Two weeks later, one festival season done and I am still recovering from festival blues and festival flu- unfortunately. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these feelings, I envy you and also feel for you. These feelings are also the worst and best, of course you feel ill and are missing the festival life, coming back to reality after a festival is the worst!! But the festival it self is worth the comedown.
Unfortunately for me, I was thrown straight back into work- which is a massive reason behind the delay on this post. I guess its better late than never???
*WARNING: Moaning ahead (I’m sorry) *
As I have said previously, Reading Festival is a home away from home for me. This year marked my 6th reading festival- it is safe to say I have seen the festival change so much. Without moaning loads, I really do miss when Reading was predominantly a rock music festival. Back in 2011, we had to sacrifice 1 day of the beloved lock up stage for it become a dance stage, and it was brilliant.
Before you assume I am a music snob, I did actually go and watch some of the mainstream acts across the weekend- I left the chilli’s to see Stormzy. I really have nothing with the music, just the crowds they attract. The whole weekend was filled with 14-18 year olds gurning, which I found quite embarrassing. I am all for having a good time, but the state of these kids was disgusting. The worst part is I saw so many younger children, including my younger sister at the festival that would have witnessed these teenagers with uncontrollable jaws. I mean what actually was ASAP Rocky, possibly the most cringe worthy performance I have ever seen? Yes. It is like someone gave a year 7 a microphone, constant pointless swearing, trying to play hard man? Lets not even talk about the ‘mosh pit’ he tried to create, I have seen better at a year 6 disco.
Now that I’ve got my moaning over lets talk about the brilliant aspects of Reading!!
Of course I have to mention Alan and Steve. Every festival goers favourite pair. If you are not familiar with these guys I do feel sorry for you. To me Alan and Steve perfectly symbolise the festival banter that goes down, which is probably 50% responsible for why I keep returning.
Before the festival even started I knew that Friday morning would be my highlight of the festival. Opening the main stage was Frank Turner followed by Frank Carter. For years I have been a massive Turner fan, so I knew starting my festival singing along in the sun to some of my favourite songs ever would be the perfect way to begin my festival. I think i possibly annoyed/entertained anyone with a hangover around me during his set, I sang my heart out and danced to my hearts content. Which is fine, aside from the fact that nobody around me seemed to be doing the same- which I changed when four simple word came on, I mean how can you not dance with everyone/thing you see when that song comes on??
Now for my biggest highlight of the entire weekend: Mr Frank Carter. Over the past year, the rattlesnakes have slowly become one of my favourite bands- if not my favourite. So I knew that seeing them main stage would be amazing. And I was right. He really woke Reading Festival up!! Creating a massive circle pit, which circled the main tower in front of the stage, all within a matter of songs!! Throughout his whole set the crowd was full of energy, having an amazing time. Of course they ended with I hate you, which had an amazing reception. Despite the message behind the song, I think the main emotion in the air was love. The love of live music, the love of the festival and the love between fans.
This photo was taken upon leaving the pit for Carter- sums it up really.
Another highlight has to be of course the not so secret YMAS set. Recently I have gone off YMAS, just because my music taste has grown and they have started producing music that isn’t my cup of tea. However, I love their old tunes and always will. The tent of course was rammed, full of old a new fans. Luckily for old fans like myself they played a lot of old song, so I really got to have a massive sing along (which ended in me in a pit during bite my tongue of course!)
This the festival had a new jäger inspired stage, which held bands such as gnarwolves and the shikari sound system. The only downside to this stage was the queue to get in, the shikari sound system one must of been at least an hour and a half long so I had to give that show a miss. But I made sure I was there to see gnarwovles, and I was so glad I made the extra effort- you had to leave the arena so it did make this stage out of the way and more of an effort to attend. Of course, gnarwolves smashed it, when do they not? But this stage blew me away. It was sooo aesthetically appealing, with jäger being a constant theme. The stag was printed on the walls are you entered, then you were brought into a small barn with a stage which then continued into a beer garden. Its hard to believe that something so civilised would be at a festival, especially at Reading! I hope the jägerhaus becomes a regular thing at Reading, jäger and live music it has to be my ultimate happy place!!
A couple of stand out acts across the weekend have to be:
- Asking Alexandria. When I was around 14 I was a fan of this band but never got the opportunity to see them, so I had to take up the opportunity. They were so entertaining, full of energy and the perfect end to my Friday night.
- The Dillinger Escape Plan. Hearing that they are calling a day is such a shame, because they were so entertaining. Something really special, the lead singer spent the set sitting on a sofa, drinking tea and reading a newspaper, which is something that definitely doesn’t correspond with the music they were playing. Musically they are basically my ideal genre. I am gutted I only just heard about them as I am so ready to jump onto their musical journey, such a shame it is coming to an end.
- Pulled Apart By Horses. Again another one of my favourite bands. Love, love, love this band. They are a band that I have been able to follow throughout the past couple of years and a band I will never get sick of seeing. They are bringing grunge back, and it makes me so so so excited!
- Twenty one pilots. At the moment they are taking the world by storm, so of course the tent was packed. I did leave to catch pulled apart by horses but it was such a hard decision, twenty one pilots were so fun. Every single person was just dancing. Such an amazing band, and I feel so lucky to have seen them.
And my final highlight has to be watching Fall out boy with my younger sister. I forced her to listen to my music and FOB became her favourite band. It was really special to see her in her element watching her favourites. Reading introduced me to my favourites back in 2011 and allowed for her to see hers in 2016. So thank you Reading Festival, despite the toilets and drugged up kids you really are special. Love you Reading!!!
Goodbye festival season, I will miss you. Until next year!!
Also, shoutout to the employees that delivered weetabix milkshakes to everyones tent throughout the friday night. You are the real true hero of Reading 2016.