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Reading Festival Preview

WHILE finalists are squirreling away at revision notes and first years are avoiding them, here at Spark* we’re counting down to the event of the summer, Reading festival. Situated in Richfield avenue, just 3 miles from campus, the festival is a must attend event. Impossible to ignore, announced headliners are Arctic Monkeys, Blink-182, plus Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore will be sharing the first night spotlight. With 6 stages and three days of entertainment, there is much to look forward to and things are just starting to warm up.

Reading Festival is joined at the hip with Leeds Festival, but here in Reading we will get the first performance from joint headliners Queens Of The Stone Age and Paramore. Hits like No One Knows and I Sat By The Ocean, from Queens Of The Stone Age’s Number Two UK album …Like Clockwork, will certainly rock crowds at Friday’s Main Stage. The American rock band will play at Reading Festival amidst their …Like Clockwork tour, but expect a wide repertoire from the Queens Of The Stone Age’s 18 years in the business. The second Friday headliner, Paramore, have a different style to their partners with high energy shining through tracks Still Into You and Misery Business featured in the group’s Number One album. This trio have been nominated for a Best Live Band award so expect an electric headlining performance at Reading Festival 2014, one of Paramore’s UK exclusives (there are only playing at Reading and Leeds festival!).

Over on the Dance Stage our RUSU Summer Ball act Wilkinson will perform, followed by the pumping DJ Annie Mac and finally Netsky Live. Those lucky enough to attend will be running rings around the site, trying to see all stages, as London act Palma Violets will lure fans to the Festival Republic Stage. What’s that we hear? TGIF at Reading Festival on August 22nd!

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys

Saturday night brings the festival to its feet with the much celebrated Arctic Monkeys on Main Stage. The English band has seen much success in the 8 years since debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, including a record setting 5 consecutive UK Number One albums. The group performed their well-known hit I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor at the Olympic Opening ceremony; let’s hope they play such classics among newer tracks from latest album AM this summer. Arctic Monkeys may have been at Glastonbury last year, but now it’s their time at Reading Festival and they’re set to go down a storm.

!! Reading Festival enforces a Sunday Pass Out System from 8pm on the last night, meaning that leaving the festival without a stamp keeps you out. In the midst of Reading mania, do remember to get stamped and don’t miss out on the final sets!!

The show goes out with a bang as Blink-182 take the Main Stage Sunday night, supported by international sensations Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and You Me At Six. The pop-punk group Blink-182 have been making waves since they released popular hit All The Small Things, which still has RUSU Flirt-goers jumping as if it was 1999 again. This year’s summer festival will be the 4th that the band has performed at and their second headliner slot. Armed with a new album, Blink-182’s Reading Festival appearance will be fully charged and energised, ready to power through the final show of the festival.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis achieved greatness with their hit Can’t Hold Us last summer, Spotify even announced it as their ‘Most Streamed Song of 2013’. The hip-hop pair is sure to entertain crowds with critically acclaimed debut album The Heist, featuring the thought provoking Same Love which will please free spirit festival-goers. Whether or not you’ve ‘only got 20$ in your pocket’, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are an act you won’t want to miss at this year’s Reading Festival.

Another unmissable Reading Festival set will be You Me At Six. The group is having an astounding year, being nominated for this year’s Best Single, Best Album, Best Live Band and Best British Band awards by Kerrang!. Between all of these accolades You Me At Six has high expectations to live up to, but with songs like Fresh Start Fever and The Swarm (as seen in the video) their return to the festival is something to watch out for.

If the Main Stage line-up isn’t what you’re looking for, head to the NME Stage where The Horrors and The Kooks will warm crowds in preparation for Disclosure, who are returning to Reading Festival this year. You’ll also find Augustines playing on the Festival Republic Stage. Sunday night will be packed with incredible sets, managing your time at the festival may well be harder than sorting your revision schedule.

Festivals are infamous for their toilets and wash facilities, but as locals, our University of Reading students should have a couple of tricks up their sleeves. Firstly, you can avoid festival toilet mishaps by heading over to the Rivermead Centre. Here festival-goers can enjoy a hangover breakfast in the café or simple things like a shower. There is a small charge but we’ll let you decide if cleanliness is worth it, or whether you’ll pack industrial sized babywipes instead. There are also facilities on the festival site; hot water showers will be available in White and Yellow camps. Queues for the free showers build quickly, so get to the nearer camp in plenty of time. If you’re lucky, you could hop in just after a cleaning break. Now where can we find that schedule…

In the heights of festival fun, it’s easy to lose track of everything. Something very important thing to remember is that the festival bars will only work with cash. You’ll either join the ATM line a few times or have to carry more money than you trust yourself with, even if that’s back to your pocket money allowance. Fortunately there are cashpoints near the festival, but you may find yourself distracted as one is by a large Tesco. Party animals really work up an appetite, and thirst, so a quick supermarket trip could result in buying more than expected. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of fellow festival-goers to help you get it back to camp.

If you feel too delicate for Tesco there are handy supermarkets on site that do take card, but you’ll have to remember PIN codes yourself, they can’t do everything for you! However they can supply all the essentials, including fresh bread. Reassure loved ones that you won’t starve, but don’t let that stop you bringing food as you’ll pay a transaction fee for indulging with plastic.


Can’t wait for it either? We still have a little while to go. The festival is always during the August bank holiday weekend and this year that’s August 22nd – 24th. In the mean time you can procrastinate by going over every detail online at www.readingfestival.com and drool over the the full Reading Festival Line Up here. There’s also an official ‘Reading and Leeds 2014 So Far’ Spotify playlist which will get you in the mood to rock out, so try not to play it in the library.

If Reading Festival sounds like somewhere you want to be this summer, tickets are still available. Don’t wait too long as the Wednesday Early Entry permits are no longer available and it’s a matter of time before other tickets become scarce. You can buy tickets from a number of online retailers, many are linked to the official Reading Festival website including See Tickets and ticketmaster.

There’s a light at the end of the exam tunnel and it ignites an 80,000 people festival. See you there!

About Gabrielle Linnett

Gabrielle is rarely seen without technology in hand, whether that’s an iPod or games console making her walk into walls. Balancing time between studying German and fine (or not so fine) dining is also a pleasure for this busy bee.

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