Let’s rewind to a couple of weekends ago when I took my first ever trip to Reading Festival…
I got confirmation that me and Rob were heading to Reading the week before it started, I had been to V Festival the weekend before so we had our tent, sleeping bags and festival toiletries at the ready. After a quick food and alcohol sweep of Tesco we were soon ready to hit the road! It was the first ever time I’ve been to Reading and Rob’s second time as he went a few years ago with a huge group of his friends and he loved it. I remember him coming home and telling me how amazing his weekend had been – ever since that moment I knew that this year Reading had to be done. And done it was!
We hit the road early Friday morning and arrived at the festival about 11am, the festival opens on the Wednesday to early bird ticket holders and on the Thursday to anyone with a normal ticket. Truth be told I’m not a hugeeee fan of camping so we decided to make the most of our comfy bed and hot showers and decided to set off early Friday morning instead.
We were camping with a group of our friends (I met them all through Rob but they honestly made the weekend, it was so much fun and I love the atmosphere when camping in a big group!) so when we got there we set off to find them and set up camp. Once our tent was up we grabbed a seat and cracked open a few ciders – it always seems weird drinking that early in the day, but anything goes at festivals!
After sitting around chatting, laughing and drinking for a couple of hours we hit the arena about half 1, we headed to the main stage and claimed a spot which was our meet up location for the whole weekend (such a good idea if there is a big group of you like we were!). Blood Red Shoes were on at 2 so we grabbed some drinks, kicked back and watched them in the sunshine.
Following them were Deaf Havana, Jimmy Eat World, and Enter Shikari all on the main stage in the afternoon – it was such a fun chilled out afternoon in the sunshine watching some great acts, I have to say that I was so so impressed with Enter Shikari – they were amazing! Not really someone I would of thought to see before but I’d definitely watch them again as their set was just so good. We then watched Vampire Weekend who I was so pleased I saw – I’m a huge huge fan of their music and have always wanted to see them live, they honestly didn’t disappoint – a great, upbeat set from these guys!
After Vampire Weekend me and Rob broke off from the group in search of dinner (we ended up at the GBK van which was amazing!). We then headed to the Radio 1 dance stage to catch Gorgon City followed by Annie Mac, we were strolling past as Gorgon City were on and decided to head into the tent and they were actually amazing! We danced the whole set and loved every minute of, Annie Mac followed their set and I have to say I was quite disappointed! I’ve seen her several times before and have always been a fan but it just felt really repetitive and it was so minimal tech it never really felt like the beat ‘dropped’ so we headed back to the main stage to watch Queens Of The Stone Age who were headlining the Friday night and amazing as expected. After their act we headed back to our camp for some late night laughs and a few drinks before heading to bed, we were knackered as we were up at 6am to drive there so we called it a night around 1am.
On Saturday we headed to the arena early afternoon and found our plot by the main stage, after sitting in the sun for an hour or so I decided to head back to camp alone for an afternoon nap. I’d had the worst night sleep ever (me and Rob had the worlds smallest two man tent which was not ideal!) and just couldn’t wake up, Rob came back to the tent around an hour later and found me asleep half in, half out the tent as it was so hot – god knows what passers by thought haha (although I’m sure they’d seen a lot worse over the weekend!). The rest of the guys also came back to the tents shortly after for an afternoon of drinking games and swapping hilarious stories.
We headed back to the arena around 4pm to watch The Hives – who were so entertaining, Foster The People, and Chvrhces who were all incredible. We then popped over to the NME/BBC Radio 1 stage to catch Bombay Bicycle Club’s set, I’ve seen them several times before am in love with their music – it was a great set from them and it really warmed us up for the headliners… the Arctic Monkeys – one of the absolute highlights of the weekend (and of any live music I’ve seen full stop!) We found a spot at the main stage about half hour before they came on as we knew how busy it would get, it was still so overwhelming the amount of people that had come to watch them.
I have to say they were absolutely incredible!!! From the moment they came on they had the whole crowd singing every word, some of my favourites songs are there older music such as When The Sun Goes Down and I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor – it was a dream come true to watch Alex Turner singing them to me live! A few other favourites he played had to be R U Mine, Arabella and Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? – best set ever!
After all being on an absolute high of seeing the Arctic Monkeys live we decided to head back to camp with a hugeeee plate of Chinese for some more drinks and laughs before bed! It’s fair to say that we were all feeling a little worse for wearing Sunday morning so we all took it easy and chilled around camp for a bit. Me and Rob headed to Tesco as we’d run out of alcohol (I absolutely love the fact that at reading you can just pop to the shop as it’s so close to everything!) and we passed a Toby Carvery so we dashed off for a pint of orange juice and a fry up which sorted us right out and geared us up for our last day at Reading festival (boo!).
Again we headed to the arena a bit later as there wasn’t anyone desperate to see early on so we sat around drinking in the sunshine which was lovely. On Sunday we watched A Day To Remember (who I’d never heard of before but they were awesome!), The Kooks (Naive was my ultimate song growing up and it was a dream watching them perform it!), You Me At Six then we set off to watch the 1975. The rest of our group was watching Macklemore and that really isn’t my thing so we set off in search for the 1975 and honest to god it was the best decision I’ve ever made. They were on par with the Arctic Monkeys and one of the best acts I’ve ever seen live – absolutely incredible, the second I got home I was looking into buying tickets for an upcoming gig as I can’t wait to see them again!
We finished off the day watching Blink 182 who were okay, after watching the 1975 and the Arctic Monkeys the day before it was slightly disappointing! I know a fair few Blink songs but I was never a die hard fan so some may disagree but personally it wasn’t all that for me. We got an early night Sunday as we set off early Monday morning to beat the traffic home, we got back in just over two hours which we were chuffed with then got straight into bed for a solid 5 hours sleep which was the best feeling!
I can honestly say that now Reading festival has been introduced to my life I can’t see it leaving anytime soon, every year they absolutely pull it out of the bag with the line up and I’ve never seen a line up that I’ve thought I wouldn’t go to. I had the best weekend with amazing company and some of the best live acts I have ever seen, I will never ever forget this weekend and I can honestly say roll on Reading 2015 – the countdown has begun! If you have never been to Reading or Leeds I couldn’t recommend it enough as I promise you will have the best time ever! Super early weekend tickets are actually on sale already for 2015 and you can buy them here – you wont regret it!
Have you been to Reading before? Did you go this year? I’d love to know who your top acts were!
A hugeeee thank you to the Zeitgeist agency for the best weekend ever!