic project who have been compared to Caribou and Four Tet and are inspired by house and techno but add flourishes of ambient sound and even post-rock guitar to their grooves. 

Robyn Sherwell

Another artist who has been featured multiple times on Breaking More Waves who makes engaging pop with an attractive openness to it.

Shannon Wardrop

BBC Berkshire Introducing demo panel winner Shannon Wardrop brings a bit of grit and raw-heartedness to her guitar driven songs. Quite possibly the cream of this years local / Berkshire acts on the bill.


Hart is London based singer/ songwriter Daniel Pattison who has come from a folk background to create something with a far wider scope, topped off with angelic falsetto vocals not dissimilar to Bon Iver and James Vincent McMorrow.

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