The Carling Weekend is no longer

United Kingdom United Kingdom | | 26 November 2007

Reading's sister event Leeds Festival will also now be known as just that, following the decision to axe the headline sponsorship deal with the lager brand.

According to Festival Republic, which organises and promotes the two events, both parties felt the time was right to pursue new opportunities.

A spokesperson said: "This marks a happy turning point in the festival’s history with Reading Festival reclaiming its prestigious name after the Carling Weekend association."

It means that the Reading and Leeds Festivals will no longer collectively be called the Carling Weekend and that Carling will no longer be the official beer at either event. 

Jim Shearer, head Of sponsorship for Carling said: "The decision to end the relationship is a strategic one, that allows Carling to investigate a number of opportunities to provide a great experience for consumers in 2008 and beyond. A further announcement will be made when plans are complete.”  

Carling have sponsored the twin rock events for the last nine years but it has been going a lot longer than that. It first arrived in Reading in 1971 and has been hosted on the same site on the banks of the river Thames ever since.

Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn took over Reading in 1989 when attendance was at an all time low and undertook a shake up that opened with the likes of New Order, The Pogues, The Wonder Stuff and The Sugarcubes, which helped put Reading back on the music map.

Earlier this year previous company Mean Fiddler was rebranded as Festival Republic who are thought to be organising several more festivals in 2008, in addition to Reading, Leeds and Latitude. 

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