Reading-Leeds Shines Through
Fans at Reading and Leeds Festivals in England got just enough rain to remember they were at a British festival but not enough to ruin the good time Aug. 26-28.
Fans put on the Wellies and the UK’s Environment Agency lowered the Thames River by about 6 inches to help ease any flooding concerns and everything was right as the inevitable rain shower, with headliners Muse, My Chemical Romance, Pulp and The Strokes bringing the mainstage entertainment.
Highlights included Brian May joining My Chemical Romance on stage, with singer Gerard Way explaining to NME that they shared the experience of being “bottled” by fans – Queen in Paris before the band blew up and MCR at Reading in 2006, when they were booed off the stage and pelted with plastic bottles and cans.
The newly constructed, 20,000-capacity NME/Radio 1 stage had headliners including Beady Eye, Panic at the Disco and White Lies.
Meanwhile, the Festival Republic Stage acted as a showcase for upcoming talent (and Pete Doherty), with The Guardian’s reviewer being most taken with the operatic stylings of Anna Calvi and Texas punk fusion of White Denim.
Jane’s Addiction pulled out at the last minute, with the band releasing a statement that singer Perry Farrell couldn’t perform “due to the severe swollen condition of his throat.”
The statement said that although Farrell had been treated earlier that day by top London physicians, he was “completely unable to produce any sound vocally” and his condition would be day-to-day. By Sunday, Farrell wasn’t doing any better and the band was forced to cancel its performance at Bramham Park in Leeds.
This year’s capacity was raised to 87,000 at Reading and 75,000 at Leeds.
Festival producer Festival Republic announced Reading sold out in July but tickets seemed to be available online from authorized sellers the day before the festival.
With tickets for previous years often selling out in hours rather than months, many believed this to be a warning that the UK festival market is saturated and possibly due for a downturn.
Others blamed the lineup, which had many heavyweights but might not have included an act that could draw a stadium-sized crowd on its own.
Other acts at one of the UK’s premier festival weekends included 30 Seconds To Mars, Deftones, Foster The People, 2manydjs and many more.