Reading boss: 'Unique Muse show one of the best things I've seen'

Melvin Benn also says bands book for Reading and Leeds 2012 line up

Photographer: Sara BowreyChris Swindells on 26 August 2011

Benn spoke with Virtual Festivals backstage at Reading Festival 2011 to discuss his thoughts on the 2011 headliners, how torrential rain at the Reading site shouldn’t affect the festival and his first bookings for the Reading Festival 2012 line up.

Muse are making their first performance of ‘Origin Of Symmetry’, one of the only two performance they’ll make in terms of this show. It’s a unique show for Leeds and Reading Festival, a unique set they’ve put together,” he said.

“A number of my production guys have been to see it already in terms of seeing the rehearsals and all that kind of stuff. They built a replica stage of the Leeds and Reading stage in order to make sure everything was exactly as they wanted. That’s Muse, and for me I have to say it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been witness to, a band that have entirely created their set around a festival and I’m delighted with it, obviously,” he added.

Speaking about the rain, Benn said: “We’ve had the worst of the rain, we’ve had the worst of the weather for the weekend already so in that sense we’re in good shape but I have got dozens of gully suckers literally going round the land hovering up surface water.

“I’ve got pumps going in all the ditches, emptying the ditches and more importantly I’ve got the environment agency lowering the level of the River Thames for me and they’ve lowered it about six inches in order that the water table goes down which is just unbelievable,” he added.

The Reading boss also confirmed that they’ve already booked some bands for the Reading 2012 line-up: “We’ve already confirmed a number of acts for Reading next year, we’re very comfortable with a couple of the headliners, we know where we want to be, we’ve signed, we’ve done the deals, etc,” he said.

Follow all of our Reading and Leeds 2011 coverage here.

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