Taking place from August 27th to the 29th, the Reading Festival is the world’s oldest, continuous music festival, going strong since 1961. Since 1999, the festival has taken place simultaneously in the UK cities of Reading and Leeds; after filling the capacity of the original Reading site, the festival owners felt they needed a second location to accommodate the demand and moved to the second city. Each city shares the same bill, with bands who play one day, trucking over to the next city to play the next day.
Over the course of its 50 year history, Reading Festival has seen some iconic rock moments takes place on its stages including Nirvana’s last European appearance when Kurt Cobain took the stage in a wheelchair, the final performance from The Stone Roses and the infamous fight between Prodigy and The Beastie Boys over the song ‘Smack my bitch up.’ Today, the festival is no less controversial with ‘bottlings’ of unliked acts forcing bands to leave the stage a common occurrence and the booking of bands that may or may not be on the verge of a nervous breakdown (Guns n Roses are headlining).
A bit more rough and tumble than other music festivals, Reading is an experience that has spawned a legion of fans, selling out tickets yearly in a matter of a couple of hours. Here are a few tips and information that makes Reading different:
- You are allowed to bring your own alcohol to the festival however, on Sunday you will not be permitted to bring any alcohol on site at any time after 6pm since the festival will be ending and the last thing Leeds and Reading needs are drunks on the streets and on the roads.
- No crowd surfing. Those who make it over the barrier at the stage will be placed on the G4 road and made to walk around the festival and all the way back to the main entrance.
- The White Campsite is the quiet campsite so if you are bringing children or just wish for a calmer place to lay your head each night, this site on the other side of the Thames is for you. It also has showers, toilets as well as w pub.
- Bring cash, many of the bars on site and in the campsites are cash only. The ‘Supermarket’ on site takes cards but charges a £1 for all transactions.
- For disabled patrons, the festival offers a free ticket to those who need a companion with them but those free tickets cannot be processed on site but rather mailed in ahead of time.
- Reading can get hot, lots of warm clothes aren’t necessary but it is England so a change or two of clothes certainly are.