Reading and Leeds add Machine Gun Kelly, Wolf Alice and Slowthai to lineup as Charli XCX, DaBaby and Doja Cat drop out

Four US-based artists have pulled out after festival boss said he was confident international artists would be able to attend event in August

Wolf Alice win Mercury Prize 2018

Reading and Leeds festivals have revealed their second wave of additions to the 2021 lineup, which is currently scheduled to go ahead in August.

The event, which has faced criticism over the years for lineups skewed heavily towards male artists, includes Machine Gun Kelly, Wolf Alice, Sea Girls, Slowthai, Nothing But Thieves and Sam Fender on this year’s billing.

This year’s set of all-male headliners includes Liam Gallagher, Post Malone and Stormzy.

In the same announcement, a notice stated that previously announced artists Charli XCX, Doja Cat, 100 gecs and DaBaby had dropped out of performing “due to circumstances out of the artists’ control”.

All four artists are based in the US. Anyone travelling to England from outside the UK is currently required to take Covid-19 tests and quarantine in an approved hotel for 10 days.

Earlier this week, Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn told NME that he felt confident that the international acts on the billing would be able to perform at Reading and Leeds.

“I can’t comment on other festivals, but the international acts that are playing Reading & Leeds are telling me that if it’s safe to come then they’re coming,” he said.

“By safe, we mean safe for the punters. That’s all I know. They’re being very explicit at this point in time. I’m very much looking forward to them fulfilling that.

“The reality is that we’re going to have a great line-up and a great festival come what may.”

Reading and Leeds festivals are scheduled to place over the weekend 27-29 August.

Also this week, Boomtown Festival organisers were forced to cancel this summer’s event due to what they said was a lack of clarity for large-scale music events, as well as a lack of any government-backed insurance scheme to protect events from Covid-related cancellations.

The 60,000-capacity festival was due to take place over five days, from 11-15 August.

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