What You Need to Know About Reading Festival

Reading Festival was my first taste and experience of any festival back in back in 2019 at 20 years old.

Picture yourself waking up to beautiful sunshine, the smell of beer and the sound of festival goers happily passing by. It is still one of my fondest experiences and really started my hunger to go to more festivals.

Here are some of the things you’ll want to know about before going:

  1. The Atmosphere
  2. The Food
  3. The Toilets
  4. The Camping Area Vibes
  5. The Alcohol Rules
  6. The Town is an Achievable Walk Away and Has a Nandos
  7. Your Camping Chairs Will Disappear

1. The Atmosphere - Perfect for Your New Festival Goers

It’s easy to find your way around the campsite at Reading.

Every other person you walk past is carrying around a map on a lanyard. Coloured coordinated flags strung up between lamp-posts encircle every camping area, making it easy to work out which direction you need to go.

If you’re worried about getting lost, don’t be. The crowd is incredibly friendly and welcoming and you’ll soon feel comfortable speaking to nearly anyone, which really is the beauty of festivals.

2. The Food - Fantastic!

There’s every type of food you could want, from pizza to burgers to full roast dinners. It’s good quality and the lines are short due to the sheer number of options available.

If you don't fancy any of the food at the festival, you can bring food with you. Feel free to stock up on snacks to take in your bag which will also help save you a lot of money across the weekend.

3. The Toilets - Horrific.

Horrific isn’t strong enough. They're metal boxes on a raised platform and smell terrible. Also, the doors are too short to feel covered if you’re close to the 6-foot mark.

The smell and image you're picturing will still be far better than the real experience.

Some people opt to walk into town daily to avoid having to live this experience or purchase a ‘posh toilets’ pass for a little extra money - both great ideas.

4. The Camping Area Vibes

Reading is split into camping areas by colour.

Unofficially, some colours are for people who like to party all night, some for smokers and some for those who like to get lots of sleep or with families.

You can find more details/suggestions on which colour to go for based on what you are after here - https://www.getreading.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/2019-reading-festival-campsites-guide-13465486

5. The Alcohol Rules

Reading security is strict on stopping alcohol from making it into the festival itself. It can be bought inside, but it’s not cheap if you’re on a budget

They are more than happy to let you bring it into the camping area, however, and just outside of the gates, riverside, there are people selling crates of beer, so pre-drinking can help you save a lot of money.

6. The Town is an Achievable Walk Away

About 20 minutes of walking will get you into the town centre at a leisurely pace. You might decide it to be good value to buy week-long gym passes and use the facilities to shower and keep in shape (the showers were to die for).

As well as places to shower and stock up on alcohol and forgotten supplies, there are also great places to eat available in the town.

7. Your Camping Chairs Will Disappear

If you leave your chairs out overnight or walk away without leaving someone to guard the chairs, these will quickly vanish.

We found the theft fortunately only extended to chairs. Our group lost both an expensive speaker and a brand new phone in the dark, both of which were kindly returned when found by neighbouring tents.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it’s an incredible festival and if you haven’t been before I’d certainly recommend going. The acts are incredible and so are the people that go, making this one of the best festivals I’ve ever visited.

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