Frank Carter talks his "massive and overwhelming" main stage debut at Reading 2016
"I grew up going to this festival"
Published: 6:35 pm, August 26, 2016
“I am wasted,” says Frank Carter, not long off his first set on the Main Stage at Reading. He's suited and booted in monochrome floral, more than dressed for the occasion. “I think I’ve got sunstroke and I’m wasted. I’m having the perfect Reading Festival!”
Snagging a main stage spot has been a long time coming. From Gallows through Pure Love, Frank has become a stalwart of the festival circuit, frequently throwing the rules out of the tent – like that small thing of having pits so big they go outside of his venues. The little things like that. But Main Stage is a Moment with a capital M, and he knows it. “I have no idea how it went,” he admits. “I really don’t know. It was massive and overwhelming, it was a really special moment. I’ve been in three bands, this year is my ninth time playing this festival, so to get on the main stage...
“I grew up going to this festival. In the year 2000 I was watching Slipknot, Rage Against the Machine, Deftones all play this stage. So for me, it feels like, not that I’m on the same level as them – fuck, I’m not – but it just feels like a momentous occasion. It was just a really special moment to see everybody singing my music back to me. Incredibly overwhelming.”
Though he’s spent years hoping to play the stage, it didn’t take him long to hop straight off and stand atop the crowd in the scorching sun, never relinquishing his grasp on the show mentality he's always held. “I’m not a big fan of the stage-crowd divide,” he says. “I like to go down and be among the people that are there sweating. I want to be with them. For me, that’s always important but I also like witnessing from the stage because that’s the best fucking view in the house.”
And what a view he had at Reading. The size of the occasion was never one to dampen Frank’s ambition, and today was no different as he embarked on his potentially biggest pit of his career – out one side of the arena, round the sound desk and in the other. Unfortunately, it was doomed to fail. Any lessons he’s learned to improve it ahead of Leeds?
“Yeah, I’m not gonna do it,” he laughs. “It’s the worst idea I’ve had this year. I started running and was like this is really fucking far and these people aren’t getting out the way. It was just too much.” Failed pit or not, Frank stepped onto the main stage and crushed it, and after years of seeing him dominate shows and festivals in various forms, literally no one is surprised.
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