Reading Festival 2018 credit Sarah Koury
The News

Reading & Leeds 2021 To Have Two Main Stages And Six Headliners

Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn teases what’s to come from the festival next year…

While we’re absolutely gutted to not be watching Rage Against The Machine in a field at Reading & Leeds 2020 (though the BBC iPlayer coverage is certainly helping ease the pain right now), festival boss Melvin Benn has unveiled some massive plans to get excited about for next year’s event.

Though he hasn’t indicated who will be playing the August bash yet, it’s clear that many big names are going to be involved, as Melvin says six acts – of an equal level” – will be headlining.

COVID has given us a year off, so the innovation for next year is testing – everybody will be tested,” he tells NME of Reading & Leeds 2021. We’re also going to reproduce the main stage twice. What was the second stage is going to be elevated to an equal stage with the same presentation. What that really allows us to do is book six acts that are headliners.”

Read this: The 11 greatest Reading Festival headline sets ever

He continues: When we first took over Reading Festival in 1989, the idea that there would even be two stages of acts playing at the same time was innovative. People were like, Two bands playing at once? You can’t do that, Melvin.’ We were like, Yeah we can, just watch.’ Now festivals have hundreds of stages at once.” 

The music industry titan also reveals that he was very clear and determined” to not just transfer Reading & Leeds 2020’s line-up across to next year. 

The idea that the 2020 line-up would work perfectly well for 2021? No, it’s not happening – not for Reading & Leeds,” he confirms. We just wiped the slate clean and started again. There will be one headliner that will repeat, but that’s the only one. Someone asked if we should just book the same thing, but we’ve never done that so why would we start now? We’d be a year out of date.”

Ooooh! Stay tuned for more Reading & Leeds 2021 news coming soon…

Posted on August 28th 2020, 1:54p.m.
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