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Reading/Leeds. Best Festivals in the UK
Member Name: john0812
Advantages: Competitve price, great atmosphere, great music
Disadvantages: line up announcemt is late
Reading and Leeds are 2 sisters festivals, ran at the same time, on the August bank holiday every year. They have the same bands playing at the same/similar time, just on different days. For example, in 2008, The Killers played Leeds on Sunday, and Reading on Saturday.
The festivals are the last of the big festivals to be held over the summer. Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival, Download etc., all being held before, some as early as June, up until August.
The music at the festival is spread across a number of stages, from massive, world famous bands on Main Stage, down to local, unsigned, unknown bands on the BBC Introducing stage, and everything inbetween. I don't think I would say "there is something for everyone" because people who are big fans of dance, R&B etc. aren't really catered for. You do get a mix of metal, rock, indie, alternative and guitar-ry stuff.
For the festival, you can buy a weekend ticket, or a day ticket, so you can go to see the bands you want, even if you only wanted to see Friday's music, for less than a weekend ticket. A weekend ticket will set you back around £160 once you've paid fees and postage, and a weekend ticket is about £80-£90 (I've never bought a day ticket so I'm not fully certain). The weekend ticket allows you entry from Thursday until Sunday, including all access to the arena and campsites. A day ticket will get you into the arena for the specified day, and, if you really wanted to, you could stay in the campsite after that, because no one forces you to leave. But you might get bored through the day doing that.
You also have the option to buy an early entry ticket for an extra £10, with which you can get into the campsite on Wednesday, a day before the crowds, to get a good tent space. Highly recommended in my opinion.
The campsite is split into different sections identified by the colour of the bunting running between telegraph poles. There is no uniformity of tents here, i.e, people don't leave pathways etc (except the fire lanes)., its more of a case of finding a space and using it. So it is chaotic, but fun. Also, the lighting is fairly poor, so your best off camping near a memorable spot (a visible sign/flag) or having an excellent sense of direction and memory. A torch would be very handy in these situations when your returning to your tent at night time. Having said that, not many people use them. I didn't. I wish I did. On the last night, you can get massive fires as people burn their tents as everyone is too lazy to pack them up, or they're just a complete mess so they're not worth keeping. It might be an idea to pack up on Sunday, so if any loony runs over and sets your tent alight, you can get your stuff out.
Also, be careful, some absolute idiots will throw gas bottles onto the fires, which obviously, is risky, so to be safe, you might want to stay away from massive bonfires which people are gathering around.
Despite the gas problem, the festival still allows campfire and barbequeues etc. which some festivals have banned. This saves having to pay shedloads to the food vans.
A food van in the festival will usually sell a burger for about £5!! chips £2! drinks £2 and nine inch pizzas between £7 and £9. I wouldn't rely too much on these. They're aren't worth it in my opinion. Then, if drinking is your thing, a pint from the bar is about £3.20, with a 20p refund for returning cups. You will see a lot of people walking round picking up cups. A crate of beer from the onsite supermarket was £25 in 2008. The choice of alcohol is limited, depending on sponsers. In 2007 and earlier this was Carling, but 2008 was Carlsberg, Tuborg and Gaymers cider.
The line up for the festival is announced only just before tickets are released. By just before I mean like 30 seconds. This is done over BBC Radio 1, and on the Reading/Leeds website, but this will be very busy. This is one thing I don't like about the festival. Other festivals usual announce several acts weeks or months before the ticket release. But not here. Also tickets will sell out very quick. There's a lot of panic and servers get extremely slow. See Tickets and Ticketmaster are probably the best places for tickets. Usually HMV sell some tickets the next day, but not very many. You'd need to queue up early. Only the bigger stores sell them, and usually, HMVs south of Leeds sell Reading tickets, and Leeds and further north sell Leeds tickets, at face value, no fees to pay.
<b>This year, 2009, tickets go on sale on the 30th March at 7pm.</b>
Rumours this year, so far, to name a few, include Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and AC/DC.
Summary: the ultimate way to spend a weekend
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