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Kasabian shoot the runner: Is it a bad year for headliners?

For V Festival fans the wait is finally over. The first throng of acts have been released and they can now bask in the glory of waiting another six months to see Muse. And that’s the point – to see Muse. Ok, booking the band was quite a coup for organisers, but the rest of the line up looks all too familiar.

Sure, Kings Of Leon are a fantastic live band and The Verve, although a little rusty, will almost certainly put on a great show. The problem is they’re also playing at Glastonbury, T in the Park and Oxegen as well. It may be the growing number of festivals, or perhaps the lack of decent headline acts around, but all the major festivals are booking the same bands.

It’s therefore understandable that Serge Pizzorno has hit out at festival line ups this year for being “boring”. The guitarist and singer told a tabloid: “We’ve seen all of the festival line ups and they’re all the same, which is just boring. You can’t figure out which one is which.” He’s got a point.

That’s not to say this is the fault of festival bookers themselves. Aside from the aforementioned, how many acts are there around that merit the top slot? Radiohead, The White Stripes, Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys all spring to mind but they’ve all ruled themselves out for this year. Oasis rarely perform well at festivals and the ‘we’re play anywhere’ attitude of the Foo Fighter leaves their headline credentials somewhat diluted.

A few years back there was more choice for the average festival goer: in 2005 Glastonbury had Coldplay, The White Stripes, Basement Jaxx (and almost Kylie), while V Festival had Oasis and Scissor Sisters and T in the Park had Green Day and Foo Fighters. Now we’re got Rage Against The Machine, The Verve and Kings Of Leon dominating summer.

Of course, they’re all selling out quicker than the Stereophonics, and Glastonbury’s tickets will disappear faster than you can say: ‘Jay-Z please don’t bring Linkin Park!’ but 2008 threatens to be the most generic year for headliners on record. Out of all of them, Creamfields could arguably be the most imaginative bill on the block so far, swinging its ethos away from the traditional ‘dance and DJ’ formula to include bands like Kasabian and The Gossip.

But there’s one that really stands out so far this year – the Isle Of Wight Festival. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket you can watch all the acts you should’ve caught last year, like Kate Nash and The Enemy, a couple you should have seen 20 years ago in The Police and Sex Pistols and some you should never catch like The Hooisers and Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong. Well, at least it adds a bit of variety.

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Uploaded By: ROSS_VF
1 Day ago

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