Guns N’ Roses to play at U.K. fests

Blink 182, Arcade Fire head for Leeds, Reading

LONDON — Britain’s twin music festivals, Reading and Leeds, have booked a strong North American lineup for this year’s events by confirming Guns N’ Roses, Blink 182 and Arcade Fire as headliners.

Promoters Festival Republic — a subsidiary of Live Nation — have signed Guns N’ Roses to an exclusive U.K. deal, meaning they cannot play another festival in Britain during 2010. Axl Rose and co. will perform on the opening night of the Reading Festival on Aug. 27, before closing the Leeds Festival two nights later.

Headlining the other nights at the twin events will be Blink 182 (Reading, Aug. 29, Leeds Aug. 28) and Arcade Fire (Reading, Aug. 28, Leeds Aug. 27), who have also signed exclusivity contracts.

The gatherings take place on a holiday weekend in the U.K., helping organizers sell out the daily total capacity of more than 150,000 on an annual basis.

With seven stages to fill over the three-day events, Festival Republic has also announced that the likes of The Libertines, Paramore, Queens of the Stone Age, LCD Soundsystem, Biffy Clyro, Dizzee Rascal, Lostprophets, Pendulum and Klaxons will perform, among others.

Footage of the perfs will be broadcast on digital terrestrial web BBC3, while sister broadcaster BBC Radio 1 will be the official partner on the airwaves.

Reading Festival’s is among one of the oldest music events in existence with its predecessors dating back to 1961, while the gathering has been on its current site since 1971.

The Leeds fest was launched in 1999, allowing then promoters, Mean Fiddler, to offer acts two lucrative appearances over one weekend, while securing those artists for its festivals.

Tickets for the festivals cost £180 ($270) for the weekend or $112 per day.