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Not so rock ‘n’ roll

13 February 2018 | Liz Bowen

As the lyrics go “I know, it’s only rock and roll, but I like it”. If only that were the case however for fans of this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival.

The highly-anticipated line-up was announced earlier this morning, but it’s fair to say, it’s not quite what many fans were expecting…

While Reading and Leeds Festival is traditionally known for its predominantly rock line-up, with former headline acts including the Foo Fighters, Kasabian and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, fans have reacted with dismay over the announcement, which this year includes rappers Kendrick Lamar and Skepta as well as singers Dua Lipa and Sigrid.

That may not mean much to the masses, but for fans of the festival, it would apparently be best described as sacrilege.

Festival goers have taken to social media in their masses to bemoan the polarising bill, going so far as to claim that ‘music is dead’ and that the announcement is ‘worse than finding out you’re adopted’.

In fairness, after paying over £200 for a ticket expecting one thing, it’s no surprise many people have been left a little miffed when they find out they’re getting quite another.

However, there are those who have praised the diverse line-up with some excited as the event marks the first UK performance of acts such as Kendrick Lamar (he’s quite popular, apparently…)

With tickets going on sale months before the line-up is announced, buying one is a gamble to say the least. Although to be fair, organisers of Reading and Leeds have found themselves in a unique position this year with the absence of Glastonbury Festival, which many have claimed is the reason for many of the line-up choices.

Nevertheless, while it could be argued that every company and organisation needs to move with the times or people are taking that aforementioned gamble when buying a ticket, it does seem like Reading and Leeds has made that one key PR faux pas in alienating its key audience.

For any brand, knowing your audience is crucial – it’s what all your activity is based around – so we’ll see, perhaps R&L’s gamble will pay off. Although, with it being such a prominent festival and a rite of passage for many teenagers, I doubt it’ll do too much harm in the long run.