One week to go until Reading and Leeds 2016….
Living in Camberley and Farnborough on the Hampshire/Surrey border for most of my childhood meant I was only a stones throw away from a place that became my festival home for many years. Reading festival was the biggest festival in the area and only a mere 30min train ride away. No reason not to go really.
Reading and Leeds festivals get underway on the last weekend of August which also just happens to be the last summer bank holiday. If you ever needed an excuse to have a long weekend then this is it. Dust of the last of your summer hippy clothing and get your butt’s over to Richfield Avenue!
Back when I was going to Reading Festival is was known more commonly as Reading Rock. I think its fair to say that this is not the case so much nowadays as some years you find quite a bit of pop. This is probably a reflection of the age of the crowd that now go to the festival. I should say though that I always check the line up. We did pop along a few years ago and saw Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters, Black Keys and some other great acts so, Reading and Leeds still know how to pull out the big guns.
A little bit of history
The Reading Festival is the first and original of the two festivals. It also holds the claim to being the world’s oldest popular music festival still in existence as it can trace roots back to the 1950’s. Over the years the festival has played host to some of the most popular and most influential musicians of all time. Previous line ups include Metallica, Pink Floyd, Foo Fighters, Eminem, Guns n’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, AC/DC, The Pogues, Blur, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, The Jam, The Who, Cream, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Nirvana, Iron Maiden, The Police, Status Quo, Oasis, Iggy Pop and The Offspring. Quite a comprehensive list and that was just to name a few!
When the Leeds Festival joined with Reading it gave a wider audience the chance to see the same great acts Reading had on offer. In the early 2000s the Leeds festival was plagued with riots and violence. Unfortunately this led to problems in retaining its licence. The worst of these was in 2002 after which the festival was moved to the new site it now occupies. It is so much better now and a safe delight to visit.
Where & When
The Reading and Leeds Festivals run simultaneously sharing the line up over the three day festival weekend. This year falls on Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August.
The Reading Festival can be found right in the centre of Reading at Little John’s Farm on Richfield Avenue. Near the Caversham Bridge. The River Thames runs behind the festival which you can walk along. It makes for a nice walk down to Caversham. I spent a wee time swimming there when it was soo hot you couldn’t get cool. In hindsight, not sure it it was one of my best ideas but, at the time is was great.
The Leeds Festival can be found in Bramham Park. This is near Wetherby, on the grounds of a Grade I listed 18th century country house. Where as Reading Festival is situated right in the middle of Reading the Leeds Festival is out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by countryside and small villages. Sounds rather wonderful.
This Year’s Line Up
This year offers music fans the chance to get their funk on with some seriously good musicians. Check out the likes of The Foals, Biffy Clyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Imagine Dragons, The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Cage the Elephant amongst some other fantastic bands.
If you don’t want to spend the whole weekend listening to music, don’t worry as there are plenty of other things for you to do. From bars, fairground rides and comedy acts you can be sure of a fab time. There are some ace comedians this year including the great Bill Bailey and Russell Howard.
If you have tickets for the Reading & Leeds Festivals then we hope you all have a cracking time. If you don’t have tickets yes then it is not too late. You can still get weekend tickets, not to mention day tickets too.
For more information and for the full line up pop over to the official website here.