As is now traditional, the organiser of the festival must have his post-fest interview to declare how well everything went. Melvin Benn has, thus, proclaimed Reading-Leeds good.
And, given the way Leeds used to always end in a pitched battle and burning trash, the organisers probably do deserve credit for having turned things around. Nowadays, it's just the bands who are causing trouble:
Last night at the Leeds Festival Axl Rose slammed the festival organisers, saying "This war ain't over". Benn had cut the band's sound at Reading to prevent them from breaking the noise curfew.It's not entirely clear how Axl intends to pursue his "war"; or, indeed, if he'll even remember he's at war this morning. Shouldn't he really be at war with the licensing authorities rather than the festival anyway?
Benn played down the feud, saying: "I'd definitely book them again but I don't know if they'd come and play. I doubt I'll be getting a Christmas card from them. It's not personal, I think the band are great. Why would I make it personal?"
Benn was pleased with how professional the Libertines were:
"Anyone coming into this festival that just read press would have thought thought The Libertines were going to be the issue but they were professionals," he said.I suspect "professional" is the key word here; watching on TV the set came across as very highly-polished, like something a Libertines tribute band might do. In the reuniting, they lost something of their soul. The Likely Lads have become Mike And Bernie Winters.
He added: "They were just fantastic. It was the real deal and they made the effort. Whether it's got legs for the future I don't know. What they have done is knock their heads together and gone, 'Let's put great shows on'. They may all walk away from each other again, if they do I expect they'll walk away very happy because they've really hung out again.