After just returning from the famous annual three day festival in Reading, south England, it’s hardly surprising that the first thing I did was jump in the shower. Like any festival, the facilities were not exactly as clean as you’d like them to be, to put it lightly. However seeing as this was the first full weekend festival I’ve ever been to, I was expecting the worst, and I have to say that the facilities were actually slightly better than I thought they would be considering all the festival toilet horror stories I’ve heard, and this definitely helped to create a more enjoyable experience. The majority of the festival goers were a similar age to me, however there were a few older couples plus a few families which was nice, plus there was people of all ethnicities and sexualities as well so it was very diverse. Most of the individuals at the festival were actually very respectful; of course most people drink and the occasional few use substances, but that’s the norm for most festivals and everyone we encountered was very polite, so there was a good atmosphere there. There was also plenty of entertainment and stalls at the festival so there was other options if you didn’t want to be listening to music all day, such as a fun fair, and lots of vintage clothing stalls that reminded me of the stores in Camden Town in London. There was also a supermarket and dozens of food stalls so you didn’t need to leave the festival site unless you actually wanted to.
Now as for the actual music, the headliners were Foals, Disclosure, Fall Out Boy, Biffy Clyro and of course the world famous Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Disclosure and Fall Out Boy were two I desperately wanted to see, and they certainly didn’t disappoint- the whole crowd appeared to be enjoying it. Fall Out Boy in particular put on an incredible show and went all out with fireworks and strobe lighting. I’d heard mixed reviews about their live performances so I was a little worried as I love their music so much however I honestly thought they were brilliant. I also saw Red Hot Chilli Peppers as there’s such a massive hype about them and most people know a lot of their songs even if they’re not a mega fan, however I was disappointed. Maybe it was the fact that it was so packed, but I felt there wasn’t the best atmosphere and that the band weren’t too enthusiastic which is a shame as there were a lot of die hard fans in the crowd. Still there were plenty of other brilliant acts who weren’t headlining; one of my friends wanted to go and see Nothing But Thieves so I joined her even though I hadn’t heard of the band before, but I was extremely impressed. Their music was grungy, catchy, and the lead singer had an absolutely incredible voice. Another couple of stand out performances were the amazing Imagine Dragons, AlunaGeorge and Jack Garratt. All brought incredible energy to the stage unlike some artists that were lacking a bit, and I love Aluna’s quirky, fiesty personality. It’s also a great experience to be in the crowd dancing and not caring what you look like as everyone just lets go and have a good time, so it was a great way to unwind at the end of a long year at college. The majority of the acts I saw were brilliant, however I was extremely excited about seeing The Vaccines as I’m a big fan of them, but they didn’t connect with the audience at all which was clear as everyone around me seemed very low on energy. I still love their music, and everyone perked up a bit when they played some of their classic songs, but I was slightly disappointed considering they’re one of my favourite bands. Still I wouldn’t say this overly bothered me as most of the performers were great, and I purchased a Reading Festival t-shirt with all of the acts printed on the back to remember my experience.
I wasn’t expecting to say this to be honest, but I would definitely go again. I thought it would be good, but I was going more because I feel it’s something everyone should experience once in their lifetime but I thought that the facilities, general lack of cleanliness and anti social behavior would put me off as I like to keep fresh and often feel anxious around people who behave like that, however they weren’t even half as bad as I expected, and even if they were, the great music and amazing atmosphere probably would have made it worth it. So will I be buying a ticket for next year? Definitely.
images sourced from: http://www.frockmeimfamous.com/2015/09/reading-festival-highlights-and-why-its.html