Come 7.15pm tonight, music fans all over the country will be refreshing their browsers or attached to their phones in hope of purchasing tickets for this year's Reading and Leeds festival.
With Glastonbury hanging up it's muddy wellies for a year the joint bank holiday event is sure to deliver a line-up to to rival the best of the UK. Reading and Leeds 2012 looks highly likely to be headlined by The Cure, Kasabian and Foo Fighters - or so the online rumour mill would suggest.
With reports that festivals are in trouble after continued increased ticket pricing and the same 'line-up' syndrome, will this year's Reading and Leeds shake things up? Well I highly doubt it. It can't be denied that the dual festival is still one of the greatest music events in the summer calender – with musics 'finest' spread across three days all for under £200 (ish) but it seems that Reading and Leeds has lost it's rock edge that used to set it apart from the endless list of other UK festivals.
The rumoured line-up includes the endlessly debated American singer Lana Del Rey, who is about as rock'n'roll as your Grandma's cat (note: this doesn't count if your grandma is Courtney Love) and Marina and the Diamonds - an act that can be defined as nothing but pop. Although the headliners alone will pull in fans of guitar-rock: does the ever-increasing presence of pop acts detract from what should be a celebration of pure rock and roll?
Dance festivals like Cream-Fields and Exit still remain the mecca for their niche corner of the music scene, and they keep their dedicated music fans coming back each year from across the globe united in their adoration for the sweet sounds of what lie outside the mainstream. So why does the Reading and Leeds festival feel the need to include the same acts that are spread across the multitude of UK festivals simply because they are in vogue?
Although other festivals like Sonisphere and Isle of Wight will cater for aficionados of heavy guitar and screeching vocals, we miss the vintage rock feel of Reading and Leeds. This was a place where Nirvana made their first, and last ever UK appearances – with a wheelchair-bound Kurt Cobain performing on the stage in 1992. This was also the birth ground for Britpop – with Suede and Blur being championed to success by risk-taking Reading and Leeds organisers.
We admired this once-unique dual festival for having the punch to create a haven for rock lovers around the country, as well as staying away from the flash-in-a-pan successes of the pop music scene. This leaves us thinking: if even Reading and Leeds are now swayed by mainstream public opinion – is the true UK rock'n'roll festival dead?