The festival headliners of 2001 - where are they now?

We take a closer look at how some of the UK's biggest festivals have changed over the years.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 18th May 2017

Image: Leeds Festival

Of the UK's major festivals, there's only a handful that were around when we were born 16 years ago that are still bringing in the big names and catering for music fans season after season. Up until this year we had enjoyed Scottish festival T in the Park every year of our existence, while Creamfields, Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and V Festival have all successfully grown into gargantuan music events that are staples in the summer calendar.

Between then and now, we want to see what's become of each headliner from the 2001 editions of these huge festivals, to see whether they're still making waves now or whether they've bowed out music gracefully.


The 2001 line up at Creamfields throws up few surprises, but a few absolute gems as well. In the Cream arena, dancefloor dons Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong and John Digweed were just some of the major players but a further look down the line up reveals some more unusual musical turns. Eternally horny Mousse T held court in the Cream US House Arena, whilst fresh from releasing their debut album the same year - Gorillaz played a headline slot at the Bugged Out Arena. 

Nowadays, the the line up has swollen immensely, bringing a far more commercial influx of acts, while the occasional legend still pops in to bring the noise. This year's highlights include Deadmau5 and Eric Prydz going back to back on the seismic Steel Yard stage, while Radio 1's influence brings the Chainsmokers, Annie Mac and more on the opening day. Oakenfold returns for a special guest slot on the final day of the festival, however with Creamfields almost quadrupling in the size it's almost unrecognisable from its humble beginnings.

T in The Park

The Scottish weekender was still relatively in its infancy in 2001, though was taking place over a July weekend as we know it best, however without the addition of any Friday entertainment. Back then the line up sported Stereophonics as its Saturday headliner, while Texas took over on the Sunday. A look further down the bill on both days reveals some of the biggest acts in the world, still waiting to fully make their mark. One of them being the Strokes, whose stunning debut album dropped the same year, while a certain Coldplay were still fresh from releasing their debut Parachutes around 12 months earlier.

Reading and Leeds Festival

Totally to be expected, Reading and Leeds had two of the biggest guitar bands of the time in Travis and Manic Street Preachers as two of its headliners, and in 2017 Muse and Kasabian take that mantle. However, a clear similarity 16 years on is the relevance and excitement that Eminem still possesses, headlining the festival for the third time this year.

He appeared back in 2001 with D12 at his side, and followed a typically lavish performance from Marilyn Manson. Apart from the likes of Green Day and Queens Of The Stone Age, a lot has changed in the world of Reading and Leeds, with many more dance, grime and pop acts making their way on to the main stage, with the likes of Major Lazer, Giggs, Bastille all featuring in 2017.


There was no Glastonbury in 2001, amid safety fears which caused Michael Eavis to cancel the event. A huge event the year before which saw some seriously big names enjoy the first Glasto of the millennium, had attracted a lot of people climbing over the fence into the festival and this had to stop. The 2000 edition saw none other than David Bowie, join Chemical Brothers and Travis in headlining the festival, with Cypress Hill, Embrace, Pet Shop Boys, Counting Crows and more involved. 16 years on and the festival is almost a city of its own come June.

It's almost impossible to see everything at Glastonbury nowadays, there is simply so much of it what with Shangri-la, The Fields of Avalon, the Circus...the list goes on. The line up however is not hugely different, with legends such as Radiohead headlining frequently (much like this year), however a penchant for pop acts such as Adele, and this year Ed Sheeran, has become a more regular feature of the festival.

V Festival

A look at this year's line up compared to what it was 16 years ago probably throws up the biggest contrast of all. Where once the likes of Texas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Charlatans, Foo Fighters, Ian Brown, Muse and more reigned, now Jay Z, P!nk, Craig David, George Ezra, Jess Glynne and more are set to hold court at Weston Park and Hylands Park this August.

Aside from massive guitar bands, a closer look down the V Festival 2001 line up reveals the likes of Mos Def, The Avalanches and, arguably the finest festival booking of all - Kylie Minogue.

Skiddle celebrates its 16th birthday on Thursday 18th May at Sound Control - find tickets below. 

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