Monday, June 19, 2006


Despite last year's event ending under something of a cloud, Clear Channel has persuaded Reading Council to expand this year's Reading Festival capacity to 80,000:

Mean Fiddler boss Melvyn Benn, who organises the event, said it needed to grow to stay ahead of the competition.

He said: "I need 15,000 [extra] in order to be staying in the marketplace.

"Other events are growing and growing quickly and if Reading Festival wants to maintain its position as the premier rock festival in the world, which I know it does and I want it to, then we've got to grow."

Leaving aside the obvious - that, at best, Reading might be the second-best festival after Glastonbury, but Roskilde, The Big Day Out and maybe even T might have something to say about that - why is cramming more people into the site the way to secure your position? Yes, it might give you a bit more cash to pad out the bill with a few more low-end, second stage bands, or maybe an extra headline name, but kudos and overcrowding aren't the same thing.

Still, if you fancy greasing yourself up and joining the sardine-cram, tickets are on sale tomorrow.