Brendon Urie speaks out on the 'diversity' of the line-up
Urie and co will share the top of the bill this weekend ahead of the hip-hop icon. Speaking to Kerrang!, the frontman said there was “no greater honour”.
“I’m such a huge Kendrick Lamar fan, and I have so much respect for the guy,” said Urie. “I can’t wait to see him – I’ve never had the chance to see him live before, and I know that it’s going to blow my mind! I’m not all about pressing too hard, but if [a collaboration] happens then it happens.”
He continued: “That’s very much how it’s been on this tour: it’s been really organic, and no-one has had to push anybody to do anything that they haven’t wanted to. But I would throw the idea [to get Kendrick onstage during Panic!’s set] out, for sure! I’m such a big fan that I feel like I’m honoured to even just watch him.”
When it was first announced, the R+L drew heavy criticism for what some fans called “the worst line-up of all time“. However, Urie has praised the diversity of the bill.
“I think it’s cool to have a line-up that’s so eclectic,” he continued. “There are so many diverse acts going into it, and there’s something very exciting about that. There’s no rules, and it doesn’t just have to be rock artists, or one genre; it can be all of these artists compiled together to create something really different and really fun. I love it!”
Defending the line-up earlier this year, Festival Republic Boss Melvin Benn said: “You can’t keep drumming up the same acts and expect people to continue to come and see them. Festivals have to be a reflection of what the public are listening to.”
NME’s El Hunt agreed, writing this week: “In these dark and difficult political times, it’s more important than ever to listen to the new guard of voices making incisive and vital art about racial inequality in America, lack of education around consent, gun crime, digital disconnection, homophobia, hatred.
“Roll your eyes and make disparaging comments about the scandalous and “disgusting” inclusion of dance and rap at your sacred rock festival, sure, but you’re the one being left behind. Dive in and give some new music a chance.”
Reading & Leeds Festival 2018 is set to kick off tomorrow for early-campers, welcoming headlining sets from the likes of Fall Out Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Panic! At The Disco and Kings of Leon. Check out the full weather forecast for the weekend here.
Check back at NME for the latest news, reviews, interviews and more from Reading & Leeds 2018.