So you may have all noticed that the Reading & Leeds lineup has been announced; if for some reason you’re part of the small minority who have just emerged from the rock you spent so very long under, I’ll keep it short and sweet: ‘Get a ticket!’ The announcements, read out earlier today on BBC Radio 1, show us just how far both festivals have come over the years and just how respected their dominance in the UK festival calendar is.
Taking a bold step and returning to their roots, they have decided to stick with what they know best and keep all three headliners under the category of – emphasise with the use two fingers to imply speech marks – “live bands”. Good old fashioned head-banging guitar riffs, chest-pounding drums and killer vocals, courtesy of arguably four of the most prominent frontmen in the business. If the raspy country tones of Marcus Mumford don’t leave you slapping your thigh ’til it bleeds whilst humming ‘I will wait, I will wait for you’ into the early hours of the morning, then I’m pretty sure the demanding chants of James Hetfield will leave you both mesmerised and sore-throated well into September. Oh, and let us not forget the modern legends that be, The Libertines; fronted by the original bromance Carl Barât and Pete Doherty, Sunday or Friday night (dependent on your north or south heritage) is set to be an unforgettable event. Trust me when I say, you’re in for an incredible weekend.
What really impresses me with how the lineup is crafted is the fact that your die-hard rock fans are beyond content with the headliners, leaving the experimental teens and intoxicated husbands with enough variety on the other stages to keep them satisfied. All you have to do is take a quick glance and you’ll run out of fingers to count the vast number of genres that appear across every stage. To have Deadmau5 perform a closing set not long after Tyler The Creator’s finished spitting his bars is unusual yet somewhat artistically understandable, however when you realise that Jamie T, Camo & Krooked and Frank Turner could also potentially clash, that’s when the festival’s status hits you. Since 1961, it’s taken over 50 years to nurture and grow a festival to this stature. New Found Glory, arguably a main stage act for sure, feature as fourth stage headliners; there is just so much talent on one poster it’s almost hard to believe Reading & Leeds can afford the main stage acts. Yet, this is what makes the two festival’s so great – no other festival can compare with the variety, the talent and the originality.