This Bank Holiday Weekend saw a lot of festivals closing up the season. I got a chance to attend Reading Festival 2018 with Contiki in a VIP style and it was AMAZING!
About Reading and Leeds Festival 2018
As the world’s longest running festival still in existence, it’s no surprise Reading Festival is also one of the best-loved festivals on the UK circuit. Boasting multiple stages for every musical quirk and curiosity, Reading Festival has played host to some of the greats over the years, and 2018 had another killer line-up of incredible talent. With the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, Panic At The Disco, Post Malone, Diplo, Kings of Leon, Fall Out Boy, Travis Scott, The Wombats, Bicep and many many more, the festival was set to be a great success.
“This year’s line-up is its most diverse to date – and if that’s not a glowing indictment of the ‘youth of today’, then… well, you should probably question why a little diversity makes you shit your knickers so much, eh grandad? And besides, given all the strife our generation has to contend with day-in, day-out, who are the comfy middle-agers to deny us a little fun come the August Bank Holiday?”
It’s a festival which has certainly seen a lot in its time, having hosted every type of genre including rock, alternative, indie and punk. We just can’t get enough of Reading’s feel-good vibes and every year just seems to get bigger and better. All the way from its 1961 jazz debut to 2017’s grime and indie scenes, the diverse acts just keep on coming and the festival goers keen on covering their faces with more and more glitter each year.
My main highlight of the festival
My personal highlight this year was definitely the performance of Panic at the Disco, or rather, Brendon Urie. I grew up listening to his voice day and night, I dreamt of going to see Kinky Boots while he was performing, so Saturday night at Reading was a dream come true.
“This is kinda wild – 12 years ago I played my first Reading and Leeds Festival, and in the first thirty seconds I was knocked out by a bottle,” Urie beamed to a crowd that stretched further than the eye could see. “We came back on stage when I woke up from a two-minute coma, and that was the happiest I’ve ever been at that point. But now I can say this is the happiest I’ve ever been, so thank you for being a part of that.”
Brendon is as great of a performer as I imagined. But his voice is definitely the most impressive feature of the whole festival. ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’, ‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’ as well as his cover of the Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (“I just really fuckin’ wish I wrote this song,” he shrugged by way of explanation) showcased the full range of notes that his voice could reach.
Last year over 13,000 tents were abandoned at the Reading Festival. This year’s clean-up is set to be equally as long. With over 90,000 attendees, one can only hope the environment is left safe. However, Reading works very closely with Julie’s Bicycle, a not-for-profit organisation working on sustainability within the creative industries, as part of their Industry Green certification. In 2017 the festival achieved a 4/5 star rating after recycling 68% of waste, and they aim to get the same rating this year too. By hiring volunteers and dedicated FBI agents (festival bin inspectors, lol), Reading & Leeds is not only helping keep the festival field clean and raise awareness on recycling but also running a few competitions by participating in which you could win tickets for the next year. Greenpeace has also been running the Deposit Return Scheme for cups and bottles at Reading, which engaged with lots of festival goers.
Have you been to Reading or Leeds Festival this year? Do you want to go next year?
Text: Irina Gorskaia
Images: Reading Festival