Reading & Leeds boss submits plans for new three-day festival in Luton

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The organiser behind Reading & Leeds has submitted plans for new three-day festival in Luton this May.

Festival Republic manager director Melvin Benn is applying for to stage a new event in Stockwood Park, according to Luton Today.

The festival promoter, whose company is also behind festivals like Wireless, Latitude and Wilderness, has applied to the borough council for the grant of a premises licence for the event, which would take place over the spring bank holiday weekend from May 25-27.

Permission is being sought for the license – which would allow live music, recorded performances – from 12pm to 11:30pm GMT on Friday, May 24 and from 9:30am to 10:30pm on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.

Billie Eilish
General view of the main stage as Billie Eilish performs on day 3 of Reading Festival 2023 at Richfield Avenue on August 27, 2023 in Reading, England (CREDIT: Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Organisers are also seeking permission for the sale of alcohol from 12pm to 11pm on Friday, May 24 and from 9:30am to 10:30pm GMT on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.

The local authority’s licensing panel is due to consider the application at a town hall meeting today (January 22).

According to Benn’s application, the form also references a “funfair and sponsor activations” for the event, along with system sound checks ahead of each day and rehearsals on Thursday, May 23.

One resident has raised concerns to the licensing service of noise disruption and anti-social behaviour around the festival site. A noise hotline will reportedly be available to nearby residents during the festival at all all times, while Benn also said he would consult the community ahead of the event.

Benn spoke to NME backstage at last year’s Reading festival, noting that “how well a lot of the female acts have gone down” and their “core” place at the festival was one of the notable takeaways from 2023.

In November, the six headliners for Reading & Leeds 2024 were revealed, with Liam GallagherLana Del ReyBlink-182Fred Again..Gerry Cinnamon and Catfish & The Bottlemen set to top the bill. Any remaining tickets can be purchased here.

Benn’s team was also behind Boygenius’ huge show at Gunnersbury Park last year, which he said was his “highlight” of 2023.



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