Axl Throws Reading Fit

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose stole a share of the headlines by finishing the act’s bill-topping performance at Reading Festival with an expletive-ridden tirade against the police and festival organisers.

“We come here to play for you but the cops and the promoters wanna fuck us in the ass,” he told the 87,000-capacity crowd, claiming that whatever was bothering him was reason enough to cut short the show.

“We would like to play a few more songs for you but we’ll just play one,” he said. “Be safe, goodnight and to all the cops and promoters – fuck you. This war isn’t over,” he added, as the band left the stage.

Reading organiser and Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn wouldn’t shed any light on what was troubling Rose.

“It’s a story about one act and there was far more to the festivals than just one act,” he told Pollstar, pleased that Reading and its 70,000-capacity twin in Leeds both sold out.

Rose’s problem appears to have stemmed from a day earlier when the band headlined the Leeds Festival gathering. The act reportedly took to the stage an hour late and found the curfew prohibited it from playing an encore.

When Rose returned to the stage play the encore, he found the power had been switched off. After singing through a microphone in futile protest, he was ushered off by security.

The second part of The Libertines’ hotly anticipated return to the stage was interrupted when Reading Festival organisers pulled the plug because they feared a crowd crush.

The event appears to have been taking a precautionary measure as there have been no reports of anyone being even slightly injured.

“If anyone goes down, don’t go standing on anyone’s head or anything. Look after each other,” said frontman Pete Doherty, when – after a few minutes break – the act returned to complete its hour-long set. NME reported a similar thing happening a day earlier when the band played the Leeds leg.

Benn confirmed the stoppage was precautionary and said that nobody was hurt. He said both festivals were injury-free.

The Reading event looked fortunate to go ahead as heavy rain turned the site into a mudbath. The local water authority drained a 250,000 gallons from the River Thames, which borders the site, in case continued rain caused it to overflow.

The other 200 or so acts trying to run to schedule at Reading and Leeds Aug. 27-29 included Arcade Fire, Blink-182, Queens Of The Stone Age, Paramore and The Gaslight Anthem.