Wakestock was not the only festival I went to in 2009 as late in August, I headed to Reading Festival. Looking back on my time at Reading Festival it seems to be every 17 year olds dream of a festival. Most of your friends are there, a large amount of alcohol and partying, as well some of your favourite artists playing. But I remember the vibe of the festival of one of teenage angst and hatred. There was no friendliness between other campers, no hands in the air moments or sharing, rather a continuous competition of how much alcohol your body could handle without breaking down, whilst looking festival chic- not looking like you have bought the entire outfit from Topshop. The campsites were full of teenagers who, instead of seeing the artists that they paid the extortionate amount of money they paid for, would rather sit in the campsites burning other people’s tents. I remember various nights where people would gather round and watch a tent burn, as if sharing a serene peaceful moment together. Erm hello?! What is this?!
Reading Festival was full of the usual food vendors and rides that are a tenner a pop (I only have been on a ride at Parklife but more to come with that blog post). Although Reading Festival is full of menstrual teenagers with a lack of ambition or smiles in their life, Reading Festival does do one thing extremely well, that’s the: Silent Disco. It was my first time at a Silent Disco and boy I loved it! With three channels of music and people shouting out popular lyrics in a silent tent, I found the idea hysterical. It was even more entertaining when they shut the silent disco and instead of no music, they played classical music to get all to leave, which if you were still inebriated at 6am, you would then pirouette around the tent.
Although my time does sound negative, I did enjoy it in accordance to my lack of festival knowledge and youthful age at the time. I did manage to see The Maccabees who were beautiful, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Florence and The Machine (who climbed the stage and swung crazily) La Roux, Jamie T (who smoked on stage then put it on his guitar whilst he played) Little Boots, Hockey (who I hadn’t heard before but were great), Noah and The Whale, The Prodigy and Kings of Leon.
Watching The Prodigy at Reading Festival was mania. Three of us were at the front and as soon as they started playing, we were split apart immediately. I was stuck in the mosh pit and being small, I was getting swamped by guys who were kicking the sand beneath me. Choking on sand and getting groped I looked up and saw a gap where I could breathe. Luckily, a guy saw me struggling and fireman lifted me out where he laid me on the ground and my friend miraculously found me. Thank god for that kind guy as I would have definitely have fainted. I am no weak hearted, nor dependent princess, rather a strong loud independent women, but it seemed that mosh pit nearly destroyed me (which still looking back I would pick my recent skydive/bungee jump/ or shark dive rather than that mosh pit!)
Kings of Leon acted strangely on their performance, (odder than Florence and The Machine but I think she was just happy to be there). It might have been in response to the hormonal teenagers but unfortunately I do not know the full story as I was at the back, not at the front where it apparently “started”. One minute they were singing one of their songs, the next they shouted out to us, “We deserve to be here”, which soon after led to them smashing up their set and storming off. I heard it was because all the teenagers at the front were just shouting “sex on fire” over and over again to them, which is… awkward.
Reading Festival use to be predominately a rock and indie festival, but now it seems times are changing to support the teenagers and their desire of going somewhere where everyone else is the same age to them. Now artists such as Disclosure are playing, which is unusual and it must attract a different type of crowd to the one already there. So honestly, if your 15- 17 years old and want to go to a festival then this is the one. Otherwise, avoid it like the plague.