Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leeds Promoter Is 'Confident' Axl Will Make This Weekend's Gigs


via Blabbermouth
The promoter of this coming weekend's Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK has told NME.com that he is confident Guns N' Roses will make this year's event despite rumors that the band was canceling all of its previously announced shows.

GN'R last played the Leeds festival in 2002, with the band arriving on stage two hours late. The incident got the festival in trouble with the local city council.

"I'm absolutely confident about them showing up," organizer Melvin Benn said. "I'm obviously more concerned about their ability to be onstage on time. But I am confident of them turning up.

"I mean, it is certainly an option for them to go on late, but that for me is just about disrespecting their fans. There isn't an option for them to carry on late. You may remember they played Leeds festival in 2002, and they went on after they should have finished.

"Unfortunately [this year] the police and the local authorities have reaffirmed their position to me that the curfew has to be adhered to. It's 11 p.m. at Leeds and it's 11:30 p.m. at Reading. I can't allow the performance to go on beyond that — it's just that simple.

"This isn't just about Guns N' Roses, this is about all bands. I have to maintain the curfew whether it's Arcade Fire, whether it's The Libertines.

"Happily, with GN'R, there's been great co-operation in the build up to the festival, and the agent and the management have made it clear to me that it's not an issue. But I do have to maintain the position that I'm taking — if the music is turned off it's not because the festival doesn't want the band to play. It's because I have to abide by certain rules."

Guns N' Roses — and specifically singer Axl Rose — is known for showing up late for gigs. In their only U.S. appearance of 2010, two weeks ago at the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota, the band missed its 11:00 PM start time by nearly two hours — leading many attendees to either leave or throw things at the stage.

Guns will headline the Reading portion of the weekend on Friday night (August 27) and Leeds on Sunday (August 29).

The festival had to deny rumors that GN'R was canceling its appearance entirely, after someone allegedly hacked Rose's Twitter account and wrote that the band was calling off all upcoming gigs.

Online bookmakers are giving odds of 2:1 for Guns N' Roses to pull out of the shows, while it is 7:1 that they perform in both Berkshire and West Yorkshire.

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