Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn recently spoke to NME about the success of Reading & Leeds 2023.
During the interview, he also teased the the line-up and site changes for next year’s edition of the event. This year’s festival was packed with massive headline performances from Foals, Sam Fender, The 1975, The Killers, Imagine Dragons and Billie Eilish, alongside sets from the likes of Sleep Token, Steve Lacy, Central Cee, Wet Leg and many more.
He was asked if Rage Against The Machine might ever return. The 1975 were announced as last-minute headliners for Reading & Leeds 2022 after Rage Against The Machine were forced to pull out. It happened due to frontman Zack de la Rocha’s leg injury. The 1975 marked their return to R&L made their first UK live appearances since March 2020.
During the interview, Benn was asked if he thinks Rage Against The Machine could return after they cancelled last year. Here is what he said:
“It’s not an agenda item at the moment, let’s put it that way. Rage are a US-based act and would very rarely do one-off shows, so it would need to fit in to a lot more scheduling.”
Meanwhile, Lewis Capaldi had to pull out this year, being replaced by The 1975. Benn was further asked about the process. He said:
“With Lewis having to cancel, it was a difficult time but it was the right decision. I saw him play at Dundee at the Big Weekend and I saw him at Glastonbury. Both shows were tough for him, so I certainly wasn’t surprised. We had a bit more time than we did when Rage Against The Machine pulled out last year. The 1975 took the decision to be proactive and ask us, which was great. They did that really because of their love of Lewis. It felt great that they were doing it. The management and the band are close to us, and it was a genuine offer because it felt like the right thing to do.
“They wanted to make it definitively different to what they did last year too so based it around their first album, which made it all the more interesting for us as well.”