Reading Festival is undoubtedly a must-attend summer event for all young Southerners and with this year’s rock meets indie meets electronic line-up it is definitely not one to be missed. Stretching across the August bank holiday weekend (26th – 28th), it is situated perfectly in the middle of every student’s summer holidays.
Reading and Leeds are sibling festivals and so share the same acts, nevertheless Reading holds the original site for the festival at Richfield Avenue. This year, it will be playing host to some of the biggest acts on the music scene at the moment on the main stage, as well as having six alternate stages to this; NME / BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1 Dance, The Pit, Festival Republic, BBC Radio 1Xtra and Alternative. How will we fit it all in!?
Friday night kicks off the weekend’s antics with chart toppers and local boys, Disclosure and Foals. Disclosure are an electronic music duo from Surrey, who are actually brothers (let’s hope for no on-stage sibling squabbles). Both of their albums have been nominated at the Grammy Award’s for Best Dance/Electronic Album, which is no surprise with songs like ‘White Noise’ and having worked alongside big artists such as Sam Smith, who has previously released a Bond theme song. Foals are also local boys, being from Oxford. Their vibe is more English indie rock, which gives a perfect range of music on the Friday main stage to help begin a bank holiday weekend of music.
The Saturday line up sees two American bands rock the main stage; Red Hot Chili Peppers and Imagine Dragons. Red Hot Chili Peppers are claimed to have said last year that the summer festival that they really wanted to play this summer was ‘Reading and Leeds’, so it seems that we are definitely in for a treat. The song that we are all looking forward to has to be Imagine Dragons’ multi-award winning song ‘Radioactive’ – I can guarantee that you will be screaming it out for the rest of the weekend.
To round off the weekend, Sunday’s line up headlines Biffy Clyro as well as Fall Out Boy, who will definitely bring a blast from the past with the likes of ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’ and ‘Dance, Dance.’ Excitingly, Biffy Clyro are the only headliner to have their own bundle package, comprising of a Deluxe CD version of Ellipsis, a t-shirt and a weekend or Sunday ticket, so if you are a super fan then this is definitely the package for you.
If the main stage is not your thing, then the other six stages will have something on offer to suit you, including artists such as; 99 Souls, Lady Lashurr, Duke Dumont, The Temper Trap and Sneakbo. Even if you are not a music-lover at all, you can just go along to soak up the atmosphere and sit around in the campsite for the weekend with your friends and visit other attractions such as the rides, film showings and games. The atmosphere is constantly buzzing and it becomes extremely easy to completely forget about the concept of sleep. It is only when you get home after having such a blast that it all hits you at once and you are reminded that you are not super-human after all!
Festivals are clearly not the cleanest places to be. If you catch a shower at the site on the first day or just after a cleaning break then you are extremely lucky, but if not there are some alternatives. Many people visit local leisure centres to the Richfield Avenue site and shower there for just a small fee – these showers get regularly cleaned. If that trek is not for you, then it is definitely recommended to pack some supersize baby wipes and give yourself a once over twice a day! You are going to probably get very muddy, and if the mud does not make you smelly then it will be the sweat from standing in massive crowds of people…
A lot of Reading attendees also make use of the large, local Tesco. If you are unsure of where it is, there will be plenty of crowds heading that way so not to worry, just buddy up with another group of people and all head over to make some more friends while you are at it. Even so, it is advisable to take some food to the festival with you, especially to put your parent’s minds at ease that you will not starve…
Remember, while you are off amongst the fun you are actually going to need money to live and there are a couple of options. Firstly, you could put a lot of trust in yourself and take a load of money with you and keep it on you at all times. It is rather unadvisable to leave it in your tent just in case… Also, you could use the ATM on a regular basis to save you from having a large amount of money on you but you will have to deal with queues and a fee. Lastly, you can trek off of the campsite and use local ATMs. Before the festival have a think about what option would be best for you.
It really is not long to go now until the Festival of the summer and the excitement really is mounting up. If you have not got your tickets yet, then where have you been and what have you been doing!? Grab a group of friends and head over to http://www.readingfestival.com/tickets fast!