Reading and Leeds boss says he is not worried about future headliners

By Sinead Garvan
Newsbeat music reporter at Leeds festival

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The man behind Reading and Leeds festival, Melvin Benn, says he is not worried about who his future headliners are.

He told Newsbeat: "They are knocking on the door all the time.

"There is never a lack of bands wanting to get up there."

The festival organiser says he doesn't understand when people say there are no decent UK bands coming through to headline major festivals.

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This weekend at Reading and Leeds festival, Foals and Disclosure played their first major UK festival headline slots.

"I have been a fan of Foals from day one, I adore them and I think they have got an incredibly unique sound and they have passion," Melvin said.

Melvin Benn runs Festival Republic which puts on various festivals across the UK and other parts of the world.

Latitude is one of them and is where a number of UK acts got their first headline slot, Foals, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club being some of them.

Foals frontman Yannis Phillipakis told Newsbeat, without being given that opportunity, they wouldn't have become a main stage headliner band.

Melvin said: "I was talking to them as they came off stage. They said, they had just had this moment, that they just couldn't comprehend.

"And then said 'Thank you for giving us this slot', and I said 'I didn't give you this slot, you guys earned it'."

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image captionMelvin Benn predicts The 1975 could headline one day

Melvin predicts The 1975 could headline one day.

So why is Reading and Leeds the festival that is pushing live music forward?

"It's not about other festivals," Melvin says.

"It's about what we believe in terms of music and there isn't a band across the top (of this year's billing) that I don't believe in."

And while he is wandering around the site making sure everything is going as planned, he's got his eye out for his next headliner.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAfter Twenty One Pilots' set at Reading and Leeds festival, Melvin Benn thinks they could headline the main stage one day

"Twenty One Pilots on the Radio 1 stage were incredible," he says.

"They are going to headline one day, not next year but at some point.

"Chvrches are another act that could with just three of them on that stage, they command that stage.

"Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975 - I don't have a qualm about where the next headliners are because they are all there."

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