The Edge’s Reading Festival memories


With just over a week to go before you head off to Reading Festival 2013, here at The Edge we thought we would reminisce over previous years to get you even more excited for this year’s event. Over the past few weeks we have been asking people to send in memories of their time at Reading Festival. From Foo Fighters to Daphne and Celeste, we have an awesome mix of both musical and non-musical memories from over the years.  With readers, contributors and editors all sharing their memories we’re getting very excited for this year’s festival. Enjoy!

Hannah Mylrea, News Editor, The Edge:

readingfoo10‘I’ve loved Reading for the past few years, so when it came to pick a highlight it was tricky; but I’ve managed to narrow it down to two. The first was Frank Turner in 2010. Now I like Frank, but I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan, so it’s a slightly odd choice. But he was playing the NME stage in the Saturday mid afternoon, and although we were all shattered he managed to get everybody on their feet and dancing to his catchy folk rock. He sounds so much better live, and he’s just such a likeable guy it was hard not to enjoy it. There was such a great atmosphere in the tent as well, with everybody looking out for each other, which I found you don’t often get at Reading. The second is Foo Fighter’s headline set. I’d been waiting to see the band live for about 6 years, and they didn’t disappoint. Dave Grohl was just flawless live, and each song translates so well to the huge stage, sounding even better than the records.’

Alice Pape, reader.

An eclectic array of memories came from reader of The Edge, Alice Pape. Radiohead’s Sunday headline slot in 2009 shone through as a spectacular moment as well some moments that have indeed gone down in Reading History. For example that infamous Kings of Leon hissy fit in 2009 and Billy Talent’s burn the following day.

James Thornhill, Editor of The National Student.

85217520Getty170311‘I doubt there’s been a harsher Saturday morning wake-up call than Atari Teenage Riot opening the main stage in 1999. 11am and a sonic blitzkrieg burst from the stage, following a shout of ‘Start the Revolution’, people leave tents confused and the small crowd loses its mind. Crushing white noise, crashing beats and metal guitar with angry Germans shouting about destroying culture. Sonic terrorism at its finest – no other band has been more in your face than ATR.

In 2000 the smallest stage, The Carling Stage, hosted two special events. Hotly tipped hardcore band At The Drive In were creating a buzz but nothing could prepare me for the rock ‘n’ roll explosion on stage. On a stage barely big enough to fit their hair ATDI, were more energy than skill, they dropped notes, fucked-up every song but were a pure adrenaline rush. Then they left, and I picked my jaw off the floor, ringed out my sweaty t-shirt and went for a sit down. 

Later that night Queens Of The Stone Age announced themselves as a rock band destined for greatness. They played their whole album (they only had one) – from the opening notes of ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’ I was sold. Beck’s performance that same year as he emerged as a Prince like, electro-soul master – all his hits showing him to be a chameleon of a pop-genius. From the full-band soul numbers off Mixed Bizness to a solo-rendition of ‘Loser’ he commanded the stage. And Pulp following him were amazing, well, because it’s Pulp!

That same year pop duo Daphne and Celeste, got bottled off stage. I felt a bit sorry for them when they were booed but lost it when they hurled abuse back at the crowd and then had to leave the stage. They were God awful to! One of those bizarre festival moments. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead destroying the set was like nothing I had seen before, some bands destroy equipment, this band destroyed everything – it took them ages to get ready for the next band.’

Alistair Stewart, reader. 

‘Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins in 2007. I was not familiar with either act’s music but they were immense (I bought Siamese Dream as soon as I got home). Metallica in 2008, there were rumours that Reading council had enforced some noise control thing (The Killers were certainly quiet), needless to say Lars Ulrich’s double bass drum didn’t comply.’

Anthony Pritchard, contributor.

10222_264470380253_2439911_nPeople following the police around after the Kaiser Chiefs’ set in ’09 with rowdy versions of ‘I Predict a Riot’. Also I have a pic somewhere of a guy in a rabbit costume holding 2 slices of watermelon squatting over a passed-out guy.’ (see left)

Simon Boyce, contributor.

In 2005, Death From Above 1979 then later that night Melt-Banana. Rare glimpses of actually good and passionate music between hours of bland Killers/The Coral/Kasabian etc. Test Icicles too…worth battling through the thousands of 13 year old girls.’

Kirstie Pullman, reader.

Queens of the Stone Age in 2010 were genuinely amazing as were Foo Fighters last year. The lead singer of Eagles of Death Metal stopping in front of my friend and I last year to do his guitar solo was also pretty awesome. In 2010 Haley Williams joined You Me At Six on stage for ‘Always Attract’ which was pretty decent. Frank Turner in 2011 managing to get the entirety of the main stage crowd to sit down (in the mud) so they could get us to jump back up again was quite impressive too! Feeder in 2012 trying to heckle Florence and The Machine from the Lock Up stage was hilarious.’

Bethany Dyde, reader.

Blink 182 were terrible and crushed all my 14 year old dreams and memories.’

Megan Downing, Editor, The Edge

2012FosterThePeopleReadingFri01DK240812‘I’ve only been to Reading Festival once and that time was long over-due. The line ups are always absolutely stunning and exactly the sort of music I long to see live. So 2012 was the year for me. Being one of six festivals across the summer I had become used to the damp tents, cold nights and warm beers, however, there are always certain acts that make you forget about your discomforts and all of your worries. I accidentally caught Foster The People on the NME stage after leaving The Cure’s beyond boring headline set. I was expecting to see The Maccabees but I had arrived an hour early and it was such a fantastic mistake. Foster The People were incredible. So much energy, so much fun. 

The next morning I caught the worst kept secret of the year: Green Day’s performance. I ran across the Reading site to the NME tent upon hearing Billy Joe’s tones and witnessed something incredible. Seeing that set has made me all the more excited for their headline slot this year.’

Thank you to everyone who contributed. If you have any Reading memories you would like to share with us, comment below. For more information on this year’s Reading Festival check out the official website.


About Author

I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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