Arctic Monkeys defy cancellation rumours to headline Reading Festival

Sheffield band close second night of this year's event

Arctic Monkeys headlined the Reading Festival tonight (August 29), despite mischievous rumours spreading around site that they were going to pull their performance.

Unknown to the band, a festival-goer spread the suggestion earlier in the day that the Sheffield group would not follow up last night’s Leeds Festival performance, but at no stage were they given any official confirmation of a possible cancellation by organisers.

Proving it was just a rumour, the band took to the Main Stage promptly in front of a massive crowd, playing a set that blended songs from new album ‘Humbug’ with older material.


Kicking off with ‘Humbug’ opener ‘My Propeller’, the band battled low sound levels that had dogged the stage all day. However, they played on undeterred, launching into former UK Number One single ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’.

Following ‘Pretty Visitors’ and ‘This House Is A Circus’, 2006 UK chart-topper ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ in particular proved a hit with the crowd.

“We’re going to take things down for a bit, Reading,” frontman Alex Turner informed the audience, ahead of a trilogy of ‘Cornerstone’, ‘Only Ones Who Know’ and ‘Do Me A Favour’. “Are you excited?”

Ending their main set with ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’, the band returned to the stage to wrap things up with ‘Secret Door’ and ‘505’.

“Thank you very much for having us, Reading, enjoy the rest of your festival,” Turner told the crowd. “You’re an exceptional bunch!”

Arctic Monkeys played:


‘My Propeller’
‘Red Right Hand’
‘Crying Lightning’
‘Still Take You Home’
‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
‘Potion Approaching’
‘Pretty Visitors’
‘This House Is A Circus’
‘If You Were There, Beware’
‘When The Sun Goes Down’
‘Dangerous Animals’
‘The View From The Afternoon’
‘Only Ones Who Know’
‘Do Me A Favour’
‘Fluorescent Adolescent’
‘Secret Door’

NME.COM will be coming live from both the Reading And Leeds Festivals sites this weekend (August 28-30). Stay tuned to NME.COM/festivals for news reports, blogs, video interviews and photos from the event.

Get next Wednesday’s (September 2) issue of NME for the ultimate Reading And Leeds Festivals review.

Plus have your say on this summer – fill in the annual NME Festival survey now to cast your verdict on 2009, and tell festival chiefs who you want to see next year.

Watch Arctic Monkeys’ performance of ‘Crying Lightning’ live on the main stage at Reading Festival below:

Video courtesy of