Posted 17th Mar 2020


Dear Listeners,

With the W.H.O. declaring Coronavirus a pandemic, and following yesterday’s vague government statement, we are carefully monitoring the situation and how it will affect us.

Are You Listening? Festival is due to take place in six weeks and the situation is changing every day. It would be devastating for us and Reading Mencap if AYL? could not take place, so we are therefore looking at the possibility of rescheduling the festival, if it comes to that.

Please note: If you have a ticket, it will remain valid if we do need to reschedule. If you can’t make the rescheduled date, you will be able to request a refund on the price of your ticket.

Are You Listening? Festival depends on you, our lovely audience, to exist, so please keep buying tickets. Just last week we were on track for another sell out edition.

Thank you for your continued support and co-operation in these extraordinary times. 

Reading Mencap and people with learning disabilities will need your support now more than ever.

Keep calm, wash your hands often and stay safe!

The Are You Listening? Festival Team

Are You Listening? Final and full line-up announcement

Posted 13th Mar 2020


We're very pleased to announce the final 36 acts to perform at AYL? Festival this year! 

We've got the amazing alt-pop sensation SELF ESTEEM; musician, writer and Punk icon JOHN ROBB (DJ Set); Danger Mouse approved beau of BBC 6 Music BABA ALI; The rising star at Echo Tapes DOUGLAS DARE; Recent BBCR1 stars CHAPPAQUA WRESTLING; Purveyors of dirty noise rock BLACK HELIUM and 30 more brilliant and diverse acts.

They join BC CAMPLIGHT, DREAM WIFE, WARMDUSCHER, FREESTYLERS, MELT YOURSELF DOWN and many, many more acts across nine festival stages...

Here's the full line-up:

Ajimal / Amya-Ray / Ash The Author / Baba Ali / BC Camplight / Ben Marwood / Bessie Turner / Bex Ruth / Black Helium / Bought It For The Bottle / Carlos / Chappaqua Wrestling / Daughter Of The Water / Deva St. John / Dolly & The Clothespegs / Doops / Douglas Dare / Dream Nails / Dream Wife / Drug Store Romeos / Elucidate / Ever Hazel / Freestylers / GHUM / HAQ123 / Hatty Taylor / Head Drop / Heavy Lungs / Here Are The Young Men & Uncle Peanut / Holly Shillito / Jacob & The Moons / Joe Hicks / JOHN / John Kennedy DJ (Radio X) / John Robb DJ / Kid Kin / KT King / Little Brother Eli / Marisa and the Moths / Matt Maltese / Mellor / Melt Yourself Down / Mother / Mush / Mythical Ash Cloud / Nobodies Birthday / Ocean Ruins / Pangolin / Part Ghoul / Peerless Pirates / Priincess Kemz / Readiophonics / Roves / Rum & Donuts DJ / Ruthie / Self Esteem / Self Help / Sophie Jamieson / Tabi Gazele / Talk Show / The August List / The Boileroom DJs / The Keep Cats / The Push DJ / Third Lung / Thomas Headon / Tracks & Grooves DJ / Warmduscher / Wild Island / Zoe-Anne DJ

Fri 24th Apr. AYL? Festival Warm-Up Party

Posted 18th Feb 2020

We’re kicking off early with a Warm-up Party on Friday 24th April!

Join us in the beautiful, 900 year old St Laurence Church for some of the best live acts around, plus a few of our favourite DJs.

Reading Mencap will be collecting donations on the night too.

Line-up to be announced very soon.

Advanced Tickets on sale now! Head to our ticket section.


Posted 17th Jan 2020

Leading the announcement is one of the most exciting acts in the UK, Warmduscher. Featuring members of Fat White Family, Insecure Men and Childhood, the anarchic rockers sweaty and visceral live shows have become legendary, selling out shows across the country. Their debut album ‘Tainted Lunch’ boasts guests appearances from legends Iggy Pop and Kool Keith, and has been picked for ‘Best of 2019’ lists by BBC 6 Music, Amazing Radio, The Quietus and many more. We can’t wait to dance with them.

The hugely talented Matt Maltese has been announced to return to his home turf too. Described by Noisey as ‘Jarvis Cocker in a better mood’, Maltese’s debut album had rave reviews from DIY, Q, CLASH, NME and saw him tour the US, play All Points East, Citadel and Latitude as well as support Billy Bragg. The sharp-witted songwriter returns to play the festival for the second time in support of his forthcoming new album, ‘Curl Up & Die’.

Leeds’ angular post-punks Mush return to play the festival in support of their highly anticipated debut album ‘3-D Routine’ on Memphis Industries. The four-piece’s off kilter music and anarchic live shows have seen them support Shame, Yak, The Lovely Eggs and Girl Band, and play numerous live sessions on BBC 6 Music. We can’t wait to welcome them back.

South London’s Talk Show have been announced to return to Reading, following their crowd-pleasing performance at Beat Connection in November. Signed to YALA! Records (owned by ex-Maccabees Felix White), the four-piece’s post-punk rhythms coupled with their mesmeric frontman’s punchy lyrics has built a real buzz about this band.

 Among the other acts announced are Reading troubadour, and long time Frank Turner collaborator, Ben Marwood; Berkshire’s Sophie Jamieson, who makes a highly anticipated return to music after a five year break; recent Down At The Abbey performers The Keep Cats; previous Pigeon Detectives openers Nobodies Birthday and recent Sleaford Mods support act Here Are The Young Men & Uncle Peanut.

 The other acts to be announced are Bex Ruth, Carlos, Bought It For The Bottle, Head Drop, Little Brother Eli, Kid Kin, Ocean Ruins, Self Help, The Boileroom DJs and Wild Island.

This announcement bolsters a line-up that is already bursting with talent, including alternative piano rocker BC Camplight; noisy Brighton punks Dream Wife; Breakbeat pioneers Freestylers; alternative Jazz-punks Melt Yourself Down; Little Dragon-collaborator sir Was; two-piece noiseniks JOHN and many more exciting acts. With more acts to still be announced, this looks to be a vintage year for the festival that continues to impress.

Are You Listening Festival raises money for the local Learning Disability charity, Reading Mencap, and has raised nearly £70,000 for the charity since starting in 2013. The festival is proud to be partnered with Safe Gigs For Women, supporting their work to combat harassment in live music.

FIRST ACTS ANNOUNCED // Saturday 25th April 2020 - Are You Listening? Festival

Posted 14th Nov 2019

The wild piano rocker BC Camplight leads the announcement, returning to Reading having made history headlining the first Down At The Abbey festival in September with a blistering set in the Reading Abbey Ruins. The unique performer released his album Deportation Blues to critical acclaim last year and has supported Suede and White Denim on UK tours; sold out his own tours; and stunned festival audiences at GlastonburyAll Points East and BBC 6 Music Festival amongst others.

Brighton’s noisiest punks Dream Wife have been announced too. Following the release of their critically acclaimed debut album last year, the thrilling three-piece have dominated the playlists at BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music; supported GarbageThe Kills and Sunflower Bean on tours across the US and Europe; and impressed huge crowds at the world’s biggest festivals including Iceland AirwavesLollapalooza and South By Southwest.

Breakbeat legends Freestylers will also be causing the dancefloor to erupt next year. The duo will be playing hits from their glittering 20 year career that’s seen them tour the US with Lenny Kravitz; play MTV’s Millennium Times Square party; perform on Top of the Pops; and play out to 30,000 ravers at Glastonbury Festival.

London’s Melt Yourself Down will bring their frenetic blend of jazz, punk and dance to the festival in April too. The exciting London band have recently worked with super-producer Youth (U2, The Verve, James) and are closely linked with London jazz giants The Comet Is ComingPolar Bear and Mercury Prize nominees Sons Of Kemet.

Other acts to be announced are Little Dragon collaborator sir Was; child doom band HAQ123 (featuring two members aged under 10); IDLES-approved noise rockers JOHN; feminist DIY punks Dream Nails; Danny Nedelko-fronted Heavy Lungs; psychedelic indie youngsters Drug Store Romeos and buzzy post-punk quartet GHUM.

Are You Listening? Festival always showcases the cream of the crop of Reading’s many diverse music scenes, and the first locals acts to be named so far are local UK Hip Hop kingpin Ash The Author; grunge rockers Marisa and the Moths; and country-folk duo The August List.


ayl partner dork
ayl partner safe gigs for women
ayl partner mencap
ayl partner gigantic

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