As Summer 2018 closes in on us, festival season comes to an end, and that fucking heatwave is officially over, we take time to reflect back on what was a spectacular weekend at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival.
An exceptional 200,000 festival-goers attended the 3-day weekend to watch hundreds of the world’s best artists, bands, DJs and comedians perform. The festival did however spark debate earlier this year, after announcing a much diverse set of acts, with some fans calling this year’s line-up “the worst of all time”. But I’m here to let you know that that speculation was absolute bollocks. And here’s why Reading & Leeds turned out to be one of my favourite gigs EVER.
I wouldn’t really class myself a festival kind of girl. Wireless is usually as far as it goes for me, because I know I can jump on a train home when the parties done. So, the idea of being 60 miles away from home, surrounded by thousands of campers and squishy mud was a lot to take in at first. However – I don’t think I’d have changed anything about this weekend. From the variety of acts, to the infectious crowd. Even the weather and the wellies weirdly contributed to the exceptional vibe, which I don’t think can be replicated anywhere else.
But when the line-up was announced, a lot of fans took to social media to share their outrage on how the acts were so different to anything you’d be used to seeing at Reading & Leeds. With some fans saying it had “lost its identity” when acts like Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar were announced as headliners. But the irony for me, who is a lover of all kinds of music including Rock and Indie, was that it was this very point that made me fall in love with the festival so much.
Granted you’re never going to be the biggest fan of everyone on any line up, but the festival had EIGHT bloody tents to choose from! If you were an Indie fan you could watch The Kooks perform their greatest hits on the main stage. And if you were a Rap fan you could catch Mist perform bangers in the Radio 1 tent. (And if you were a fan of both like me you’d spend your time running to the other side of the field every 10 minutes.) But really, there was something for EVERYONE. It was what I feel is a true depiction of the music scene in 2018 and we were absolutely blessed to have this all under one roof.
Personally, I’m not even a Panic of The Disco fan – but I distinctively remember when they were on stage and looking around seeing so many happy faces – young, old, sober, drunk and it genuinely just reminded me why I love music so much.
It shouldn’t have even been a topic whether certain genres deserve places on a line-up that used to be for purely rock and indie fans. Music evolves, the sounds of the charts changes every year, and I’m positive all the current festival line ups do is reflect that.
For me I got to see J Hus play the biggest show of his life, and The Kooks live for first time ever – all whilst singing my heart out in the rain. And it was fucking beautiful.