It’s not set amongst rolling green hills and you won’t find any of that boutique festival bollocks here either, which is kind of the point of Reading. It was only ever about the music – and the music was preferably rock.
Witness the festival’s impressive heritage. Every iconic band from The Who to The Ramones played here in their heyday. Carl Barat and Pete Doherty buried their respective hatchets to reform The Libertines for last year’s festival (the £1m inducement certainly didn’t hurt either) while Nirvana performed their last UK gig at Reading in 1992, with frontman Kurt Cobain arriving on stage in a wheelchair to parody the rumours about his health.
The Stone Roses took their last gasp as a band here in 2004 after a disastrous set, and rapper 50 Cent, got bottled off stage after 20 minutes for not being “rock” enough.
Somehow, we don’t think that’s going to be a problem for this year’s performers. Coming from two opposite ends of the rock spectrum, proggy space rockers Muse (pictured) and garage revivalists The Strokes are old hands at Reading and are both almost guaranteed to put on blistering shows.
Alongside them, The Offspring and Jane’s Addiction represent blasts from the Nineties past and will no doubt stir feelings of nostalgia in festival-goers of a certain age.
For fans of a more indie rock bent, Elbow, Friendly Fires and The National will fit the bill nicely. And, of course, the appearance of the recently reformed Brit poppers Pulp will be a rare treat for anybody.
Aug 26-28 | Day tickets from £82.50