26 August 2018 (gig)
30 August 2018
Reading festival has been lauded as the place to go to post GCSEs. This year for me, it was after AS levels. Excitement levels were high, and no amount of rain was going to ruin it! And rain it did. And it got cold and the tent leaked. But hey ho. It was fun. Despite the weather, a vibe of joy and excitement radiated off everyone all day, and all night. The energy at each performance was amazing, no matter what stage, no matter the weather.
This year brought even greater diversity across the different genres to meet everyone’s preference, making the festival inclusive across the age groups. There were the expected punk pop or rock giants, such as Fall Out Boy (with a flame throwing bass guitar) and Kings of Leon headlining the Friday and Sunday respectively with a stomping set of hits and singalong anthems. But there was also an eclectic mix of rap artists, including a headline performance from Kendrick Lamar, along with great performances from Travis Scott, Post Malone and Fredo.
Choice was high, with a number of acts running simultaneous. There was so much I didn’t get to experience, along with my own preference and taste in music meaning I gravitated away from some of the key acts, such as Wolf Alice, that maybe I should have gone to see, after hearing what a great performance they put on.
Impressive visuals, along with some occasional pyrotechnics, on the main stage meant that whatever the act on there it was a good place to be as the night drew in. Although, if you were too far back or to the side then you had to suffer the poor sound quality, which could have put a downer on Post Malone’s show if it wasn’t for the afternoon sunshine. Due to it being harder to hear when you weren’t close to the stage, being nearer to the front was paramount to ensuring that you had the best experience as this was where there was the most energy and you just couldn’t help but move to the music, no matter the artist.
Hanging out was easy despite the rain when it came as the radio 1Xtra tent and the dance tent continued to play non-stop throughout the day to keep everyone occupied and having fun, avoiding the need to tromp back to my wet and cold tent. There were a lot of food stands with a wide variety of tastes to choose from, but it was extremely overpriced as appears to be the norm. Not so helpful for the large number of teenagers who only had a few pounds in the pocket. Although, the 24 hour pastors tent provided a comfortable and affordable alternative with cheap hot drinks and comfy sofas when it got too cold. The silent disco tent was a hot spot for going to in the evenings after all the acts were finished, a fun and sometimes surreal way to spend some downtime with strangers, watching who was listening to which station by the colour the headphones lit up.
Although the rain came in buckets on the Sunday, this did not stop everybody sludging through the mud, going out and having a great time. I’ll never forget being in a mosh pit at Fredo’s performance of ‘100’, being pushed and pulled and pushing back in all directions, dancing and shouting the lyrics. All in all it was a great weekend and made all the more enjoyable with such a wide variety of music to experience.