Reading and Leeds festival boss hints at future headline acts

Here’s who could be on the main stage in a few years

Melvin Benn, the head of Reading and Leeds festival, has revealed which acts he would like to see headline in the future.

Speaking to NME, Benn gave a few suggestions of up-and-coming artists he could envision topping the bill in later years.

“I suspect Chvrches will get there at some point. I’ll be surprised if they don’t,” he said, adding, “[Singer Lauren Mayberry] is amazing – she just commands the stage.”


Benn also suggested that Mercury Award-winners Young Father could make the jump to the main stage one day.

“I will be devastated if Young Fathers don’t get there at some point. I don’t want to put pressure on any band but they, I think, are incredible – one of the most exciting bands in terms of energy and presentation that I’ve seen for years and years,” he said.

“One of the great things about them is that there wasn’t a mould that they came from. If they can maintain the energy that they’ve got and keep writing the songs and have the balls and chin to stick out like they have, they’ve got it for me.”

Benn, who is managing director of promoters Festival Republic, said he would like to see a grime act headline Reading and Leeds in the future.

“ I think Boy Better Known [BBK] or Stormzy are acts that are going to go through – and I have huge joy and pride in the fact that Reading is a place for them,” he said.

Benn also defended the gender disparity of Leeds and Reading’s line-up, arguing that the fault lies in the industry at large rather than booking policy.


This year’s headliners are Foals, Disclosure, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Biffy Clyro and Fall Out Boy.