• “We can’t wait to get back to the fields”

    Reading and Leeds Festival has confirmed that it will be going ahead this summer, after the government outlined plans for England to gradually exit lockdown by the end of June.

    Posting on social media, festival organisers told fans they “can’t wait to get back in the fields”, alongside a clip which shared footage of classic performances from past years.

    “Reading and Leeds 2021. Following the government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO,” they wrote in a tweet.

    The festival is set to take place in its traditional August Bank Holiday weekend slot, which this year falls between 27 and 29 August. Headline performances will come from the likes of Liam Gallagher, Stormzy, Post Malone, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Queens of The Stone Age.

    Reacting to the news, Gallagher wrote on Twitter: ” READING n LEEDS c’mon you fuckers LG x.”

    This year’s festival will also see Reading & Leeds featuring six headliners and, for the first time, two main stages.

    The newly introduced West Main Stage will take in headline performances from the likes of Catfish & The Bottlemen, Disclosure and Queens Of The Stone Age.

    It comes after the government confirmed that they will “aim to remove all legal limits on social contact” by June 21. Before that, outdoor hospitality, such as pubs and outdoor dining, could reopen on April 12, with indoor hospitality following on May 17.

    The latter date is also the first point where live events could return, however, limited capacities and social distancing may still be required. After June 21, all other restrictions should be removed – however, the roadmap is contingent on vaccinations going to plan, COVID-19 variants not causing new problems, and the infection rate lowering.

    Earlier this year, Reading & Leeds boss Melvin Benn told NME he was “super confident” about the event taking place.

    “If everyone over the age of 60, or definitely the age of 50, is vaccinated by the end of May, then Jesus – there should be no stopping us,” Benn told NME. “Imagine what fun it’s going to be. It’s going to be bloody awesome, isn’t it? Rain or shine, being out in that field with thousands of people, wherever it is, watching any band or your favourite band, I just can’t wait. It’s mouth-watering just to think about.”

    This comes after he previously stated that “everyone could be tested” at the event if required.

    The festival was previously forced to abandon its 2020 edition, featuring headline sets from Stormzy, Liam Gallagher and Rage Against The Machine, after the virus forced the widespread cancellation of live music.

  • “We’re just gonna wait it out”

    Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix has revealed that the band are holding off on releasing their next album until the Covid-19 pandemic eventually subsides.

    In a new interview with Germany’s Rock Antenne radio, he said: “The touring is not coming back for the rest of this year. I mean, there’ll be some pop-up shows here and there, but we’re not gonna drop a new album and tour until 2022. We’re just gonna wait it out.”

    Shaddix also revealed that the band have been focusing on new material during lockdown, having written around 14 tracks for the follow-up to 2019 album ‘Who Do You Trust’.

    “Now that we’re at this point in the process, it’s February, and I’m, like, ‘Okay. Maybe we’ll just go record another record. So then it’s, like, when we come out, we’ll have just a ton of music to drop and just be lined up to rip it for a while,” he said.

    “Because the creative process is integral to all of our sanity. My bass player, Tobin [Esperance], he writes one or two songs a day — he just rips ’em out, churns ’em out. And I’ve got this little space right here that I’m in — this is my little spot where I’ll demo up ideas and stuff. It’s important for us to maintain some element of creativity so we feel like we have purpose.”

    The update comes after Shaddix recently teamed up with TikTok star Jeris Johnson for a reloaded version of the band’s 2000 anthem ‘Last Resort’.

    “It was amazing to hear that Jeris connected with the track the same way people all over the world have,” Shaddix said of the new version.

    “That conversation of ‘Last Resort’ and its impact on all types of people hasn’t stopped for 20 years, and we were stoked to ‘Reload’ it for a new generation to keep that conversation going.”

    Meanwhile, Shaddix, Tommy Lee and members of Five Finger Death Punch are set to star in new horror film The Retaliators.