WITH the rise of early campers, a renewed sense of appreciation for the Reading Festival spread across the area. The final day of this musical carousel of varied and talented artists was about to commence and fans were not going to let it pass in any sleepy state.
Making the most of the entire weekend means Sunday too and so we took off towards the arena for a light walk… and food. The sheer range of consumable options in the Reading Festival arena is enough to satisfy even the most daring and exotic of taste buds. Like fried chicken (as many enjoy along Wokingham road)? Check. Enjoy the taste of wild boar? Present. How about some cooked ostrich meat? Yes, the stalls even had that covered too.
For the vegetarian and vegan attendees there were at least two different specialised stalls too. But in the early hours of 11am it was the milkshake providers that were in heavy demand. Although it’s likely that milkshakes were the popular choice for the morning, it was freshly made hot donuts and pancakes that took my fancy. A sugary, filling breakfast was just enough to fuel festival goers for the highly anticipated day that was to come ahead.
The main stage presented the thousands of attendees with a melodic start as Young Guns took their place before a growing crowd. As Reading Festival regulars, it was not the first time the band had starred on the main stage and that was clear to see. The London group rocked fans with a string of tracks, finishing with the album-titled single Bones.
After their live performance, Young Guns put some time aside to speak to The Spark in interview, which will be found in the Freshers’ Week edition. Covering topics like advice for those wanting to get into the music industry and the band’s weirdest fan, it will certainly be worth a read.
Although Reading Festival is best known for its array of musical talent, that isn’t the only type of performance available to the thousands of attendees. Over on the Alternative Stage festival goers can enjoy a slightly quieter sample of entertainment, when the audience isn’t laughing at least. Sunday afternoon saw funny man Simon Amstell take his turn on the Alternative Stage with the hope of amusing fans, many of which had been camping and had thus seen cleaner days, with his intellect, wit and relative randomness.
Amstell breezed through his topics with ease, from awkward encounters to moments of sexual liberation, the audience was with the comedian all the way. There was a strange juxtaposition between the depth of Amstell’s sentiments and the carefree fun that had been seen over the weekend, which left this audience member in a dazed trance as she left the Alternative Stage tent.
However upon re-entering the wider realm of the Reading Festival, with bright coloured hair and chatter passing by, it was a quick transition back into festival mode and thoughts turned directly to who was the best act to see next.
The Reading Festival final support act was none other than Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. With hits including Can’t Hold Us and Thrift Shop, which regular University of Reading Flirt! attenders will know well, the duo had crowds jumping.
From the fans standing closest to the main stage to the ones towards the back of the audience, the mass of festival goers caught up in the frenzy of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance was impressive. Alongside the catchy tracks, Macklemore entertained crowds and kept the energy high. When fans thought things were all over, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were really just coming into their element and used the brief pause for a costume change, re-launching the performance into a high gear.
Although repeating a song is usually an unacceptable option in live performance, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis did it with a greater reaction from crowds the second time around. The Reading Festival audience was left in high spirits as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis departed from the stage, leaving them to get ready for what Blink-182 had to offer.
The American band is known, particularly towards the end of a Flirt! night, for its energetic songs All The Small Things and What’s My Age Again? But despite the popularity Blink-182 has acquired for the dynamic tracks, the gathered crowd at Reading Festival was somewhat lacking in comparison to the headlining acts of nights before.
While Macklemore & Ryan Lewis left a sea of people jumping in unison, Blink-182’s counterpart appeared to be more of a stream. The sickly tone of the group simply did not go down well with festival goers. Popular and well known tracks were enjoyable due to the familiarity and high spirited connotations, but the lesser known tracks felt more like a cheesy stereotype that was out of place on the main stage at Reading Festival.
Sometimes the acts you expect to be good are brilliant and on others the hype proves to be too much to follow. Unfortunately Blink-182 fell into the latter category.
But after a weekend of fantastic performances, it was a challenging standard to meet; perhaps they had better luck at Leeds Festival where they featured as the headlining act for the first night.