Reading & Leeds Fest 2024: Biggest weekend of the year in the UK

Reading Festival has become a staple of the large town as it is one of the oldest most popular music festivals in the world. Ever since opening in June 1971 as part of Reading’s Festival of Arts, it has only grown bigger and better with the likes of The Jam, Sham 69 and The Stranglers all playing in the 70s. In the 80s organisers moved towards a more commercial pop lineup much to the distaste of many of the festival goers. Paul Meatloaf was bottled off stage in 1988 as a result. In the 90s the festival started to really come into its own, there were iconic performances from the likes of Nirvana in 1992, which was their last UK concert. In the 2000s Reading started to embrace Rap music – kind of. Eminem headlined in 2001. There were also appearances from Ice Cube and Xzibit but 50 Cent, however 50 Cent was bottled off stage in 2004. Now the huge event hosts up to 105,000 music fans (as of 2019) every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend. 

The festival has the rumor of being the indie rock festival in the UK although it has turned into a much broader festival in the last 15 years. Every indie band with some sort of credibility has played at least five times at the festival. As usual, the weather is somewhat tricky but if you get cold you can always buy some firewood and start a fire at your campsite – it’s all ok as long as the flames don’t reach over one meter. Our advice is to bring a lighter though; ask the Messed!Up staff about it. 


About J.N.

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.