Reading And Leeds boss Melvin Benn: 'Biffy Clyro are a great British band'

Reading and Leeds promoter says the Scottish group's headline set will be "the most special moment"

Reading And Leeds boss Melvin Benn: 'Biffy Clyro are a great British band'

Photo: Mike Burnell

Reading and Leeds promoter Melvin Benn has said that Biffy Clyro headlining the festivals this year is a statement of the event's desire to give young British bands the chance to "come forward".

Biffy Clyro will headline this year's event alongside Green Day and Eminem, marking the first time they have topped the bill at the festival. Speaking about what he expects to be the highlight of the bash, Benn told NME that he is looking forward to seeing a British act headline for their first time.

"The most special moment for me will be when Biffy take the stage as headliners at Reading and Leeds. They are one of the bands that cut their teeth at Reading and Leeds. They sharpened themselves in front of those audiences. They are a band who are at a point where they wanted to headline for a little while. They’ve been knocking on the door. They’re a great British band."

Quizzed on when he decided Biffy Clyro achieved headliner status, Benn adds: "It was probably about 18 months ago, I just listened to their albums and spoke with their manager and they would say, 'Oh, can they headline?' and I felt like the timing wasn’t right. But now it’s the right time. We had that conversation internally with the band and we all felt like it was the right time. I’d say that’s a real statement of our faith and desire to make sure that we get the opportunity for young British bands to come forward."

Benn also recently spoke about the festival's new 1Xtra Stage, which will feature hip-hop, rap and dance artists including Devlin, Wretch 32, Ms Dynamite, Angel Haze and Action Bronson. "I think they'll go down really well," he said. "There was a little bit of nervousness when I announced them, and I think that was a nervousness that somehow we're going to become a different festival. I never had that intention at all, but what was really clear to me was that there's an absolute passion for festivals and the big bands, but there's an increasing interest in non-guitar music."

Other names on the Reading and Leeds line-up include Nine Inch Nails, who will return to perform at the festival for the first time since 2007, plus Foals, Frank Turner, Deftones, and System Of A Down. The NME/Radio One stage will be headlined by Skrillex, Alt-J and Phoenix. Other acts playing include A$AP Rocky, Major Lazer, Jake Bugg, Tame Impala, Azealia Banks, Disclosure, Peace, Palma Violets, Fidlar and HAIM.

See NME.COM/festivals/reading-and-leeds, Readingfestival.com and Leedsfestival.com for more information about this summer's events.

It was recently announced that weekend tickets for Reading Festival have sold out. There are still a limited number of day tickets available for the Sunday as well as weekend tickets for Leeds. Click here to check the availability of Reading Festivals tickets and Leeds Festivals tickets.

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