Reading Festival has quickly become a staple in my August bank holiday weekend. Why? Because it’s consistently the festival we leave summer talking about. There’s just something about it that makes it a hilarious weekend every. single. time. The atmosphere? The fact that you’re camping with friends? Is it the consistently good lineup? Well, you’re about to find out: it’s time to dive deeper into why I think Reading Festival is the one to beat.
So let’s take a surface look at the festival and start with the lineup. Dave, Fredo, Stefflon Don, Octavian, Not3s – shall I keep going? Okay, I’ll keep going – Headie one, Digdat, Deno, Unknown T – okay I’ll stop….after mentioning the AJ Tracey main stage set which is bound to be a highlight for anyone who attends regardless of their prior knowledge of his work. Okay, I’m done now, you get the picture. Reading festival is bringing the best artists from our three favourite UK genres; Grime, Rap and Drill. Comparing this to other UK festivals and its easy to see how big a deal Reading is. It’s sheer size and multitude of big-time sponsors allows it to book ALLLLL the artists that are popping right now instead of having to cherry pick. Basically, other festivals offer you a slice of cake but Reading gives you the full thing, stands over you and says “Eat up”.
But it’s not only UK talent that Reading has to offer – the Americans are bringing the vibes as well! Juice Wrld, Lil Uzi Vert, Machine Gun Kelly and Roddy Rich stand out to me in particular. But the beauty of every Reading lineup is that EVERYONE can pick out a personal selection of must-see sets because the diversity in the musical offering is ridiculous. I’ll for sure be dodging the rock-bands at all costs, but it’s still sick to have an event you can invite any of your friends to without having to worry that the music isn’t really to their taste. I guess it turns out that the cake I said Reading is offering comes in a mad amount of flavours. Where else can you watch Crucast mash up the dance and follow it up with a guilty pleasure (maybe in the form of a little bit of Billie Eilish’s anti-pop)? Nowhere.
Okay so now let’s address some of the common criticisms of the festival. We’ll start with the one you thought of as soon as you saw the title for this post: “Reading and Leeds fests are full of kids just finishing their GCSEs”. Is it true? Well, sort of. A lot of people go to Reading as their first festival. Is this an issue that affects YOUR enjoyment of the event? Literally not at all in any way, shape or form. If anything it creates a unique atmosphere as everyone is there to just have a bit of fun. No egos. No having to overthink your garms for the day in an attempt to impress the masses. No one gives a s*** about anything other than enjoying themselves with their friends for a weekend. Reading Festival is a chance to have carefree fun, regardless of your age.
The second biggest grumbling I hear about the festival is the fact you have to camp to get the full experience. Camping is definitely one of those things you either hate or love and, for me, I hate it… except at Reading Festival. Think of Reading campsites less like your usual boring field and more like a festival afterparty. With the fun continuing well into the night, it feels like a non-stop house party (loose translation: piss-up) and you’re guaranteed to meet a load of new people as everyone’s in such high spirits and, as I said previously, is there to have a f****** great time. For most, the nighttime antics are just as fun as the festival itself! With the option to bring your own food and drink with you (thank you btw), what else do you need aside from a good group of mates?! Sure you might miss the comfort of your bed but who says you have to slum it? Buy a tent big enough to fit an inflatable mattress in, get a sleeping bag that unfolds into a duvet and bam you’ve got your own little boujee campsite palace… sort of. Close enough.
I know. I’ve done it. I’ve convinced you and now you’re headed over to https://www.readingfestival.com to get your tickets, right? No? Well, there’s one more thing that might seal the deal… are you ready? Mcdonalds are bringing their McNugget van to the festival. Ahhhhhh sun (hopefully), friends, good music, booze and McDonald’s chicken nuggets. What are you still waiting for? What more could you want?!