Leeds Festival organiser gives a big hint over Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys' future

Alex Turner.
Alex Turner.

The organiser of the Leeds Festival has revealed that Arctic Monkeys were not in the running to play at the event this year - as they are lining up shows of their own.

Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn said the Sheffield superstars have plans of their own as they prepare to release their long-awaited sixth studio album.

He said: "The Arctic Monkeys have headlined Reading and Leeds twice before so they’re an act we’re always talking to.

READ MORE: Uncertainty around withdrawal of Sheffield park concerts application thought to be Arctic Monkeys gigs

“Was it ever likely for this year? No, it wasn’t. They’ve got their own plans.”

The band has already revealed a string of festival dates around the world but to date their only confirmed UK show is headlining Glasgow’s TRNSMT Festival.

READ MORE: New bid to stage up to four nights of live music in Sheffield park raises hopes of Arctic Monkeys homecoming

There was speculation earlier this year that the band were poised to announce a string of homecoming gigs in the Steel City.

SJM Concerts - a major promoter that has put on past tours by the Sheffield quartet - lodged a licensing application with the council to stage events in Hillsborough Park 'for a maximum of four dates during the month of September, during the hours 4pm and 10.30pm'.

Signs saying SJM wanted to put on 'live and recorded music', and to sell alcohol, were also spotted.

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But now the council has confirmed the application has been withdrawn by the promoter, and the notices have been taken down by officers.

However, it is unclear whether the move is permanent - extensive publicity having spoiled the element of surprise - or if SJM has simply gone back to the drawing board to amend its request.