In true British festival reality this past weekend has consisted of one too many warm lagers and the unforgettable sound of favourite bands, and resulted in a lost voice, worsening headache and serious Reading blues. We kind of forget for a year about all the camping inconveniences (it took Chloe and I almost two hours to figure out how to assemble our broken tent), below average toilet situation and the fearful sight of clouds and threat of mud they bring. But you’ve just got to embrace these minor obstacles (and even learn to love the loos) for five days and throw yourself into the festival spirit.
PINAFORE DRESS Zara
CROPPED JUMPER Urban Outfitters
6:30 AM starts and 4 hour drives call for comfy, so my pinafore dress and striped jumper was a casual outfit for lugging a backpack around that still gave off festival vibes. My Reading Fest playlist on spotify was our saviour on the journey, getting us hyped for all the best bands (as well as educating my friend Chloe on the Chili Peppers). After we set up camp we started as we meant to go on by cracking open the alcohol. The bucket hat was adopted once we were all a bit merry and Chloe got it free with her camping chair.
CAP Asos Marketplace
BRALET Urban Outfitters
SHORTS Vintage levis
LONG NECKLACE Bijoux-Brut on Etsy
On Friday we woke up to the smell of live music in the air and the beautiful sight of sun – clearly a blessing from the festival Gods (while at Leeds they were drowning in mud). We drunk beer for breakfast and lathered ourselves in glitter ready for the day of dancing ahead. Best acts included Chvrches and Foals – I’ve been a fan of Foals for a long time but their live performance was impressive to say the least and is well worth a watch on BBC iPlayer while it’s still up!
CO-ORD SET Handmade
BOOTS Doc Martens
As the weather turned out better than predicted, my original outfit had to be scrapped because it was waaaay too hot. So, I bought one of the hand-made two piece sets I was eyeing up since I arrived. They were all one-offs being sold at a little stall by the lockers, and even though it didn’t hide my tan (burn) lines, it turned out to be the perfect little festival outfit.
Space buns were by far the trend I was most excited to try out, and the addition of glitter made it instantly jazzier. 10/10 would recommend as it hides the fact you haven’t washed your hair in three days and it’s starting to look worse for wear and also defines festival style.
Best acts were Sundara Karma (I wanted to see these but since we could hear them from the campsite we decided to stay put and drink a little more…), Blossoms, The Hunna (if you haven’t heard of those two go and listen ASAP) and obviously headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers. To say RHCP were amazing would be a massive understatement, they were hands down one of the best acts I’ve ever seen play live. The four of them have such incredible stage presence and give their crowd this energy you could feel deep in your soul. Highlights were Can’t Stop, Hey Oh (Snow), Dark Necessities and Californication – all the most cliche choices I know but there’s nothing like everyone singing to a legendary song.
RAIN JACKET (from a friend)
LACE TEE Charity Shop
FLOWER TROUSERS Vintage
The rain hit us on Sunday, as did the reality that this was our last day of magical, no-responsibility festival world, making those hangovers seem a little worse and therefore making it harder committing to the sesh. So we got the Moet out for a little pick-me-up and threw on our waterproofs to get us through. I went for French plaits because they can withstand any weather and concealed the fact that by now my hair REALLY needed some TLC and the dry shampoo just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
Best acts had to be in the NME tent where we stayed practically all day: Half Moon Run, a kind of mystical folky band with a very good live sound; Rat Boy, Cage the Elephant, The Wombats and The 1975 (who I can now say I’ve seen 3 times and I’ll admit being a bit of a fangirl to). My only qualm with The 1975 is their new sharp look – bring back the ruggedness and tops off and bottles of wine on stage pls.
The Wombats were incredible and kind of made me just want to go and get really pissed somewhere in London and dance to Joy Division while wearing a fur coat and contemplating moving to New York. Definitely a highlight of the whole weekend and if it’s possible my love for them has doubled.
There’s kind of this thing after you’ve seen a band you love live where something clicks and suddenly whenever you listen to them you get really nostalgic and all these heartfelt memories hit you. Well, that’s pretty much my life now.
Until next time Reading – thank you, you’ve been a blast (and yes I will be one of those people who keeps their wristband on for as long as hygienically possible). In the words of the Courteeners, ‘God bless the band.’