Ryan and I bought a day ticket to Reading festival last Saturday, mostly to see headline act, Eminem! We’ve both been fans of his for the past 20 years or so but have never seen him live. This was our first festival experience!
We left early Saturday morning and made the short trip down the motorway to Reading, rain had been forecast most of the week but it turned out to be glorious sunshine on the day. 🌞🌡
Once we got to the festival and parked up we had a 25 minute walk from the car park to the festival gate, which we weren’t expecting. There were also shuttle boats available to take you down the river but the queuing time was also 25 minutes. We decided to walk and eventually found the green gate for day entry… it wasn’t well signposted!
Once inside the gates, there was a bag search before we collected our wristbands, I had mine open and ready to be searched but security told me my bag was fine and to keep walking. Fair enough, but I could of had anything in my bag!
We headed into the green gate campsite area, there were many food stalls, a place offering free face glitter and a camping shop – the queues for the shop were huge! We headed to the main arena gate where they had another bag search area, I got my bag ready to be searched but, again, got told to go straight in… Considering the website stated they’d increased security I was surprised to go through both bag check points without being searched.
I wore my Sea Shepherd tshirt, denim cutoffs, dinosaur tights and my calf length boots just in case it rained. I also had a fushia cardigan tied around my waist and a “parka in a pocket” by Primark attached to my bag. It didn’t rain but the parka came in handy to sit down on in the tents and by the main stage.
Our first stop inside the main arena was the bar, but we quickly found out it wasn’t open for another half hour (at 11am), so we had a quick look around the stalls – more facial glitter, some selling ponchos, wellies, bandanas and hats. There were also a couple of official merchandise stalls and I picked up a Reading festival t-shirt that looked like the Jurassic Park logo.
We got a couple of beers for Ryan and a bottle of water for me (the woes of being designated driver) and headed to the ‘Alternative Tent’ for a morning of comedy. We ended up spending most of our morning and early afternoon there, the acts we saw were great and there seemed to be a common theme of hating Donald Trump, the Conservative party and the Brexit vote.
The acts we saw (in order) were Matt Richardson, Ivo Graham, Simon Amstell, Jonathan Pie, Tape Face, Andrew Maxwell and Bill Bailey.
In between the sets we got some hot dogs from one vendor which were awful! I ate mine but Ryan ended up binning his and bought a burrito instead. Avoid the hot dogs!
Bill Bailey was by far my favourite comedy act of the day and well worth the wait. He ended his set with some music, playing his guitar and did a mix of rock and metal.
Shortly after we headed to the main stage area to wait for Korn! 🤘
Their set was really good and their front man, Jonathan Davis, played the bag pipes. Regrettably I can’t remember what songs they played now except they ended with Freak on a Leash, the only song Ryan actually knew lol.
Unfortunately most of my photos of the acts were blurry from dancing around at the same time – doh! 🙁
After Korn finished we had a 2 hour wait before the main event, Eminem! We had another look around the stalls, popped to the loo (which were very crowded, in fact the whole festival had gotten very croweded. I guess everyone was napping earlier!), got some more drinks – I actually spiced things up by having Pepsi Max instead of water! (Exciting, I know. 😉 ) and got some food, burgers which were much nicer than the hotdogs I mentioned before.
We found a spot in the middle of the arena with a good view of both screens, we were about half way back, but many people felt the need to push their way to the front. Everyone around us was getting very annoyed but in true British fashion no one said a word about it! I got pushed around and out the way, easily too, as I’m short but once Eminem came on stage, everyone forgot about the pushing and bounced or danced around, arms in the air and making a lot of noise.
Eminem played a great mix of old and new music, including the two songs he did with Rhianna (Love the Way You Lie and Monster), White America, Mosh, Toy Soilders, Criminal, Stan, Sing for the Moment, Cinderella Man, My Name Is, The Real Slim Shady and Without Me and others I can’t remember lol. He finished with Not Afraid and had Lose Yourself (which is probably my favourite Eminem song) as his encore.
The atmosphere was amazing and I loved his whole performance. We walked out of the ‘end of show’ exit and found it very difficult to get our bearings and find our way back to the green car park, we weren’t the only ones. We bumped into many others lost and asking for directions to the car park. We found it eventually… but got stuck trying to get out for an hour!😑 Everyone was stationery with their engines off.
We ended up getting home just before 3am Sunday morning. It was a very tiring day!! We both decided we’d go again but either camp overnight or head there later in the day. We didn’t camp this time as Ryan couldn’t guarentee having the Sunday off work.
Were you at Reading or Leeds festival? Did you camp? Have you been to other festivals?