Reading Festival is the world's oldest popular music festival still in existence. Originally a Jazz Festival, it soon followed the lead of American festivals like Monterey and Woodstock and converted to rock in the late 1960s, playing host to The Who and the Yardbirds.
Its first golden era began in the early 1970s, when it differentiated itself from other outdoor hippie happenings by putting on glam and heavy metal bands, who themselves marked a departure from the hippie era's ideals. Glastonbury bands would jam for hours on end, wear face paint and flouncy tunics, and talk New Age mumbo-jumbo. Reading bands were unashamed crowd-pleasers, who sported denim and leather, played at brain-dulling volume, and drank and swore a lot. Accordingly, the "National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival" at Reading was seen as a glorified biker's convention, a place where all-weather clothing was essential, not just to protect you from the elements, but from the beer and less auspicious fluids, which flew through the air for most of the weekend.
History lesson over...but little has changed (although wellington boots are now advisable attire, if not to provide protection from the potential rain and mud, moreso from the discarded plates of noodles and piles of rubbish that litter the ground come Sunday afternoon).
And so this is how 150,000 music lovers who love to camp on-site, spent their August Bank Holiday weekend. The only difference being whether they chose the Reading or the Leeds sites, as the bands perform on a revolving bill across the North and South of England sites. The big dilemma of the three-day festival is not how to find your tent in the dark or how to cope with the hole in the ground toilets, but who to see...with five live stages and amazing bands all playing at the same time its a hard call:
Zildjian Artists included: Headliners, Arctic Monkeys (Matt Helders) and Radiohead (Philip Selway) along with Kaiser Chiefs (Nick Hodgson), Placebo (Steve Forrest), Funeral For A Friend (Ryan Richards), Faith No More (Rob Bordon), Friendly Fires (Jack Savidge and Rob Lee), Florence and The Machine (Chris Hayden), The Horrors (Joe Spurgen), Go:Audio (Andy Booth), the Prodigy (Leo Crabtree), Maximo Park (Tom English), Ian Brown (Inder Goldfinger and Maxi Maxfield), Gossip (Hannah Blilie), Glasvegas (Caroline McKay), White Lies (Jack Lawrence-Brown), New Found Glory (Cyrus Bolooki), You Me At Six (Dan Flint), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Brian Chase), The Living End (Andy Strachan), Thursday (Tucker Rule), Kids In Glasshouse (Philip Jenkins), Lostprophets (Luke Johnson), Gallows (Lee Barrett), In Case of Fire (Colin Robinson), and Bring Me The Horizon (Matt Nicolls).
Without doubt, the main buzz of the weekend was the 'secret set' by Them Crooked Vultures, (the super-group made up of John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl), who were treated to huge cheers and a massive crowd as they hit the NME/Radio 1 Stage.
Pictured hanging backstage are Andy Burrows (Ind/We Are Scientists) and Mark Richardson (Skunk Anansie), both punters for the weekend just having made the pilgrimage to second stage to see Dave Grohl behind the drumkit.
Also pictured, Zildjian's Tina Clarke with Leo Crabtree (The Prodigy) before their amazing energy filled set on Main Stage.
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