BBC Learning English: The English We Speak – Phrases for festivals (with transcript video): In America to ‘wait in line’ means to queue. But a line-up refers to all the bands that are playing in a festival. And ‘to headline’ means to be the main act in a festival. The main act is ‘the headline act’.
Yang Li: Hello, I’m Yang Li and this is The English We Speak.
William: I’m William Kremer. Welcome to the programme.
Yang Li: Ah William, I am so excited!
William: Really? What’s brought this on, then?
Yang Li: This weekend something really really really great is happening! Do you know what it is?
Yang Li: It has to do with music…
William: Hmm. Is it a big opera?
Yang Li: No, it takes place outdoors…
William: Ah, is it opera in the park?
Yang Li: No, no, it’s not opera. It’s Glastonbury!
William: Oh wow, the huge music festival! I’ve never been. What’s the line-up this year?
Yang Li: Oh no, you don’t need to queue. You can just get tickets online. But of course, they are sold out now.
William: No, no, the line-up, Li. Who’s playing?
Yang Li: Oh, I see. There’s U2 and the Chemical Brothers and Fleet Foxes and Elbow… and loads and loads of bands of course. But William, I’m confused about this phrase line-up…
William: Well, in America to ‘wait in line’ means to queue. But a line-up refers to all the bands that are playing in a festival.
Yang Li: Oh right. So, is this phrase only used for music festivals?
William: No, it isn’t. Listen to this:
Man: Is Jones playing this weekend?
Man 2: No, he’s still injured so he’s not in the line-up.
William: So in that example ‘the line-up’ meant the members of a sports team playing in a match. The line-up.
Yang Li: Well anyway, it’s a pretty good line-up at Glastonbury this weekend. I can’t wait.
William: Who’s headlining on Sunday?
Yang Li: Eh, what?
William: Headlining. Who’s headlining? Ah, I think I know why you’re confused. ‘To headline’ doesn’t mean to be in the newspapers. It means to be the main act in a festival. The main act is ‘the headline act’.
Yang Li: Oh right. I think Beyoncé Knowles is headlining on Sunday. She is the headline act.
William: Ah yes, Beyoncé. I’ve heard of her. Is she the one that does that dance, like this…
Yang Li: Oh William, stop it! Stop it! You are not Beyoncé Knowles! It looks wrong!
William: (laughing) OK, OK. So, what time do you leave?
Yang Li: Eh?
William: What time are you going to Glastonbury? It’s quite a long way, you know Li. You should probably be getting on a train about now.
Yang Li: Oh no, I’m not going! It costs an absolute fortune, you know, and it can be so muddy! And I don’t like the idea of those festival toilets. Oh, no, no, no, it’s not for me. I’m just going to watch it on telly.
William: Oh OK, right! Well, for everyone who is going to a music festival this year, we hope you have a fantastic time. I hope that the line-up is great and that the headline act doesn’t disappoint. Bye!
Yang Li: Bye.
The English We Speak – Phrases for festivals (Transcript Video)
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