As we move into March we can expect to see the line-ups for this years big festivals taking shape and so it was this week as Reading & Leeds announced the Lions share of their headline acts.
In my view this years acts are a little bit of a departure for the twin festivals, if you don’t know the format for Reading and Leeds the two festivals share the acts who rotate across the two sites over the three days of the festivals.
It looks to me that the line-up this year is a little more adventurous than in recent years, certainly in terms of the main headliners. I will talk about reading as this is the festival I will be attending. Friday night see the appearance of Mumford and Sons as the main stage headliners. To be fair this announcement did not exactly meet with universal approval with fans of the festival as the Mumford’s probably inherit a folk-rock musical space that will be unfamiliar to many of the mostly teenage crowd who attend the festival.
As someone who can normally be found around the smaller stages at the larger festivals, the Friday line-up on the Reading main stage Pop Punk bands All Time Low, Neck Deep and Panic! At the Disco backed by Indie rockers Bastille and folk rockers Mumford and Sons and an as yet unannounced 2nd billed headliner adds up to what I consider a pretty fine nights entertainment. Mind you Limp Bizkit also play the Radio1/NME stage on friday so there may be a difficult choice to make at some point.
If Friday on the main stage is all about punk then Saturday is about rock and metal. Two bands, Marmosets and Royal Blood who played smaller stages last year at Reading get the chance to step up to the main stage. Pierce the Veil and Bring Me The Horizon play the main stage leading to Saturday headliners, metal monsters, Metallica who play the festival for the fourth time. With the likes of Slaves, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Wolf Alice on other stages Saturday may well involve a fair bit of dashing between stages.
Sunday sees the return of Pete Doherty’s Libertines to Reading and in a headline slot for the first time. Libertine’s are a risky choice as the main stage headliners, they have a new album in the works and could prove to be an inspirational and masterful choice to close the festival. That is of course dependent on Doherty keeping on top of his addiction problems. Recent reports have claimed that Doherty has been in rehab once again. lets hope he can stay clean and blow us away with an incredible performance.
At last years festival I enjoyed the bands on the Festival republic and ‘Pit’ stages more than I did the main stage bands so I very much look forward to seeing what I discover there this year and of course it is always great to sit in front of the radio1 introducing stage on a sunny afternoon to see which breaking acts you are going to be keeping an eye on as time goes on.
With the likes of Frank Turner, Azalia Banks and Ash popping up on the smaller stages over the weekend there are always lots of choices to be made, but thankfully Reading is a fairly well laid out arena and the walks are not too arduous.
This years Reading and Leeds looks to be another great one for music fans. It should prove to be a blast.
[Feature Image Soren Starbird]