Now James Arthur has accused Reading & Leeds Festival of “snobbery”

"I came from being in rock bands and a frontman in being in rock bands so my dream is to get on those stages"

James Arthur has accused another festival of “snobbery”, this time hitting out at Reading & Festival for not booking him.

Earlier this summer, the singer-songwriter and past X-Factor winner made headlines when he called Glastonbury festival bookers “snobs” for not asking him to perform.

Now, he’s accused Reading & Leeds of seeing his reality show past as reason to not take him seriously as an artist.


“I came from being in rock bands and a frontman in being in rock bands so my dream is to get on those stages at Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury,” he said on ITV’s Lorraine.  “I don’t know if I’ll ever get that chance and I’ve got to come to terms with that. I don’t think it is because of my music – it lends itself to those things.

He added: “Unfortunately, there’s a touch of snobbery. Maybe I have got to get another No.1 album.”

The crowd at Reading Festival

Arthur added that perhaps some of the more controversial moments from his past (such as being accused of homophobia for lyrics used in a diss track) may also dog him and prevent him from landing such slots.

“I got bogged down in never being considered as good as some other people for a long time. Perhaps being judged on where I came from or my mistakes from the past,” Arthur continued.

“I care less about what people think now I’m over 30 and you live life for yourself. In the past, I was looking for validation outside of myself in an unhealthy way for a long time.”


Back in May, Arthur spoke of how he would “love to be considered credible enough to perform” at such events, especially following his repeated arena tours and his two albums two date charting at Number 1 and Number 2.

“I think I was made to perform at Glastonbury and these big festivals,” said Arthur. “I’m a musician. I’ve worked very hard, it’s been seven years since the X-Factor. It’s amazing I’ve managed to sustain a career.

“It’s amazing what the likes of myself, Olly Murs, Little Mix, what we’ve been able to do to be considered viable enough – to come from a show like that and still be relevant because there is a little bit of snobbery attached to being from a reality TV show.”

He added: “And maybe we get overlooked for things like that. For me, it sucks because I believe I’m made for those kind of [festivals].”