As always, the UK seems like the place to be this summer with many festivals offering great line ups. I shall start with local Leeds (and Reading) Fest. The festival is known for its rock and indie acts and never fails to disappoint. Last year’s headliners included the likes of Foo Fighters, the return of 1970’s The Cure and finally, Kasabian. However, 2013 has given us the biggest shock since Jay-Z headlined Glastonbury in 2008. Eminem is headlining. Yes, it’s controversial, but it could work. Okay, so maybe it won’t, especially with confirmed acts such as alternative metal band Deftones , Scottish Biffy Clyro and alternative/indie Mercury Prize winners Alt J also taking to the stage. However, many people have dubbed the Slim Shady Singer as ‘an icon of modern culture’ and ‘the most successful rapper in history’ but I still can’t quite see him as the missing piece of the Leeds/Reading Fest puzzle.
Now for V Fest, at a glance the festival has some huge acts: Kings of Leon, The Vaccines and Two Door Cinema Club! Then you dig a little deeper and under the surface comes the realization that the two day festival is just as mix-matched as my brother’s sock drawer. So let’s get the negatives out of the way. Wikipedia (the most reliable of all sources) claims V Fest is ‘predominately a rock festival’; I’m sorry Wikipedia but that is where you’re wrong. Yeah, Kings of Leon are headlining (again) but that’s about as rock as you’re going to get. It seems that over the years the mixed-genre festival has also become a home for pop acts (and their ‘hip’ fans), especially with sassy Beyonce sharing the headline spot joined by other chart-hogging artists such as Jessie J, Emeli Sande and Little Mix.
Now for Download, three WHOLE days of rock. I personally couldn’t think of anything better than Download but I guess it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Last year was the 10th birthday for the home of rock and it’s line up was far from disappointing with big acts such as Biffy Clyro, Metallica, You Me at Six and local band Marmozets. Download 2013 is featuring over 100 acts on five different stages including confirmed headliners, Iron Maiden, Slipnot and Rammstein. Other acts also confirmed include well known Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Gaslight Anthem, Bullet For my Valentine and Enter Shikiari, who have all sealed the approval of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stevens over the years.
This last one is a strange, yet brilliant combination of pop and indie. Well, it must be working well as T in the Park is coming up to its 20th birthday this year and is certainly out doing itself with its celebrations. So far acts such as Mumford and Sons and Two Door Cinema Club, The Killers and Rihanna have been confirmed. Not forgetting amazing new artists such as Mercury Prize winners Alt J, Nottingham born Jake Bugg and acoustic Of Monsters and Men. There’s only one down side, it’s in Scotland. Why is it so far away?!