As the August Bank Holiday approaches, there’s only one thing on our minds… Reading Festival! Whether you live in Reading, the surrounding area or are a big fan of music, we’re sure this festival is on your radar.
Held at Little John’s Farm in Central Reading, Reading Festival runs simultaneously with Leeds Festival, with the artists and line ups being shared between the two sites. Both run by Festival Republic, Reading Festival is actually the world’s oldest popular music festival still in existence. If that isn’t something for Reading to be proud of, we don’t know what is!
The festival nowadays is predominately a rock, alternative, indie, punk & metal music festival, however recently hip hop has made an appearance in the line up with artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Post Malone popping up.
But did you know that the festival originally started as a jazz festival?
Established in the 1960s in the height of the jazz boom, The National Jazz Federation Festival was born. The festival was extremely popular and was predominately jazz for the first 2 years of it’s existence. By 1969, jazz had disappeared completely from the festival.
In the 1990s, Nirvana made the first of their two performances at Reading Festival with what would be their final UK gig in 1992.
Fast forward to the early 2000s, and Reading Festival was still going strong as a varied but predominately rock festival with the Main Stage and Radio 1 Stage featuring many indie bands. Although, the festival is mainly rock, hip hop artists such as Ice Cube, Beastie Boys, Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Dizzee Rascal have all appeared.
In 2019, a new record capacity was hit at 105,000 with several thousand being added to that each year. Also in this year, there were around 200 artists that performed across both Reading and Leeds.
The stages at Reading are all individual, each with their own genre and vibe. The Main Stage is for major rock, indie and metal bands with the Radio 1 Stage showcasing the very best in upcoming future headliners. At the Festival Republic Stage, you’ll find less popular, breakthrough artists, alongside the BBC Introducing Stage, where unsigned artists will be performing. There’s also Radio 1’s Dance Stage and the 1Extra Stage for those that love hip hop, RnB & rap.
This year headliners include, Dave, Megan Thee Stallion, Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me The Horizon, Halsey and The 1975.