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Reading Festival 2009 and Leeds Festival 2009

The Reading and Leeds Festivals have become major attractions throughout the Summer season for music fans of all types of music. Both events share the same bill, and are spread over three days during the August Bank Holiday weekend. Some of the biggest acts in the world perform at the festivals and this year sees Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead headline the event.

Between the years of 1998 and 2007, the events were referred to as the Carling Weekend, before losing Carling as sponsors. The festivals have continued the format of having several stages, each catering for different musical tastes, however, the stages also allow some of the less well-known artists and unsigned bands to make their festival debuts. The NME/Radio One stage introduces new acts, and invariably, it is one of the newer bands who headline on this stage. Other less well-known bands appear on the Festival stage. The Lock Up stage is becoming increasingly popular as a venue for punk and hardcore acts. Such is the popularity of this genre that the stage now takes up two days, instead of the original one. There is a hugely popular dance tent and even an alternative tent where it is possible to see cabaret and comedy acts, as well as DJs.

The Reading Festival is acknowledged as one of the oldest festivals in the world. It originated as the National Jazz Festival before taking inspiration from some of the larger American festivals. Following several venue changes, it eventually moved to Reading in 1971. Historically, in the main arenas, metal, rock, indie, punk and alternative have been the dominant attractions. The early years saw a mainly progressive rock dominance, however, some of the major acts of the punk era, The Jam and the Ramones played.

In 1984 and 1985, the local council refused to grant a license, and this gap in the music event calendar enabled the smaller event at Glastonbury to prosper. This has been built up over the years until today Glastonbury is one of the major music events. However, Reading also continued its popularity and in 2006 the tickets for the festival were sold out in less than two hours.

Reading Festival Line Up

The line up for this year's festivals is a mix of newer bands, such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend and also bands who have achieved near legendary status, such as the Prodigy and Radiohead. Friday's Reading Festival sees the Kings of Leon headline, ably supported by the Kaiser Chiefs and Placebo. Saturday's headliners are Arctic Monkeys supported by the Prodigy and Maximo Park and the weekend is completed by Radiohead, with Bloc Party the main support.

Festival Tickets Still Available

The Reading Festival increased its capacity to 80,000 and the Leeds Festival to 70,000. The Reading site is on Little John's Farm in central Reading and the Leeds site is actually at Bramham Park in Wetherby. Full weekend or day tickets are made available. Demand for tickets has been as high as ever this year and both festival sites are now sold out. Sold out tickets are still available from Free Music UK in conjunction with their partners Viagogo by clicking on the banners above or to the right of this text.

Free Music UK

Visit Free Music UK regularly for the latest free music news and links to free music, free downloads, free songs and free music videos. We also offer concert tickets for sold out gigs and festivals across the UK and Europe. Please use our Feedback form to report any broken links so we can reinstate them as quickly as possible.

© June 2009

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