Billing

Have you ever seen the Reading/Leeds festival poster from 1993? It’s a traditional line up poster, with Porno For Pyros, The The and New Order as headliners. I know those were the headliners, because their names are printed bigger than Rage Against The Machine and the Breeders.If you look a bit lower on the poster, the band names get smaller and smaller. Tool is there, Blur and Radiohead. The Posies and Dutch act Bettie Serveert printed even smaller. So, if we look at it now: why was Ned’s Atomic Dustbin bigger on the bill than Stone Temple Pilots? Alice Donut above Primus?Probably because in 1993, Alice Donut sold more albums, singles, and tickets? Or they were more exclusive for the UK, or their manager was more important than the manager of Primus. We’ll never know. All we know is that, looking at that poster, The The was for some reason more interesting for the festival audiences in Reading and Leeds than Fishbone.Nowadays, it’s impossible to know who is bigger or better on a festival poster. Because of clashing egos, all band names need to be the same size. That way no one is offended (and people can’t figure out who’s getting the better fee). But in 20 years time, we won’t be looking at these line-ups again, knowing that smaller acts get bigger and big acts get smaller. It’s not the end of the world, but if you want to stop messing with history, accept your status and bring back the traditional way of billing!