Reading And Leeds Boss Defends The Lack Of Females On Festival Lineup

The boss of Reading and Leeds Festival has responded to criticisms of gender imbalance regarding to the 2015 bill, which features just 9 acts with female members.

This year’s festival will be headlined by Mumford & Sons, Metallica and The Libertines with not one female act appearing on the main stage lineup as of yet. Check out below what the Reading and Leeds lineup poster looks like with all the men removed, below.

Speaking to NME, festival boss Melvin Benn said, “We can’t put a bill together based on gender, we can only put a bill together based on availability and appropriateness.”

“The facts speak for themselves in terms of female acts that were available at that time and that fit the Reading and Leeds bill. There’s nobody more committed to gender equality than I am, but I can’t make an act that isn’t there.”

Last year Paramore co-headlined a day of the festival with Queens of the Stone Age, marking the first time the festival had booked a female-fronted headliner.

It seems that Benn may have been trying for another big female act in Florence + The Machine, though according to NME she will play only one UK festival this year.

Says Benn, “Florence would have been terrific, but there’s a whole number of female acts that would have been terrific on the bill as well. I don’t think people can actually appreciate how difficult it is in terms of timing.”

Benn’s smaller festival Latitude unveiled its lineup yesterday with far more females in the higher echelons of the bill than Reading and Leeds. Portishead will headline one of the nights while Laura Marling and Lianne La Havas have also been booked to play on the main stage.

The 2015 Reading And Leeds Lineup So Far (In Alphabetical Order)

A$AP Ferg

All Time Low


American Football


Azealia Banks


Ben Kahn

Boy Better Know

Bring Me The Horizon


Bury Tomorrow

Camo & Krooked

Cancer Bats


Catfish and The Bottlemen

Circa Waves





Dillon Francis

Django Django


Everything Everything

Flatbush Zombies

Frank Turner (solo)

Frnkiero Andthe Cellabration



Glass Animals


Gorgon City

Hannah Wants

Hudson Mohawke

Jack Garratt

Jake Isaac

Jamie T

Jamie XX

Kendrick Lamar

Knife Party

Krept & Konan

Lethal Bizzle

Limp Bizkit

Little May

Lonely The Brave

Manchester Orchestra



Metallica (Headliner)

Modern Life Is War

Mumford & Sons (Headliner)

My Nu Leng

Neck Deep

New Found Glory

Nick Brewer


Panic! At the Disco



Pierce The Veil

Porter Robinson

Pretty Vicious


Rae Sremmurd

Rat Boy


Rebel Sound


Royal Blood

Run The Jewels

San Fermin

Simple Plan



Swim Deep

The Bulletproof Bomb

The Cribs

The Districts

The Libertines (Headliner)

The Maccabees

The Menzingers

The Wombats


Toyboy & Robin

Tyler, The Creator

Walking On Cars

We Are The Ocean

While She Sleeps

Wilkinson (Live)

Wolf Alice

Years & Years

Reading Festival 2015

Friday, 28th August – Sunday, 30th August 2015

Richfield Avenue, Reading

Tickets: Reading Festival

Leeds Festival 2015

Friday, 28th August – Sunday, 30th August 2015

Bramham Park, Bramham

Tickets: Leeds Festival

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