I really enjoyed the music at Reading. I also enjoyed the people. It wasn’t too muddy and I didn’t get sunburnt; the food was moderate to shite; my feet hurt quite a lot by the end of the day; but dammit if it wasn’t a really, really good three days. My main observation is that lo! going to festivals can be really good fun.
Our pre-festival preparation consisted of obtaining music by many of the bands that we didn’t know well, because we felt that we would enjoy it more if we were familiar with lots of the music. This is how we knew we were going to love Maximo Park, but also how we found ourselves disappointed by British Sea Power. Here is a picture of BSP and their stupid tree-waving fans:
The other thing I really wasn’t prepared for was the high incidence of underwear showage. Now I know that for ages, boys have been wearing their jeans low around the arse with a couple of inches of grubby designer label showing – quite a foolish look, I’m sure you will agree. But I didn’t know that this was now a common look for girls as well. Which is okay when your arse looks like this:
But not okay when your arse looks like this:
or indeed this:
I was also mildly entertained by all the individuals present. You know the ones: rebellious, pierced, dressed all in black. Don’t give a shit about nothin’. Very unfairly treated by parents [even those for whom tickets were clearly purchased by mummy and daddy]. Favourite t-shirt slogan: demand the right to be unique.
The whole place was thoroughly branded by Carling, which the little darlings didn’t seem to mind at all; consumer ethics are only useful when they don’t apply to the things we all want to consume, such as music. Only the soft drinks and half pints were served in cups advertising Ethical Threads, which gives you some idea of the target market for those items. Real beer drinkers want t-shirts that weren’t just made in sweatshops, they’re printed using the blood and sweat of chinese children. Oh yeah.
Seriously, these kids couldn’t even pick up their own litter. After three days, they were happily sitting on the dusty grass in a sea of their own filth. None of the bins were full, not because they were regularly emptied, but because no-one put anything in them.
In summary, Reading was ace, not least because I could feel superior whenever I wasn’t enjoying the music. Also because of Pete’s beard.