Yep, it’s already that time of year. It may have come early, but festival announcements are back. It’s the first step in a long process for each of the summer institutions, with initial tickets going on sale, then the slow, steady reveals of big-name bands to get punters in, before the event itself, which’ll be a mixture of fun, sun and mud-guaranteed mud! As this year, I’m hoping to head for Reading & Leeds in Summer 2013 again, arguably the second-biggest festival in the country, of course only beaten by the gigantic Glastonbury which returns after a rest year in a what has been a mammoth 2012 for the UK.
Anyway, back to Reading & Leeds, and rumours have been swirling ever since the end of 2012’s triumphant weekender. I’ve heard, the Prodigy, Blur, the Arctic Monkeys, Black Sabbath, Pearl Jam, everything under the sun. However, none of the main stage headliners were even announced this Thursday lunchtime, to the disappointment of many, myself included. We got a couple of extra details surrounding the discussed ‘extra stages’. These were named as the ‘Radio 1 Dance Stage’ and the ‘1Xtra Stage’, supposedly incorporating more dance and hip-hop music into the festival.
Details were scarce, but Sub Focus was revealed to be headlining the aforementioned Dance Stage, a smart move in my eyes, as I know of him and his work would go down a treat at a festival, although you do wonder if he can sneak a few cameos into that set. Then over on the 1Xtra Stage, are Roll Deep, Skepta and Wiley, showing that R&L are clearly catering for a whole new range of potential festival-goers, and if they truly can give it a go, then I say why not. It’s highly unlikely, unless we get a Jay-Z/Kanye West, that I’ll be making a trip to the stage, but they have to start somewhere!
Then it was announced that Deftones would feature, not when or where, but they are going to present for the August Bank Holiday. This non-plussed me, as I’d heard of, but never listened to them previously (I’m now correcting that though!). And the last detail saw Mercury Prize winners alt-J promoted from the Festival Republic Tent last year, all the way up to headliners on the NME/Radio 1 Stage. Now I’m not sure if this is slightly premature, after just the one album will they be ready for such feats?
All in all, a good start for the festival, but many more improvements and eye-catching announcements needed for me to truly appreciate it.