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Reading Festival is One for the Books

It’s not the compliments that tell you how good a dish is, it’s how many times people go back for more. Reading Festival has been running for over 50 years and attracts more than 100K people annually.

Draw your own conclusions, but this festival sounds like “more”!

Luke Dyson via Reading Festival website

Read Between the Lines

The prequel for this festival is quite long – it started out in 1961 as the nomadic National Jazz & Blues Festival before settling at its current home in Reading, UK. This was back in 1971, making this the oldest popular music festival according to Guinness World Records!

Since its inception, the music genre has changed along with the name. First, only jazz and blues, then rock was introduced and later dominated. Finally, the current Reading Festival features alternative, rock, metal, hip-hop, dance, and pop.

Reading in 2024

The 2024 Reading Festival will have its main chapters on Thursday, 22nd – Sunday, 25th August 2024 at Richfield Avenue in Reading. But Weekend Early Entry Ticket holders can access the preface from Wednesday 21st August.

Regarding where to lay your head each night, there are several accommodation options available. Keep to your values at the White or Green Eco-campsite, or ensure some shut-eye at the Quiet campsite. Camping Plus offers luxury items, packages, and camping structures.

Or park your own home on wheels by getting a campervan/caravan pass. Glam it up in the on-site Pink Moon Boutique Village, or book a hotel (well in advance, mind) for an off-site stay.

Turn over a New Leaf

Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels

The Reading Festival have gotten on board with both the Vision 2025 pledge and the Paris Agreement. Single use plastic is shunned, and paper cups are all the rage (tip: read more about the deposit scheme they’ve had in place since 2007…). Give your new paper pet a name and keep it to get refills at the Pepsi Max bar.

Canned water is the only water, except when you bring your own bottle and refill it at the (safe and free!) water stations. What’s more, plastic straws and cutlery got the sack since they didn’t get along with the compostable food containers.

Race your friends to see who can fill up the most green recycling bags (available at the Recycling Points) with cans/bottles, and stand a chance to win cool prizes. And if you’re short on cash, return cups, cans and bottles to a recycling station for some moolah. Interested? Read more about their Sustainability Charter.


Anna Shvets via Pexels

Want to meet new people, gather good-person points, and get free food and entry in the deal? Then volunteer! Help make a difference on the Green Team, ensure a smooth experience for other festivalgoers as a campsite/arena volunteer, or fight poverty with Oxfam. To stay informed about application openings, register to show your interest.


What safety measures and support are implemented? Reading Festival takes attendees’ wellbeing very seriously to promote a fun and safe experience. They offer support for mental health, substance abuse, thievery, sexual health and the like. The Salvation Army also volunteers at the festival and can be found in Scott Street in Green Campsite. Read more on Wellbeing & Safeguarding.

Are disabled and d/deaf people accommodated? Absolutely. In fact, professional interpreters provide BSL performance interpretation. Hearing loops are also installed at the Disabled Access Check-In and at certain Arena platforms. All platforms have ramps and wheelchair-accessible toilets are available.

What can and can’t I bring? The arena and camping grounds have their own set of rules. View both here.

How old do I have to be to attend? While all ages are welcome and under 13s enter for free, consider not brining young children to the fest. Under 16s can’t enter without an 18+ guardian, and if you look under 25, bring a valid form of ID.

Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Inge Strauss