The brains behind Reading and Leeds 2010 have been keeping their powder dry but it’s fair to say they’ve pulled off something of a coup by pairing Guns N Roses with Blink 182 as two of this summer’s headline acts.
Whether Arcade Fire deserve their own top billing is open to debate – yes, we know they’re one of the best bands to emerge from North America for some time but do they really warrant a headline slot on the back of a couple of breakthrough discs?
Of course there will be those who are asking the same of Axl and his hired hands. They hardly pulled up any trees the last time they hit Leeds with the mysterious frontman’s famously lax timekeeping denying large swathes of the crowd the chance to see the bulk of a pretty tame set. Then again this is Axl Rose. And he’s a star. Elsewhere on the three-day bill there’s plenty to satisfy those rock fans who aren’t going to get their fill from Download, Sonisphere and High Voltage this summer. The Gaslight Anthem, Queens Of The Stone Age, Paramore, Biffy Clyro and Lostprophets guarantee a kickass edge to a festival chock full of average indie bands.
And with the likes of Pendulum, You Me At Six, All Time Low and Enter Shikari confirmed for the August Bank Holiday weekend fest we’ve got to take our hats off to an event which was in real danger of losing its reputation for showcasing top rock stars.
Leeds and Reading are no Download and we doubt they really want to be. But getting the Gunners to headline their festival deserves respect – even if Axl still needs to earn it.