Reverend and Blur producer kick off Reading Festival with debate

Steve Lamacq and NME join Instigate Debate on the Alternative Stage

Reverend And The Makers’ John McClure, producer of Blur and The Smiths Stephen Street and radio DJ Steve Lamacq kicked off the Reading Festival this afternoon (August 28) with a debate.

The trio joined a panel which also included NME.COM competition winner Nadia Khomami and NME News Editor Paul Stokes for Instigate Debate‘s event on the Alternative Stage.

Following a short acoustic set from BabyshamblesDrew McConnell, the panel and members of the audience discussed ‘the future of independent music in the 21st century’.

With questions coming from the crowd in the tent, the commercialisation of music, fans’ relationships with bands, illegal downloading and the future of the music press and radio were all discussed.

During a show of hands, most of the crowd in the tent admitted to downloading music illegally, with McClure noting, “It’s not surprising, if you had choice between a free bag of chips and one that costs £1.50, which would you choose?”

Instigate Debate will now take place at Leeds Festival at noon on Sunday (August 30) with a different panel.

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.