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Saturday, 3 September 2016

MUSIC | Reading Festival

As I type this post, I am exhausted.

I am back to work now, but still haven't caught up on my sleep properly, my throat is absolutely buggered (I can't sneeze without wanting to cry from pain) and I'm sure I now have old lady knees.

But it's been worth it, because this kind of recovery can only mean one thing - I am suffering because of a bloody awesome weekend at Reading Festival!

Last weekend I attended Reading Festival for the first time after wanting to go for years. I'm not sure why I'd never gotten around to going on previous years, but I do know the line up this year was just too good to miss (plus I could afford it for once!).

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Myself and my friend Briony headed down Thursday afternoon, music blaring from her car speakers and Dorito's to hand for snacks. The drive didn't take too long, except there was a bit of expected traffic in the town centre, and before long we had parked in the field and were looking shamefully at all our belongings, wondering how exactly we were going to transport them from A to B (wherever that was, because I knew trying to find a decent spot for camp wasn't going to be easy, even though we were kind of early but not early enough.)

Eventually we found a spot in White Camp, which, for a first timer for me, I thought was alright. After living through the weekend and the damn long walk to the arena and back everyday, I'd probably choose somewhere else next time or arrive earlier - but I'll talk about that in another post.

We threw up our tent, got changed, grabbed a couple of beers and headed down to the Arena. Even though only half of it was open, I was blown away because I was finally there! After so many years I'd finally made it to Reading Festival!

There wasn't a lot on as technically the festival didn't start until the Friday so we edged our way into a tent to watch Hot Dub Time Machine, who apparently I'd raved about years ago and wanted to see - although I don't remember this. They (he?) were awesome and really got us in the mood for the rest of the weekend, playing one popular song from each year. This meant there were obviously tons of hits we knew, but my god was it busy and sweaty!

I found it hilarious though.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Reading Festival | Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Reading | | Music Festival

I'd really like to write about what we did each day after this - especially to look back on for future years to come - but unfortunately I can't remember in that much detail. We popped out for lunch most days as a lot of the bigger bands we were eager to see weren't on until the evening.

On Friday, the weather was GORGEOUS. We sat down on the grass and enjoyed the upbeat Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls at lunch time, enjoying what felt like a genuine summer day. We then headed into the crowd at the main stage for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes where my opinion of him changed completely.

I'd caught him/them at a SUM41 gig a few months back and really hadn't enjoyed the set - I thought he was rude and angry and just not my type of music at all. Then again, that night, I didn't really enjoy the gig overall. I can't remember why, but basically I just wasn't in the mood so maybe that's why.

Seeing him at Reading though changed my mind! Again, I'm not sure why, but he just looked so damn happy and thankful to be there. And I really liked how he promoted mosh pits and stuff but as soon as someone got hurt, he stopped them immediately.

His music is pretty good too, obviously.

We found a stand serving the most amazing chorizo, halloumi, rocket salad and seasoned yogut sauce burger/bun which was soooooo good! I've done a bit of research and it was from a company called Black Pig Catering. I was actually quite impressed with the food over the weekend, having expected just burger vans, but there were loads of really nice food brands there and it wasn't too expensive, either.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Music | Reading Festival | Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Reading | | Music Festival

We also checked out Die Antwoord that afternoon which was a set I was really looking forward to - and they did not disappoint. It was certainly different but a hell of a lot of fun.

I finally finally got to see Twenty One Pilots Friday night too! I've been waiting to see them for what seems like so long now. Even though the tent was packed and I nearly missed their set because I, er, went to the wrong tent at first, and even though I could barely see them, it was still an amazing set. Because it was my first time seeing them, I had that excitement that I rarely ever get anymore because I go to gigs so often, so that was nice.

Saturday there wasn't really much to write home about as there was no one I was desperate to see this day, but we used this day to get out hair done, check out a few artists we didn't know and explore. There was, however, a surprise secret set from You Me At Six! I was super happy about this because I love them but don't rate them live usually, so didn't bother getting tickets for their tour. I'm glad I did get a chance to see them though as it's been a while and their set was enjoyable.

Sunday was another big day with sets from Good Charlotte and Fall Out Boy, and my friends favourite's, Third Eye Blind and Coheed and Cambria, who I am now fans of.

It was also this day that we (well I, since she already knew of him) discovered Rocky Nti, so Sunday was a good day for discovering new artists on my behalf anyway.

Good Charlotte's set was okay. There were a lot of sound issues and I think I was so exhausted from the weekend that I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have done. We were stood next to one guy with a huge back pack on who kept hitting us with it, and behind an over the top tall man in front of us who kept going crazy, bumping into us and obscuring our view. By the end, it was so hot and I felt so rough that I actually felt a little faint. Still, I stuck it out and it was still an okay set, the band performed well, it was just everything else that stopped me enjoying it.

It's a shame, because we'd chosen to see them instead of The 1975 who I did really want to see, so I'm beginning to think maybe it would have been better to see them instead.

Still, never mind.

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Fall Out Boy's co headline set (which was actually before Good Charlotte's but personally felt to me like the best way to end the weekend) was amazing. Visually, it was really impressive with dancers performing tricks with fire and fireworks from the stage. They played lots of their hits, although I do wish they played some old songs too. I tend to prefer gigs at smaller venues which is where I have always seen FOB, but it was actually really nice seeing them headline to such a large crowd.

It was definitely a different kind of experience and although I prefer smaller, intimate gigs overall, this was just that good that I'm really happy I saw them on such a big scale. They deserve it, and to me, signalled the end of the weekend really well.

We headed back home on Monday and since then I've been suffering from the post-festival blues (plus I'm 99.9% sure I now have tonsillitis). It was such an amazing time and such a new experience for me that I already can't wait to go again next year.

From the good food, the memories we made and of course, the amazing music, overall, Reading is one of my favourite memories of 2016.

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Have you ever been to Reading Festival? Let me know! I'll also be popping up a few more posts related to the festival, so keep your eyes out!

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