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Reading festival - Worth the money?
Member Name: Palmer89
Advantages: Music, With mates
Disadvantages: Camping, idiots
Where do I start with the Reading festival...
I went to my first (and only) Reading festival last year, I decided to go with many of my mates from uni plus a few from back home, we got a 12 man tent on ebay and slept 10 of us in there, the headliners last year were Killers, Rage Against The Machine and Metcallia whilst the cost of the tickets cost near enough £200 (including early entry).
Thats the major downside with this festival, the cost of around £170 to get in, the cost of the tent, merchenside, travel to and from the site as well as food and drink when you get there.
All in all I probably spent £300+ on the weekend, £40 was on merchendise, £30/40 odd on food, £50 odd on travel to and from as well as the £170 tickets, this makes for a very expensive trip, it's possible to go on holiday to Spain for a few days for that sort of cost I imagine (minus much spending there).
Thats the bad bit out of the way, was it worth the money is the important question.
As stated we got a 12 man tent from ebay to stay in for 8 of us, there were 4 compartments each sleeping 2 people, we arrived from the station on the wednesday after getting a taxi between 4 each to the campsite from the station which was a 4/5 minute drive.
The walking from getting dropped off from the taxi to the campsite was horrible, I ended up being chosen to take the huge tent amongst other things and almost fainted from exhaustion having to lump a big tent around, on a trolley thing which wheels were crap...the walk in total took about 20/30 minutes walking in dry mud which kept knocking the tent over...cue much frustration from me.
Anyway, we set up easily enough in the Yellow camp, we camped fairly close to the road so it was easy enough to find our tent in amongst the others, the first few days consisted of staying up late, checking the merchendise around the venue and eating (and for the others, drinking).
The camping aspect had got a little tiresome during late thursday, I just wanted the music to start which it did on the friday, camping during the nights was hard as people came around shouting it was hard to get to sleep (especially sleeping next to someone who pees ever 2 hours!), the sunday was the worst though, late night there was what sounded like riots going on all over the place, luckily I was knackered and although I could definatly hear everything late sunday night I somehow just fell asleep, through no real effort, it just happend.
We woke up the next day to hear more screaming, burning, throwing etc. although probably the best thing i've ever heard as some 15 year old chav started to shout "someone find me a can, I wanna stab a can".
Overall the camping with mates was fairly cool, although the amount of people meant it wasn't very personal, eating rubbish and not showering for 5 days wasn't my cup of tea either though although the experience was brilliant.
Overall, I'm not sure if I would camp again from the wednesday, late thursday I just wanted the music to start but obviously to get a good place the earlier the better, sleeping was the hardest with a load of pre-pubescant teenagers running around outside, sunday night I was actually slightly scared...so, camping, fun with mates, good laughs around the campfires...not so much for 5 days in a row and in such a busy environment.
This is the main aspect as well all know, forget the camping, you pay £170 to see some bands and for the atmostphere, the campings just an integral part of it...so, were the bands worth the money and is the atmostphere all it was cracked up to be?
The friday involved bands such as QOTSA and Rage on the main stage, now, I wasn't too sure on Rage, I hadn't been a big fan but had been told by many people how much this gig meant to them and to the many around me, for that reason I stayed to watch what actually turned out to be a mega set, the atmostphere during Bulls on Parade was electric and even more so during Killing in the name of.
QOTSA seemed a little flat for my liking, perhaps it was due to the sound troubles that the whole weekend had, obviously their well known hits went down a storm but other than that it wasn't so much the performance I was expecting.
The best bands of the day for me though were Biffy Clyro and The Enemy, for 2 very different reasons, Biffy were just superb, a few of us were right in the front for it and it was the busiest it had been all day and everyone just going for it during their set, The Enemy however involved the best baguette (and may I add only) fight I have witnessed, as over head around a thousand pieces off baguette were being chucked back and forth between the front and the back...involving being struck a few times, me.
The saturday was the day I was looking forward to the most, my favourite band were playing the lock up tent, The Gaslight Anthem, the highlight of the weekend for me being at the front to witness for the first time my favourite band playing in the UK (bar a small gig the night before), the set was brilliant and immediatly after I went and bought a T-Shirt (for around £15), The Killers and Raconteurs on the main stage were the big names of the day other than that, The Killers I was slightly dissapointed with, Raconteurs though were excellent.
The sunday I was very excited about seeing the main stage, Slipknot and Avenged pulled out (no crying from me there), which left 2 of the best bands of the weekend supporting Metallica, Feeder were just brilliant and their big hits were some of the biggest sung anthems of the weekend, I was up on the shoulders of a mate singing along to Buck Rogers, it was an electric atmostphere during their set and the crowd just loved Tenecious D who were up next, their story telling set was brilliant involving a song about a train, due to the train tracks near the field.
I went back to the tent during Metallica because I just wasn't getting into them at all but witnessed the pyrotechnics and fireworks from our tent to bring to an end the festival...now, was it worth it.
Over the weekend I saw 17 bands for what ended up being around £300, this is just under £20 per band, adding on the costs of actually getting to and from 17 separate bands the actual costs is likely to be around £25+ (much more for bands such as the Killers/Rage), so say an average of £30 a ticket.
£30 - One band,
£500 - 17 bands separatly
£300 - 17 bands (plus others if you wanted)
For me thats a good enough deal isn't it, well, it's not unless you enjoyed the bands so lets see how many of the 17 bands I liked, 11 of the bands I saw I thought were brilliant, which means if we take the £30 a ticket system:
11 bands, £30 each = £330
Even purchasing merchendise, food and trval to Reading this costs less than seeing those bands seperatly, so it has to be said that the cost of the ticket and staying at Reading for 5 days does indeed look fairly cheap when thinking about it that way.
The atmostphere, especially in the lock up tent was very very good, especially during Feeder, Bloc Party and Rage on the main stage also.
Well, I have established that it's worth the money, if their are bands you really want to see, which there was for me luckily, however, as I have previously mentioned I don't think I would camp from the wednesday again, turning up on the friday would reduce costs even firther with early entre tickets, food, drink ec.
Camping, Brilliant with mates, not showing/food a disadvantage
Company, some idiots but thats to be expected
Not much else to say, IF there are 10+ bands you want to see, plus a load of smaller bands you wish to check out or just scope out at random times it's very much worth the money, some people aren't great campers so there are day tickets available but but £80 odd for a day is also fairly expensive (although again, not when comparing individual ticket prices).
The weekend for me was great, the experience was very good and I got to see some brilliant bands i'd never have otherwise got to, including the first time of me seeing my favourite band (having since been another 2 times to see them).
This is a great music festival if you're willing to live with it and camp...
Summary: Great bands = Great festival
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