Four-Day Party People

With more than 20,000 fans at each site a day before the music began, the occasional tropical storm didn’t stop sold-out crowds at the twinned Reading and Leeds Festivals from enjoying what’s become a four-day party.

The 80,000 Reading tickets and 70,000 Leeds tickets were all snapped up as soon as they went on sale.

Having brought in security measures to calm the northern festival’s erstwhile over-exuberant fans, who once made a habit of setting light to the Leeds campsite or at least a beer wagon, Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn was pleased to report all of his company’s 2009 outdoors have been sellout successes.

Apart from Reading and Leeds, they include the U.K.’s Latitude Festival, Norway’s Hove Festival – which Festival Republic bought from the official receiver – and Ireland’s Electric Picnic Sept. 4-6, another event where the company’s financial input helped the former owner and now minority shareholder through a difficult cashflow situation.

The acts helping Benn and Festival Republic to a summer to celebrate in Reading and Leeds Aug. 28-30 included Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Kaiser Chiefs, The Prodigy, Bloc Party, Placebo, Maximo Park, The Gaslight Anthem and White Lies.