They’re the UK’s best known festivals. So this year Reading and Leeds are shaking up the proceedings by announcing they will reveal the line-up on 12 March – the same day that tickets go on sale.

This controversial decision comes alongside the news that festival-goers will be able to pay for their tickets in instalments. While the latter may be beneficial for those feeling the pinch of the recession, the former has received mixed reactions from fans.

Josh Shrive, 22, from Leicestershire, has been to Leeds Festival four times – most recently in 2010. He is philosophical about the decision. “Most people will think it’s wrong,” he says. “But this gives it the upper hand over other festivals, because it suggests it’s that good, it doesn’t have to reveal the line-up to entice people to go.”

Student Fenella Earle was less than happy. “It’s a ridiculous idea”, she says. Not all music fans responded negatively, however. 24-year-old Leeds local Ben Walker commented: “I don’t think this will make much difference; it just means you’ll have to look at the acts and decide instantly if you want to go.”

Whether it’s a clever marketing ploy or merely a result of a tight booking schedule is unknown. With such mixed views among revellers, it’s impossible to predict the outcome of the decision, but it’s certainly got people talking as they wait on tenterhooks for 12 March.

Thea De Gallier

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