The year is 2016, I’m in a tent and some cheap harem pants that I haggled down to 3 quid. Dripping with sweat eagerly awaiting the next couple days of brilliant music. This is the experience I want everyone to share from Leeds/Reading festival. However, the recent announcement of the 2018 lineup has left me feeling a little cold and annoyed at the planners as they for another year seemingly fail to plan a cohesive musical experience.
Not that it’s all bad scouring the lineup to find the gems there are some brilliant acts playing: Kendrick Lamar, Brockhampton, Kate Nash, Wolf Alice, Pendulum, HMLTD, and a whole shed load emo and pop-punk artists bursting out the seams. These artists are diverse (aside from the surprising lack of female artists on the main stage) and if your music taste is varied you may even end up enjoying this lineup.
The problem in this diversity there is a lot of choices that seem to be made to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I’d much prefer to see the artists on the bill that I like without the possibilities of them clashing. The three main camps the festival seems to be appealing to are indie rock/pop, pop-punk/emo, and hip-hop/grime. These genres don’t tend to have that many crossovers with fans. Spreading itself this thin is a detriment to the experience. Why would anyone want to spend £200 on four or five bands they like?
Every year there are seemingly more and more festivals with brilliant lineups that follow a theme or similar genres. End of the Road last year was an absolute treat and had multiple art installations. Primavera Sound in Spain is the same price, with a more rounded lineup, and it’s in Spain!
Every year Reading/Leeds seems to be less about the music and more about the festival experience. Maybe I’m a stick in the mud and growing too old, but I can’t be alone in wanting the festival I loved to stop turning into a pit where 16-year-old kids go just to get drunk. I’d hate to see the first festival I ever loved become something I hate.
Photo Credit: ticketarena.co.uk
Camille Saint Seana