ready, steady, reading!

Friday, 4 September 2015


preparation for reading started almost a week earlier than it should have, with thanks to a packed after-school schedule meaning i wouldn't have time to pack for it any other time that the monday prior, but with no way to be able to predict the weather that far in advance (even with an oracle, you could never accurate predict the uk's bipolar weather system), i was careful to include many, many options. the closer we got to departure, the more i removed from my squashed-in backpack until there were only three outfits remaining; two options for friday, and a change for saturday. 

(note: i was supposed to stay in brighton the night before because of the planned tube strikes that day, but we ended up coming home suuuper late on thursday anyway, so there was no need to pack for friday either, but, rather be safe than sorry!)

despite the fact it's still ~technically summer, i knew it'd be a boots and tights sitch, regardless. i wore what i ~used to classify as my comfiest boots, a purple baby-tee and my chambray dress, then tied my checked shirt around my waist for later in the day when it started to cool down. as it was, that shirt had far too much wear than i would have liked that day, though in saying that, we most definitely had our fair share of sun. and, no rain! i was comfortable, and weather appropriate... unlike everyone under the age of twenty who was there. #asscheeks



i'd checked out the line up a few days earlier, and marked out where we needed to be, and at what time. call me a nerd all you like, but we were on a tight schedule to see as many of the bands we hoped to, and get back to other stages for next sets. and, despite one of the stages running slightly behind schedule (which actually helped us see more of other bands!), we stayed on schedule all day!

we did not anticipate the crowd of people lining up as we'd arrived, thinking that most people would have come the day before to camp, and that no-one would be around as early as we'd planned to be to see mariachi el bronx who were kicking off the main stage at midday. we'd checked into our hotel  at 10:30, had a glass of bubbles, charged our phones then grabbed a cab to the arena, only to be met with a throng of people. 

we had planned meticulously to arrive in time for mariachi, and did not stop to consider contingency... with nothing to do but wait, we finally got in and to the main stage just as they were finishing up their set. there's nothing we could have done differently, and we still got to see a couple of songs, so i was happy enough with that.




from there, we bounced around between the main stage and nme, the bar, the toilets, and the epic food stands that were set up in the arena for the rest of the day. the word 'expensive' comes to mind, but is considered a raging understatement. nevertheless, it's what you expect in that sort of environment - there's just no cost cutting measures (other than vodka-filled sandwich bags in the wellies - which would have been an amazing idea, had either of us been in possession of wellies) worth getting kicked out for, and so we sucked it up and enjoyed the experience.

i can't begin to explain how awesome of a day i had, seeing bands i first fell in love with as a teenager, and now singing along to every word as an adult. limp bizkit was my highlight, and desperately deserved to be headlining the main stage;at 45 years old, those lads still have so much stage presence, which kind of felt a bit wasted on the second stage. they completely rocked their whole set - including not just their own hits but also some epic covers from the same era of music, and we bounced out of that set giddy; high on pink wine, happiness, and some sort of youthful glee that probably just came across as a bit drunk.

shout outs also to don broco (who i'd never heard of), whose set included some epic synchronized dance moves (and one really fit guitarist); run the jewels, who tore the roooof off in their set (and had even the whitest of whiteys chanting "lie, cheat, steal, kill, win - everybody's doin' it!"); bastille, who we were able to just chill out and lazily listen to as we'd seen their whole set before; panic! at the disco, for cracking on despite a faulty microphone and for being gracious enough to accept the fact everyone preferred their version of 'bohemian rhapsody' to any of their album tracks; and to the lead singer of all time low, for appreciating the fact this isn't 2002, that we aren't teenagers any more, and that the band's scummy bassists needs to grow the eff up or get the eff out of the band.

the walk back to the hotel that night (after seeing the epic queue for taxis) was the longest walk i'd ever undertaken. my feet were knackered (tip: don't wear heeled boots for a day-long festival on uneven terrain), my legs were tired, and i ended up tip-toeing barefoot through the streets of reading, before climbing into our incredibly big and comfy king-size hotel bed that night. with ibuprofen to take the edge off, and sleeping tablets to get me there, i slept like a log. an actual log. until the fire alarm the next morning, that is.

i'm still definitely not a festival girl, and there's no way you'll ever get me near a tent, but i had an incredible time on friday, and i would 100% do that again.

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