Saturday 10th August - AYL? Summer Party, Oakford Social Club

Posted 5th Aug 2019


Down At The Abbey

Posted 28th May 2019

The creators of the award-winning Are You Listening? Festival present their brand new music festival in the stunning Reading Abbey Ruins.

Headlining the inaugural festival will be live-wire piano maestro BC Camplight. After releasing his critically acclaimed album Deportation Blues last year, BC and his band have sold out every UK tour day and have supported Suede and White Denim, and been booked for festival performances at All Points East, End of the Road, BBC 6 Music Festival and more.  

The prodigiously talented folk songstress Kathryn Joseph will be main support. Winner of Scottish Album Of The Year award for her debut album, Joseph recently released her second album on Mogwai’s Rock Action Records to critical acclaim, was handpicked to perform at Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival and The Cure’s British Summer Time show and returns to Reading having sold out her Reading show earlier this year.

Moshi Moshi signed alternative indie stalwarts The Wave Pictures; BBC 6 Music 'Album Of The Year' pick Tom Williams; Reading’s Electro-blues livewires Vienna Ditt have also been announced. They are joined by The August List; Jessica Lee Morgan; Saltwater Sun and Ever Hazel

The award-winning local Siren Craft Brew will be running the main Festival Bar, providing craft beer on site, and there will be various other pop-up bars and food stalls on site to keep everyone smiling on the day.

Reading Abbey Ruins is a venue like no other. King Henry I started the construction of Reading Abbey in 1121 and once built, the great royal abbey was one of the largest monasteries in Europe for some 400 years, housing monks and religious relics including the hand of St James. In 1539, on the orders of King Henry VIII, Reading Abbey was destroyed, the monks were banished, and the Abbot was executed.

In recent years, the Grade 1 Listed ruins sit beside the famous Reading Gaol and have undergone a £3 million renovation, re-opening to the public in June 2018. The independent team behind Down At The Abbey are extremely excited to launch their brand new festival in this truly unique and historical space in the heart of Reading.

Saturday 7th September 2019 | Reading Abbey Ruins, Reading | Adult & Child Tickets:


Posted 1st May 2019


After a much needed rest, we're slowly getting our head around just how good Saturday was ⚡️

Thank you to every one of you that performed, volunteered, supported Reading Mencap and danced the night day away with us on Saturday! 


We're pleased to announce AYL? Festival 2020 will be on SATURDAY 25TH APRIL 2020 

Limited £15 Adult Pre-sale Tickets to AYL? 2020 are on sale NOW. Get yours before they're all gone!


Thanks again to everyone involved and see you at Down at the Abbey in September


Posted 30th Apr 2019


We want to hear your feedback about the Festival so we can make next year even better

Please complete our 5 minute survey and could win a pair of tickets & drink vouchers for AYL? 2020 


The AYL? Poster Exhibition

Posted 26th Apr 2019

The AYL? Poster Exhibition returns for its fourth year, having produced numerous masterpieces and raised hundreds of pounds extra for Reading Mencap.

Each year we ask 10 talented local artists to create a unique poster for an act playing the Festival. We then display the beauties during the Festival, before we blind auction them with all the money raised going to Reading Mencap.

The Posters are on display in the flesh at St Laurence Church on Saturday, but you can see them below too...

Want to bid for a poster?

To bid, send us the poster number, your bid amount and your full name.
You can do this in person at St Laurence, by texting 07969 570 779, or by emailing
Example Bid: Poster 9. £105.00. Leonard Kravitz.

The Posters & the Artists

1. Our Girl – Jumana Hokan

2. TVAM – Aiden Barefoot

3. Big Lad – Michael Matthews

4. Workin’ Man Noise Unit – Paul Furnell

5. Rozi Plain – Dan Miller

6. Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra – Yen Tu

7. Madonnatron – Zoe Lakeman

8. The Keep Cats – Rachel Mayes

9. Krafty Kuts – Zoe Darnell

10. Genghar – Dom Walter

The Small Print
Each poster has a reserve price of £25. You can bid on any and all of the posters.
Winners will be contacted the week commencing Monday 6th May
If you win and cannot collect your poster from central Reading, you agree to pay the £10 postage & packaging for the Poster to be sent to you. 
AYL? Festival bear no responsibility for any damage caused to the Poster while in transit.

AYL? Quiz

Posted 15th Apr 2019


We have TWO fab AYL? Reading Quizzes for you this year. All entry money goes to Reading Mencap plus prizes to be won.

Mon 15th April at The Greyfriars

Mon 22nd April at The Fisherman's Cottage

Please our Facebook Events page for more information here.

The Full Line-Up is here - Take a look!

Posted 7th Mar 2019

Second Wave of AYL? Acts Announced + The return of our Teen wristband

Posted 24th Jan 2019


A host of new and exciting acts announced plus the return of our Teen wristband.

First 2019 Line-Up Announced!

Posted 14th Dec 2018

Fri 7th Dec - Are You Listening? Festival Bash // Rising Sun Arts Centre

Posted 17th Nov 2018


Our final event of the year and we'd love to see you there - click here for event information.

Saturday 22nd September: Are You Listening? Festival Party at the Oakford Social Club, Reading

Posted 13th Aug 2018

Hello there!

We're throwing a party to celebrate winning Best Festival at the Reading Cultural Awards. 

Saturday 8th September: Night In The Ruins with Flamingods & Special Guests

Posted 19th Jul 2018

We were honoured to be asked to curate an evening of live music in the wonderful setting of the recently reopened Reading Abbey Ruins.

With live music from FlamingodsFebuederLimpopo Groove

Celebrate the end of summer in the Abbey with live music and as light begins to fall, watch the ruins be brought to life with atmospheric illuminations by designer Stuart Melrose.

Supported by Are You Listening? Festival & Reading Fringe Festival.  

Tickets: £15. Buy here | All Ages

AYL 2019 Pre-Sale Sold Out // New Summer Rate Tickets Released

Posted 2nd May 2018

Fresh from selling out this year, Reading's premier multi-venue Festival will return next year on Saturday 27th April 2019.
£10.00 Pre-sale Tickets sold out in less than 48 Hours.
£15.00 Summer Rate Tickets are on sale NOW. Don't miss your chance to bag a bargain HERE.

AYL Sells out / Winning tickets to 2019 and save the new date

Posted 29th Apr 2018


THANK YOU to everyone who made AYL 2018 a SOLD OUT success! We will announce the amount raised for Reading Mencap as soon as we can. Please complete our short survey (here) to give your vital feedback from your festival experience this year, and to shape its future. 2x festival wristbands and drinks vouchers will go to one lucky winner! SAVE THE DATE - AYL 2019 takes place on Sat 27 April. Limited £10 pre-sale tickets are on sale now!


TICKET ALERT // Limited Day Wristbands Tomorrow

Posted 27th Apr 2018


We've had record sales & tickets come off sale TONIGHT 


Posted 26th Apr 2018

Dear Are You Listening Festival ticket holder,

You can collect your tickets at the box office at Sub89, 110 - 117 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 from 12 lunchtime on Sat 28th April.

The box office will close at 10pm.

The first act of the day, Twin Sun, will open the festival at 2pm at Sub89.

You will also be given a print programme on the day with the schedule within.

A reminder all venues are a minimum of Age 14+, please bring any relevant ID with you on the day.

Age 14+ venues are:

Rising Sun Arts Centre, South Street Arts Centre, St Laurence Church. Sub 89 is Age 14+ but Under 16�s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Age 18+ venues are:

Purple Turtle, Milk & Oakford Social Club.

All tickets are sold subject to festival capacity, subject to venue capacity, subject to line up change.

Ticket sales are at record levels this year, and the festival is very likely to sell out for the first time, please encourage any friends to buy in advance!

We hope you have a fantastic day!

Reading Mencap message to our Festival goers:

"Are You Listening? Festival is proud to support the local learning disability charity Reading Mencap, which has been our official charity partner since 2013. The charity is not funded by national Mencap so relies on the generous support of the local community and events like AYL for its income. The money raised from the festival allows Reading Mencap to continue providing vital services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, adults and families who have nowhere else to turn. Thank you for your support." 

AYL Art Exhibition & Auction (View Posters and Bid below)

Posted 22nd Apr 2018



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Full festival line-up announced

Posted 15th Mar 2018

A new addition to the festivals headliners are England's hardest working gonzo rockers The Lovely Eggs. The band bring their humour-soaked psychdelic punk to town following the massive success of their latest BBC 6 Music Album of the Day ‘This Is Eggland’ which was produced by Flaming Lips and Tame Impala producer Dave Fridmann.

Americana-drenched indie supergroup The Surfing Magazines are our last addition as a Festival headliner. Built from two-thirds of The Wave Pictures and one-half of Slow Club, the surf-pop group's debut album came out last year on the legendary Moshi Moshi imprint (former home of Florence & the Machine, Bloc Party and Hot Chip) and has been heavily championed by Marc Riley, Lauren Laverne, The Line Of Best Fit and Drowned In Sound.

Also joining the bill are Gareth Malone’s ‘The Choir – Gareth’s Best in Britain’ finalists The Bulmershe Ensemble; four times UK Beatboxing Champion Grace Savage; prog-pop alchemist and long-time Field Music collaborator Slug; the 'doyen of underground alternative music' who broke Adele, M.I.A. and The XX, DJ John Kennedy (Radio X); local troubadour and Frank Turner running buddy, Ben Marwood; and Reading's rising stars Valeras fresh from supporting Fickle Friends and The Amazons on the road.

Here's the full line-up in alphabetical order (new additions in red)

Adam & Elvis / The Ady Baker Sound / AK/DK / The Amazing Tiger Band / Animal House / Ash the Author / The August List / The Autumn Saints / Ben MarwoodBreezewax / The Bulmershe EnsembleCalÿpso / Carnival Youth / Cecil / Colours & Fires / Deerful/ Doops / Drug Store Romeos / Eat Daddy Eat / Ever Hazel / Febueder / Field Music / Gilbert DJ / Grace Savage / Grafted / Head Drop / Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? / Here are the Young Men and Uncle Peanut / Her’s / Idles / J DoggJohn Kennedy (Radio X) / Kid Kin / L. / The Last Dinosaur / The Longcut / The Lovely Eggs / Lucky Punks / Marisa and the Moths / Mellor / Mush / Mutant VinylNightjjar / Nobodies Birthday / Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1) / Plump DJs / The Push DJ / Ray Wills / Rum & Donuts DJ / Saltwater Sun / Self Help / She Makes War / Shoals / Slug / Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) / The Surfing Magazines / Tiger Mendoza / Tilly Valentine / Tiny Giant / Tracks and Grooves DJ / Twin Sun / Valeras / Vienna Ditto / Vinyl Staircase / Warm Digits.


Posted 18th Jan 2018

joining the already bustling bill for the one-day festival are Sunderland’s angular indie-pop kings Field Music. Field Music were favourites of the late, great Prince, have previously been nominated for a Mercury Prize and will be performing with the Open Here Orchestra at The Barbican in May. They also have a new album out in February.

Breakbeat pioneers Plump DJs bring their internationally renowned four-deck DJ set to the Festival, and are sure to bring the party having held a ten-year residency at legendary London nightclub Fabric, as well as having collaborated with Mark Ronson, Gary Newman and Fatboy Slim in the past.

Geordie krautdance duo Warm Digits have been announced too, following their hugely successful album Wireless World that featured Field Music and Saint Etienne on vocal duties. Latvia’s debonair pop maestros Carnival Youth return to Reading again, having supported Red Hot Chili Peppers this Summer. BBC Radio 1’s number one party starter Phil Taggart joins the ranks of those DJing at this year’s AYL? having caused a stir last year.

Other acts joining the jam-packed bill include Leed’s art rockers Mush; Reading’s own potent power-pop-ers Saltwater Sun; Brisbane-via-Brighton party starters Animal House; and Oxford’s finest country boot-stompers The August List amongst others.

The acts announced today slot in alongside quite a few big names, including Bristol’s loudest punks Idles; indie rising stars Yonaka; legendary new music champion DJ Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music); drum-synth mavericks AK/DK; Reading Hip Hop stalwart Ash The Author and lots more. With many more still be announced across the Festival’s 8 stages, Are You Listening? Festival is sure to be the biggest day out in April for any real music lover.

Here’s the line-up so far, in alphabetical order.

The Ady Baker Sound / AK/DK / Animal House / Ash the Author / The August List The Autumn Saints / Carnival Youth / Deerful / Drug Store Romeos / Eat Daddy Eat / Ever Hazel / Febueder / Field Music / Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? / Here are the Young Men and Uncle Peanut / Her’s / Idles / Mush / Nobodies Birthday / Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1) / Plump DJs / Saltwater Sun / Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) / Tiger Mendoza / Tiny Giant / Twin Sun / Vienna Ditto / Vinyl Staircase / Warm Digits and Yonaka.

£20 early advance tickets on sale now: 

Are You Listening? Festival 2018 - First Acts Announced

Posted 4th Dec 2017

Are You Listening? Festival is back to get Reading shaking on Saturday 28th April 2018, after their immensely successful fifth birthday earlier this year.

Since launching in 2013, the one-day Festival has raised more than £40,000 for Reading Mencap, a local charity that supports people with learning disabilities and their families. The critically acclaimed Festival won ‘Event of the Year’ at the inaugural Alt Reading Awards and has been nominated for two ‘Pride of Reading’ Awards and a Reading Cultural Award for ‘Best Festival’ in 2017.

The first acts to be announced for next year’s Festival include Bristol’s noisiest punks Idles, following the year of their lives which has seen them support both The Foo Fighters at the 02 Arena in London and The Maccabees on their farewell tour.


BBC 6 Music’s chief new-music champion Steve Lamacq returns to the festival, along with indie’s fastest rising stars Yonaka ahead of their support tour with The Amazons, and Brighton krautrock mavericks AK/DK following their ‘Album of the Day’ on BBC 6 Music this month.

Also coming in from out of town are Liverpool’s slinkiest haze-pop act Her’s, and the unstoppable Finnish bubblegum-punk racketeers Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? who also have the best name in showbiz.


There is also heaps of local talent on the bill including BBC Radio 1Xtra’s favourite rabble-rouser Ash the Author, the white-knuckle electro-blues exploders Vienna Ditto, feisty psych-rockers Vinyl Staircase and local synth-pop heroes Twin Sun. Febueder, Nobodies Birthday, Here are the Young Men and Uncle Peanut and Deerful also feature on the already tantalizing line-up announcement.

In alphabetical order the 1st line up announcement is: AK/DK / Ash the Author / Deerful, Febueder / Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? / Here are the Young Men and Uncle Peanut / Her’s / Idles / Nobodies Birthday / Steve Lamacq (BBC6 Music) / Twin Sun / Vienna Ditto / Vinyl Staircase / Yonaka


As with previous years, Are You Listening? Festival are proudly supporting Girls Against in standing up against sexual harassment and intimidation in live music, and the festival is again teaming up new music tastemaker magazine Dork to promote the exposure and development for the acts that play.

Proceeds from the festival go to supporting Reading Mencap, who provide information, support and respite services for children and adults with learning difficulties, disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders, along with their families. Though Reading Mencap are affiliated to Royal Mencap they receive no financial support from them, and so Are You Listening? Festival has become a vital fundraiser for the fantastic and much needed work the charity does in Reading.

The Are You Listening? Festival has always been committed to nurturing the local music scene from the grassroots level, with Festival policy being to ensure at least 70% of the line-up are from Reading and the surrounding Berkshire area. This year will be no different and the festival is excited to support the local scene again. Any acts wanting to play at the festival can apply by emailing

Total Announcement!!

Posted 13th Oct 2017

We can reveal that Are You Listening? Festival 2017 raised over £10,500 for Reading Mencap

AYL? Summer Party 2017

Posted 7th Aug 2017

Heavy Pop & Reading Mencap present The AYL? Summer Party 2017

Following the success of this year’s Are You Listening? Festival, we return to the Oakford Social Club to host our Fifth Summer celebration jam-packed with Live Music & DJs!

To date the festival has raised over £40,000 for local Learning Disability charity Reading Mencap, and this Summer Party is no different, as a £5.00 donation to Reading Mencap is suggested for everyone attending.












plus AYL? DJs from early 'til late


Where: Oakford Social Club, Reading

Tickets: Free Entry (*£5 Suggested Donation to Reading Mencap*)

Ages: 18+



£10 Early Bird Tickets for Are You Listening? 2018 are on sale NOW Are You Listening? Festival 2018 - Saturday 28th April 2018

AYL? 2017 Art Exhibition

Posted 17th Apr 2017

The AYL? Art Exhibition returns for 2017!

Ten talented local artists have each produced us a ONE-OFF Poster for a band playing this year.

Our good friends Jelly are exhibiting these beauties and then we're selling them by blind auction, with all money going to Reading Mencap.

How To Bid:

All you need to do is tell us the artwork number you want to bid on, your bid amount and your name…

e.g. #2. £40. Dave Warrick

Text that to 07495 544 689


Email that to


Here are the Artists and their Poster Numbers:

1. Paul Furnell (The Big Moon)

2. Zoe Lakeman (Spring King)

3. Michael Matthews (Flamingods)

4. Daniel Miller (Bad Sounds)

5. Yen Tu (Anna Meredith)

6. Dom Walter (Matt Maltese)


7. Tim Wilson (Ollie Teeba from The Herbaliser)

8. Holly Buckle (Dream Wife)

9. Aiden Barefoot (Valeras)

10. Tolly Robinson (Big Zero)


Please note:

ALL posters have a £25 reserve price.

The winning bids will be contacted the w/c 1st May 2017

AYL Raffle

Posted 11th Apr 2017


New for our 5th birthday is the AYL Raffle! We have some amazing, money-can’t-buy prizes, which have been generously donated by some of this year’s bands. Tickets are only £1 each and all proceeds will go to Reading Mencap, so don’t miss this opportunity to get your hands on some exclusive memorabilia.


How to Get Your AYL Raffle Tickets

Tickets are on sale now! If you can't attend AYL this year or want to be sure of getting your raffle tickets in advance, you can pay by cheque or PayPal and we will enter you into the draw.


On the day

Tickets will be on sale at every AYL venue on 22nd April. Look out for the AYL volunteers in green T-shirts who will be selling them (usually where your wristbands are checked).


By cheque

You can send a cheque made out to Reading Mencap to AYL Raffle, Reading Mencap, 21 Alexandra Road, Reading RG1 5PE with your name, number and email address. We will then email you photos of your tickets. If you want them posted to you, please add 50p.


By PayPal

You can pay by PayPal by sending the money to

Please use ‘Goods and Services’. We would be grateful if you could please add the following amounts to cover the costs of the fees PayPal charge us to receive the money:

For amounts up to £5, please add 30p; for £6 to £10, please add 40p; for £11 to £20, please add 50p.

Write ‘AYL Raffle’ in the ‘Notes to Seller’ box along with your phone number and email address. We will then email you photos of your tickets.


The winning tickets will be drawn at the end of the evening on 22nd April and the lucky winners will be notified by phone.


Posted 5th Apr 2017

AYL 17 final poster

FINAL LINE UP & STAGE TIMES ANNOUNCED for Are You Listening? Festival Sat 22nd April in Reading supporting local learning disability charity Reading Mencap. Joining the already jam-packed bill are Girl Ray fresh from their standout BBC6 Music Festival performance, Radio 1's ultimate playlister Phil Taggart, band of the moment The Amazons are in conversation with Huw Stephens, rising stars Echoic join acclaimed spoken word performer and author A.F Harrold, electro-pop act CROOKED TEETH, Darklands DJ, electronic duo Temples of Youth, punk-synth wizards The Pink Diamond Revue, afrobeat ensemble Limpopo Groove, DJ duo The Push, Clash-endorsed Boys and from DIY’s Class of 2017, Trudy and the Romance!

Would You Like To Volunteer at AYL? // Meet-Ups

Posted 25th Mar 2017


Are You Listening? was created to raise vital funds for the local learning disability charity, Reading Mencap. A festival like AYL? requires more people than you might imagine, and we are on the lookout for reliable volunteers to help staff the venues on the day.

You can find out more info about what's involved here.

We are also holding two volunteer meet-ups at Reading's best rum and cocktail bar Milk on Mon 3rd April and Tues 11th April at 7:45 pm.

Please feel free to just pop down and meet the team on the night or you can contact Shelley on or 0118 966 2518 in advance.

Third Line Up Announcement!

Posted 9th Mar 2017

The festival now announces its third wave of acts featuring award winning Scottish composer, producer and performer Anna Meredith. Anna has been described as ‘one of the most inventive minds in British music’ (Pitchfork).

Her debut album Varmints was released in March last year on Moshi Moshi to huge critical acclaim from The Guardian, Loud & Quiet & DIY. The album also won Scottish Album of the Year, and saw Anna perform with her band at festivals such as Glastonbury, Latitude and Field Day. Anna will also be playing the BBC6 Music Festival in Glasgow at the end of March. We are thrilled to have such an extraordinary talent on the Are You Listening Festival bill!

Also announced are London/ Icelandic edgy pop band Dream Wife, who have been dubbed ‘the most exciting new band in the UK’. The band has won countless fans and are heavily tipped to breakthrough this year by the music press. The trio are due to perform at the revered American showcase festival SXSW in March.

Other acts include respected blogger Breaking More Waves performing a rare DJ set plus Andre Fu DJ, spoken word artist Becci Fearnley, Cat Brooks, Chris Bound DJ, DJ Binge, Dolly & the Clothespegs, local hip-hop artist Figures of Speech, Here Are The Young Men & Uncle Peanut, Iamhungry, Austrian electronic act Leyya, Mellor, Metallica endorsed Mini Band, Nemmy, No Feathers, Pete Hefferan (ex Pete & the Pirates), Rum & Donuts DJ, Small Town Blues, The Midnight Rambler and Tracks & Grooves DJ plus more still be to announced.

These acts join previously announced acts: Huw Stephens (Radio 1), Spring King, The Big Moon, John Kennedy (Radio X), Tom Williams, Bad Sounds, Flamingods, Charlie Ashcroft (Amazing Radio), Clock Opera, Ollie Teeba from The Herbaliser, Kagoule, Shame Matt Maltese, Sami Switch, Valeras (formerly Area 52), Animal House, Big Zero, Quiet Quiet Band, Saltwater Sun, Tiny Giant, Tusks, Adam & Elvis, Borjad Luis, Cody Noon, Draw the Shades, Duotone, Eastgreen, Febueder, Jersey Bones, Kill Committee, Little Brother Eli, Matt Stockl, Matt Tanner, Pelada Wild, Sahara Dam, The Keep Cats and Twin Sun.

Are You Listening? Festival 2017 will be raising awareness of Girls Against (One of NME’s People of the Year 2016 Award Winners), a group that’s standing up against sexual harassment and assault for all genders within live music.



Posted 25th Jan 2017

Second Line-Up poster

Are You Listening? Festival returns for its fifth edition on Saturday 22nd April 2017, following the overwhelming success of the first four years’ events, which has seen around 5,000 festival-goers raise over £34,000 for local learning disability charity Reading Mencap.

The festival now announces it’s second wave of acts featuring one of the hottest new UK bands, Spring King. The Manchester act has won fans on both sides of the Atlantic with their intense, eye catching live shows and superb debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’. Championed by BBC Radio 1 and BBC6 Music they were also the first ever band to be played on Apple’s Beats 1 show by Zane Lowe. With big support shows coming up including at the O2 Arena with Kaiser Chiefs, and not to mention their electrifying performance on Jools Holland’s TV show, this has all helped cement their position as rising stars.

Joining Spring King is Amazing Radio’s Charlie Ashcroft, who has been championing new acts for many years now on his Audition show and alongside a DJ set he will be hoping to find his new favourite band at the festival. Tom Williams will be delighting his Reading fanbase with a full band show and will be announcing some very big news soon. Electronic indie outfit Clock Opera make a long awaited live return, and are back with their stunning 2nd album on !K7 in February. Bath’s Bad Sounds bring with them their addictive indie pop and Reading’s own rapper, soul singer and spoken word poet Sami Switch will be making an appearance.

Also announced are Adam & Elvis, Borjad Luis, Cody Noon, Draw the Shades, Duotone, Eastgreen, Febueder, Jersey Bones, Kill Committee, Little Brother Eli, Matt Stockl, Matt Tanner, Pelada Wild, Sahara Dam, The Keep Cats and Twin Sun.

These acts join previously announced acts: Radio 1 DJ and new music champion Huw Stephens, The Big Moon, Radio X DJ John Kennedy, Middle-Eastern influenced psych band Flamingods, Ollie Teeba from The Herbaliser, Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A) produced rock act Kagoule, hotly tipped Rough Trade signed Shame and Reading acts Matt Maltese (recently seen supporting Tom Odell) and Area 52 who played Reading Festival over the summer plus Animal House, Big Zero, Quiet Quiet Band, Saltwater Sun, Tiny Giant and Tusks.

We are also proud to announce that Are You Listening? Festival 2017 will be raising awareness of Girls Against (One of NME’s People of the Year 2016 Award Winners), a group that’s standing up against sexual harassment and assault for all genders within live music.

Proceeds from the festival support Reading Mencap, a small local charity that provides information, support and respite services for children and adults with learning difficulties, disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders, along with their families. They are affiliated to the UK’s leading learning disability charity, Royal Mencap, but receive no financial support from them.

The festival also focuses on supporting the local music scene from the grass roots level, with it being festival policy to ensure at least 70% of the artist bookings are from Reading and the Berkshire area. Each year, around 70 volunteers provide crucial support to the festival, and the organizers would love to hear from anyone interested in getting involved this year, with great benefits on offer including a free festival ticket, T-shirt, a meal and drinks! Please email if you would like to support the festival this year.

AYL '16 Highlights video

Posted 27th Sep 2016


We are pleased to be able to share with our short highlights video of Are You Listening? Festival. The wonderful video was created by Mark Minors. Watch here.

Don't forget tickets are now on sale for our 5th Birthday - Sat 22nd April 2017.

AYL? raises a record £10,355 for Reading Mencap

Posted 24th Aug 2016

Black & White Music and Reading Mencap are delighted to announce that Are You Listening Festival? 2016 and associated events raised a record £10,355 for local learning disability charity Reading Mencap.

Around 1,800 people attended this year’s music festival in April, making it the most successful yet. Several Reading town centre venues hosted performances from the likes of Steve Lamacq (BBC6 Music), Boxed In, NZCA Lines, John Kennedy (Radio X), The Amazons, Big Zero and Black Honey.

Co-organizer Dave Maul said “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in its success, including the audience who attended, volunteers, bands, venues, local media, and our charity partner Reading Mencap. It was our most successful festival to date by some way, and audience feedback from our post-event survey was exceptionally positive.”

Reading Mencap Fundraising Manager Marie-Claire Dillon said, “The amount raised from the festival this year is simply incredible. This will provide our charity with vital funds, as our services for people with learning disabilities and their families are in demand more now than ever. We can’t thank Black & White Music enough for making this possible and putting on such a great event.”

Pictures taken on the day can be viewed from Never Enough Notes and local photographer Martin Sandford (2 square Image).

Are You Listening? Festival is scheduled to return for its 5 th Birthday on Saturday 22nd April 2017 and we hope to make it better than ever!

Limited £10 pre-sale tickets are available now from

AYL 2017 will also see the introduction of an Under-18 wristband, which will be available for purchase in the coming months.

“Are You Listening? is not only easily one of the best value festivals in the UK - it's simply one of the best festivals in the UK.” - Faded Glamour

“Are You Listening? is a must-attend for all discerning festival goers!” - Artrocker

“It truly felt like the whole town was buzzing!” - Alt Reading

AYL Weekender - Sat 23 & Sun 24 July @ the Oakford, Reading

Posted 30th Jun 2016

It will be three months since Are You Listening? Festival tookover Reading with the biggest AYL yet and we plan to throw a summer party to celebrate.

We also will be able to announce our festival total too.

Entry: Free*, 18+. 4 pm onwards.
* A £5 donation is kindly encouraged - all cash goes to Reading Mencap.
A host of live music/ djs over the weekend + the return of AYL ale!! :)
Fb event



GIRL FRIEND (electro pop)
“Girl Friend seem to have arrived with their sound complex, exact, intoxicating.” Clash
Listen here

Headliners on Saturday are Manchester's Girl Friend who are inspired by the classic and refined electronic pop. The band are playing a number of high profile events including Secret Garden Party and supporting Take That at Hyde Park.

+ Honey Lung (alt rock), Khamsina (folk), Little Cub (indie), Ocean Ruins (folk rock), Workin' Man Noise Unit (alt noise makers) + DJs Artrocker + AYL.


CAIROBI (pysch pop)
"Walls of grunge-gaze fuzz meet polyrhythms and tropical pop” The Line Of Best Fit
Listen here

Cairobi produce psych-pop which sound reflects their various backgrounds from Italy and Mexico via France, and has received support from the likes of 6Music and Huw Stephens at Radio 1. They were described by Clash as "Wistful psychedelia akin to Animal Collective.”

+ Chartreuse (indie pop), Cody Noon (Instrumental atmospheric), Quiet Victories (post rock), stupidchief (alt indie rock), ThreeLetterAgency (soulful pop) + DJs Solid Gold Death Star + guests



Posted 24th May 2016

To those who attended this year as an audience member we would hugely appreciate a few minutes of your time for feedback on AYL 2016.Your feedback will help us to continually improve the festival experience for everyone. In addition there will be a prize draw on Thurs 9th June at 1pm where a randomly selected survey response will win a pair of tickets for AYL 2017 and £30 in bar vouchers for the day (for those under 18 in mid April 2017 these can only be used for soft drinks, ID will be required). Thanks all! 

Click here to begin the survey.

AYL Art Exhibition Extended until Tues 24th May

Posted 7th May 2016

For Are You Listening? Festival 2016, we asked 12 talented local artists to produce 12 one-off AYL band posters (1 per artist), which are being exhibited and sold via a blind auction at South Street Arts Centre (MacDevitts corridor) with all money going to Reading Mencap. We know not everyone had a chance to view these pieces on the day so the auction will now end on Tues 24 May.

To get your own unique piece of festival memorabilia, simply complete the slip on the front desk in the venue or email your bid to: subject ‘AYL Art.’ Please include – band, bid amount, your name and phone number.

Happy bidding!

Our artists –

Paul Furnell (Black Honey), Jack Hepplewhite (Mickey & the Milkshake), Zoe Lakeman (Big Deal), Richard Lucas (The Wave Pictures), Michael Matthews (Inheaven), Daniel Miller (Palace), Laura Nicholson (Boxed In), Helen Ridley (Bear & the Woods), Ralph Solly (DJ Format), Yen Tu (Misty Miller), Dom Walter (The Amazons) and Tim Wilson (The St. Pierre Snake Invasion).

Images below.

Monday 9th May 10am – 3.30pm
Tuesday 10th May 10am – 9pm
Wednesday 11th May 10am – 5pm
Thursday 12th May 10am – 8pm
Friday 13th May 10am – 4.30pm
Saturday 14th May 10.30am – 10pm
Sunday 15th May 9.30am – 1pm & 4.30pm – 8pm
Monday 16th May 10am – 3.30pm
Tuesday 17th May 10am – 4.30pm
Wednesday 18th May 10am – 5pm
Thursday 19th May 10am – 9pm
Friday 20th May 10am – 10.30pm
Saturday 21st May 2.30pm – 11pm (for Doubledotbash ticket holders)
Sunday 22nd May 9.30am – 1pm & 4.30pm – 8pm
Monday 23rd May 10am – 3.30pm
Tuesday 24th May 10am - 9.30pm

A rave festival review by Faded Glamour!!

Posted 5th May 2016

"Are You Listening? is not only easily one of the best value festivals in the UK - it's simply one of the best festivals in the UK." Read the full review here

AYL Post-festival party - Fri 27 May @ Readipop, Reading

Posted 5th May 2016

We've now recovered from AYL and we've decided to host a post-festival party (all being well we might be able to announce what we've raised by then).

We've invited four acts from this year's festival to play, so why not join the organisers for a beer.

Fb event





+ AYL DJs.


Entry: 18+, £4 adv/ £6 on the door - in aid of Reading Mencap Events


Posted 25th Mar 2016

FINAL LINE UP ANNOUNCED! Are You Listening? Festival, Reading, Sat 23rd April (in aid of Reading Mencap). 

We're thrilled to announce that NZCA LINES are joining the festival line up! Recently performing live in session for Lauren Laverne, their new album 'Infinite Summer' is out now, and it's a cracker! They join previously announced headliners Boxed In, Palace, The Wave Pictures, Steve Lamacq, DJ Format and John Kennedy. 70+ acts! £15 adv tickets here (On the day £20):

Third Line Up Announcement

Posted 8th Mar 2016

New names announced today joining the already impressive Are You Listening? Festival line up include electronic band Boxed In fronted by Berkshire raised Oli Bayston and Moshi Moshi label mates The Wave Pictures.  Also announced is the return of Radio X and Mercury Prize Award judge John Kennedy; now a regular at the festival (his third successive year). London indie band Big Deal, Bristol based multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker and digital polymath Laura Kidd aka She Makes War, and local Reading artists including La Trappistine, Moonbow and Solid Gold Death Star.

These acts join the previously announced BBC6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq, Fiction Records (The Maccabees, Tame Impala) signings Palace, and UK Hip Hop legend DJ Format. As well as Misty Miller, Black Honey, Inheaven, Artrocker DJs, Bear & The Woods, Bloodflower, Cubed DJs, Hart, The Amazons, Ben Marwood, Lovestarrs, AK/DK, Little Mammoths, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion and a raft of local talent.

AYL 3rd poster


Posted 10th Feb 2016


New names joining the festival line up, announced today:

AK/DK, Attila the Pun, Ben Marwood, Big Zero, Black Honey, Crooked Teeth, Darklands DJ, Ella Martini, Esther Joy Lane, Everhazel, Inheaven, Kill Committee, Little Mammoths, Lovestarrs, Micky & the Milkshake, Misty Miller, Only Speak Positive, Palm Honey, Sam Handy, The August List, The Makarov Scheme, The Sandcreek Massacre, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, Youth Club for Rich Kids.

These acts join the previously announced BBC6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq, Fiction Records (The Maccabees, Tame Impala) signings Palace, and UK Hip Hop legend DJ Format. As well as Artrocker DJs, Bear & The Woods, Bloodflower, Cubed DJs, Hart and The Amazons.

Festival Volunteers Required!

Posted 11th Jan 2016

Cultural Contribution nomination and more money raised!

Posted 20th Jul 2015

We have two bits of news for you. The first piece being AYL co-organiser Dave Maul has been nominated for the Pride of Reading Award for Cultural Contribution. You can read the full article here.

Secondly, our AYL Summer All Dayer at the Oakford (Sat 18th) raised a staggering £842.07 for Reading Mencap. Thank you for your kind donations!  

** DRUM ROLL ** We can now announce our AYL Festival total for Reading Mencap!

Posted 18th Jul 2015

We won an award!!

Posted 1st Jun 2015

We are thrilled and proud to announce we've won the Alt Reading Award for Event of the year. You can watch our award video here.

Advance Ticket Holders Collection Point

Posted 14th Apr 2015


A quick note to say ALL advance ticket holders will be emailed where to exchange their tickets for wristbands (once they go off sale) but since some of you have been asking, you'll need to go to The Bowery District, 100-117 Friar Street, RG1 1EP on Saturday (18th) from 12 pm.

We will have acoustic performers on our AYL bus from around 10:30 am and the festival bands begin at 2 pm.

AYL Team

FULL Festival line up & stage times revealed!

Posted 7th Apr 2015

We know the first day back from a long weekend off can be a bit of a downer, so we thought we'd share some good news with you.

We are now able to reveal our full line up and you can begin to start planning your day as our stage times are now up! :)


Award Nomination and Voting!

Posted 27th Mar 2015


We are pleased to discover we were nominated for 'Event of the Year' by the Alt Reading Awards and you can now vote for us here. Voting closes on Sun 4th April.


2ND LINE UP ANNOUNCED! 70 Acts with more TBA

Posted 21st Mar 2015


Headliner and first acts announced for 2015

Posted 11th Feb 2015

Click the poster for a shareable version. Click here for a great big high qulaity printable version


Posted 20th Dec 2014


Posted 19th Dec 2014

We've been nominated for an award!!

Posted 14th Jun 2014

Yes, it's true. Thank you to those who nominated us for the Pride of Reading - Cultural Contribution Award. It means a lot!

Click here to read an interview we did with the local paper regarding our nomination.

We have an app

Posted 26th Apr 2014

Find out more about our AYL Pocket companion app for iPhone and iPad by clicking here.

Or go straight to the app store 

A wonderful new poster

Posted 19th Apr 2014

Only a week to go, increase your excitement by feasting your eyes on our lovely new poster.

Click here or on the poster for a high res copy.


Posted 18th Apr 2014

Click here to skip to them.

16 new acts announced!

Posted 11th Apr 2014


Posted 7th Apr 2014


It's that time of year again when we being to recruit people to be volunteers for the festival.


Available to be in Reading, Berkshire on SATURDAY 26TH APRIL.
Over 18+
A music lover and enjoy meeting people

Well if you're saying YES to these, please email Chuck at with the subject headline VOLUNTEER.

We will then get back to you with more info. 

Please spread the word!

Thanks. x

21 More Acts Announced

Posted 4th Apr 2014

Click here or on the poster for a high res copy to share around.

Another 17 acts announced

Posted 24th Mar 2014

Click here or on poster for high res version

First 20 acts announced

Posted 5th Mar 2014

 We're really pleased to be able to start announcing the acts for this years festival. Further details and streaming tracks for each of the acts can be foundin the acts menu at the top of the page, or by clicking the act's name on the day planner.

Here's the flyer to go with this news, feel free to share it around and help us spread the word.

First 20 Bands FlyerClick Here for a high res copy of this flyer

The results of AYL 2013

Posted 1st Jan 2014

Last year the festival raised just over £8,000 for Reading MENCAP which smashed our original target of £3,000!!

We were blown away and humbled by how many of you attended the Festival on the day plus the feedback we received during and after the event

We’d like to thank the following…

Reading Mencap, DIY Mag, Linda Serck and the whole of BBC Berkshire, Reading Post, Reading Chronicle, Reading 4 U Radio, Rob at, We Got Tickets, all the venues, bands, Djs, sound guys involved, our amazing team of stage managers and volunteers plus everyone who attended and donated their money!
Finally, special thanks to Jon Cox, Rory Bayliss, Paul Furnell and Phil Rennie for playing important roles in helping us (Dave Maul and Shane Daunt) make the Festival such a success.

We’ll leave you with some loving quotes about the Festival…

"Value for money, raising cash for charity, highly enjoyable, with a relaxed unpretentious friendly atmosphere and some great music; Are You Listening? is a welcome new addition to the festival calendar." 
Breaking more Waves

"It was pretty clear from the outset that the first ever Are You Listening? festival in Reading was a resounding success... the festival was superbly organised, and we all left with massive smiles on our faces." 
Linda SerckReading Post

"The best atmosphere I’ve seen at a gig in Reading for years." 
Mr Fogg

"I felt a buzz in Reading which I don't feel has been there on that scale for quite some time." 
Pete WheelerReading Chronicle

"AYL Festival was a amazing showcase of some of the best talent in and around Berkshire, not only was it superbly organised and executed it also raised a phenomenal amount of money for an extremely deserving cause, Reading Mencap. Do it again please guys!" 
Tim Hooper, Milk Bar

ayl partner mencap
ayl partner dork
ayl partner girls against
ayl partner slacker

© Copyright Are You Listening? Festival and respective venues and acts.