READING AND LEEDS. What a disaster. I say that in the most selfish way, but I am sure I speak for masses when I say it was massively underwhelming. I wrote a post similar to this last year – however I defended the festival and said it was: “Unfairly slagged off.”
Having been to the festival on several occasions, I know that it isn’t just about the headliners or even the acts for that matter. Reading and Leeds is about you and your mates sitting in a field getting wasted and having an excellent time for five days. Is it really worth paying £230 to do it anymore, though? Absolutely not. I see it as the organisers trying to be too broad rather than focusing on a niche like yesteryear.
When the rumour mill started and Muse, Kasabian and Eminem were expected to be announced I instantly decided that if that was the case I’d be once again swerving the festival. Officially announced at 7:30am on Thursday morning were Muse. To reiterate, this is 100% an opinion piece and I know many Muse fans out there who class them as one of the best live bands in the world.
Yes, they have some absolute hits like Supermassive Blackhole and I can’t deny that their live setup looks insane, but there is something about them that I just don’t get. For the past few years, Reading and Leeds have nabbed the Glastonbury headliner from the year before: Arctic Monkeys 2014 (Glasto 2013) and Metallica 2015 (Glasto 2014) so it wasn’t really that surprising that Muse were announced. Is there a lack of ‘big’ live bands out there that they have to keep recycling acts? Even Biffy Clyro co-headlining this year just three years after headlining in their own right was questionable.
I have heard rumours (not sure on how fabricated they are) on Green Day playing in 2017. Biffy, Green Day and Eminem headlined in 2013 so to go back to either Green Day or Eminem is a massive statement on the lack of festival headliners out there. Foreign festivals don’t seem to have the problem of attracting the biggies, though. Poland’s Open’er has Foo Fighters and Radiohead announced already – two bands that could shift tickets by themselves.
From my Twitter feed a lot of people were disappointed by this announcement. It wasn’t just Muse, though. Major Lazer and Bastille being the next two ‘biggest’ acts on the bill speaks volumes about the strength of the line-up. While She Sleeps have yet again made it onto the poster for like the 402nd time in a row…surely people aren’t THAT into them that they have to keep coming back? Maybe I’m wrong, but I highly doubt it.
I said it is selfish for me to criticise, but Glass Animals were the only band that stood out for me and I am so, so gutted that the festival hasn’t drawn me in again this year. Maybe the organisers have something incredible in the pipe-line and I truly hope they do because as an overall festival, Reading and Leeds is one of the best you can experience.
Who will complete the headline slots? It won’t be Arcade Fire (Isle of Wight exclusive), Kings of Leon (BST exclusive) or Radiohead (playing Glasto). It could be Foo Fighters, Kasabian, Eminem or another wonderfully original co-headline job between You Me At Six, Gorillaz etc.
I hope that the rest of the line-up is incredible and includes the bands that I love personally. We shall see in the coming months…