Okay not gonna lie, winter is really dragging on this year. I mean January honestly felt like a year in itself. Bearing in mind this is coming from someone living in England, which i really feel may have the most depressing climate on this planet apart from perhaps the arctic circle.
However it is now February 13th which means those of us living in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to summer. When summer comes so do the festivals. As a 17 year old obviously i don’t have much experience. However last summer I was lucky enough to go to Reading festival with my friends.
This I realise now, was my first real taste of freedom in my whole life. Being totally unsupervised for 3 days. I think it’s fair to say I have lived quite a sheltered life and was slightly apprehensive to go to reading if i’m honest. It’s not all lovely, sparkly and sunny like coachella. Absolutely not, I mean we’re talking coming back to your mud soaked tent to find two strangers from Ireland having sex ON, not even in, your tent. I had heard the stories of you know death, rape, people burning tents on the last night etc and you know, wasn’t over the moon about going. However was explained to that it was a “right of passage” and blahblahblah.
Me and my two friends set off with masses of luggage in the burning heat (like 24 degrees but for someone from England thats pretty tropical) and got on the train unable to sit anywhere because of the mass of other people also carrying tents etc. Once we arrived we headed to our camp to find the rest of our friends, who honestly were all pissed off at us for being late so that wasn’t a great start and set up camp, slightly on top of this other randos tent. We literally couldn’t have been more squished we could barely move, i had to forget visions of me and my friends sitting round in a circle round a fire or whatever i had hoped for as i could barely see my feet when i looked down.
However we were in a good location, being able to walk to the music without it being a hassle whilst not being to close to loud D and B or whatever.
We also had a convenient bush right next to our tents. This we found out was useful to use as a toilet, this may sound rank but quite frankly the toilets at reading are like something from horror movie. Honestly have to be seen to be believed.
The heat, business and smell of the place was really quite overwhelming for me and honestly the first night of reading will not go down in history as my favorite night ever. My friends and I got offered drugs i had absolutely no idea how to take or even what they were. Bearing in mind i literally thought i was the most rogue legend that had ever walked the planet for sneaking in a minuscule amount of vodka in a suncream bottle, drugs hadn’t even crossed my mind.
Honestly wasn’t the most inspiring start.
Also wasn’t too pleasant when our neighbors decided to throw my camping chair into a bush as an act of rebellion against us pitching our tent on top of theirs
The first nights sleep wasn’t too rosy either. I had never been so cold in my life and spent the entire night shivering, honestly thinking I had taken something by accident and was about to die. Didn’t get much better either when the calming rain sound i began to hear turned out to be someone peeing on the tent.
From what I have said Reading may have started to sound like hell on earth. And those were my exact thoughts when I rang my mother and asked her to come and collect me on friday morning. I hadn’t even heard any music.
However things started to look up when the music began. Reading is great because generally the line ups are pretty great. The act that really turned the whole experience round for me was two door cinema club. Oh my god if you haven’t heard it, undercover martyn is honestly the best song ever. Live, it was even better. I can’t even describe how amazing it was to sing along to it in the sunshine with my best friends. It was unreal.
After this experience Reading started to impress me a bit more. There were many other acts which were also insane but it would take a very long time to write about them all so i’m just doing the highlights. Fat boy slim was another memorable occasion although not really for the right reasons.
First of all i honestly thought i was going to faint and die in a mosh pit trampled to death by sweaty men. Secondly this was the first time I properly lost my friends and it was horrendous. Like generally I felt so helpless cause couldn’t phone anyone as they were all in mosh pits etc and just felt so alone. So if you go to a festival make sure you have some kind of plan for when you lose your friends.
We did not, however I was lucky and literally bumped into them a few minutes later. But it was scary. All the music inside the arena ends at about 11 and so you know I thought bed time. But oh no, on to the silent disco.
I am not kidding silent discos are honestly the best thing to have been invented. They are so genius. It’s great because there are two channels so you can pick which one you want depending on the music which is so cool. We ended up leaving at 4:00 when it closed meaning we were honestly in there for 4 hours or so which not gonna lie is pretty impressive.
The next few days were pretty similar. However honestly I think saturday night was the best night of my entire life.
This was generally just because flume was honestly the best thing i think i have ever witnessed. I honestly can’t describe how amazing it was. If you want to know, go and watch his reading set on youtube however obviously it doesn’t do it justice.
Anyway the point is I went into reading actually hating it. I very much disliked the first 12 hrs and thought I was going to hate the whole thing. However it didn’t take long for me to realise how insane it really was.
Festivals also help you make such good memories and also help your relationships with your friends (obvs this is cheesy). Where else are you gonna be able to make memories including angry women throwing chairs, weird fake fart noises, baked beans, 5 am pizza, mosh pits and so on. You and your friends also get closer because you share all these memories and also look after each other when someone inevitably needs help.
After leaving reading my friends and I have literally spent the time reminiscing or planning our next festival. And I think this just shows how great festivals are, It’s honestly just loads of people wanting to have a good time and listen to music, which in this day and age I think is a really positive thing.