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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 11:47 GMT
US acts on Reading and Leeds bill
Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins
Smashing Pumpkins were one of the US headline acts last year
Three "American headliners" have agreed to top the bill at the Reading and Leeds Festivals this August, organiser Melvin Benn has confirmed.

He said he had booked the acts for the events but would not name them yet.

The festivals will no longer have a sponsor in their titles, with Mr Benn saying he was not seeking a replacement for previous backer Carling.

"I wanted it to be - as I'm sure fans wanted it to be - slightly less corporate," he told BBC 6 Music.

"I wanted to reclaim the name Reading Festival and the name Leeds Festival. I wanted them to return to their roots, so to speak.

"I didn't want the events to be called after a sponsor. I'm not asking another sponsor to come in," said Mr Benn, the managing director of concert organiser Festival Republic.

Environmental efforts

He said the headliners for the events, to be held on the bank holiday weekend of 22 to 24 August, were "in place".

"Interesting this year is that - probably for the first time, in my memory - we're actually going with three American headliners."

Fans at the Reading Festival in 2007
Acts usually play in both Leeds and Reading but on different nights
But he added: "I'm not at liberty to let you know who they are."

Mr Benn also expressed a desire to create a more environmentally-friendly weekend, pointing to achievements by his company in running the Latitude Festival in Southwold, Suffolk.

"Latitude, for instance, won the first ever award for the most green festival. All of the bars at Latitude were made from reclaimed wood," he said.

"Deposit-led beer glasses was another way that we did it," he added, referring to a small sum added to the cost of a pint which would be given back if the glass was returned.

"At Reading and Leeds we put a 10p deposit on all the paper cups that we sold all the pints in. We had a 96% return rate on those paper cups."

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