Reading. A world full with the smell of weed and the faint stink of piss against boards lining the stages; boards full with posters for bands we’ve never heard of and will never be bothered to look up. A place where kids bound for university cram themselves into small places, namely the Radio 1xtra stage and the NME tent when they have the chance, moulding themselves to fit in the tiny spaces before the barrier. A time for hangovers to wreak havoc over every one of us, but for the first time in our lives we don’t care about the blaring music the next day. Reading. One of the world’s most renowned festivals, and with this year’s line-up, it wasn’t hard to see why.
Day one got off to a slow start but soon began to brighten with Bring Me the Horizon attracting a crowd so huge, you could have easily mistaken them for the headliners of the day. Flares were ignited, frisbees were thrown in every direction, mosh pits appeared in every section of the packed audience and every single one of them, whether they were riding on the explosive crowd or throwing themselves into one another on the floor, were screaming along to every single word, drowning out the band themselves at some points. It was easily the first band to get the crowd going – the true opener for Reading Festival 2013.
Now let’s just get to the point; Green Day were okay and all, but a collective favourite of the whole weekend had to be System of a Down. Everywhere I went, people were falling over their blast-from-the-past performance. They had every right to be – perhaps they were a little older, a little different to what we knew them as, but God they’re still amazing live! The buzz of anticipation before they stepped onto the stage was insane; everyone dismissing the thought of the headliner completely, all frantically trying to squeeze closer to this legendary band. The highlight of their set had to be the classic “Chop Suey”, with the crowd screaming along to every word and throwing themselves into arguably the most impressive mosh pit of the weekend. The band drew out the hard-core music fans, but that’s not to say other stages held weak acts.
Over on the dance stage, this was probably the best day for them. Clean Bandit impressed with their dance/orchestral set, drawing in a sizeable crowd, while later on Fenech-Soler managed to lure people away from the main stage with their indie/techno strobe-hitting Radio 1 anthems. Those who couldn’t stand another minute listening to the eyeliner wearing, throwback to the 90’s, dad’s that were Green Day filled the tent to catch the much-anticipated Sub Focus; bass throwing its way through our chests, a collective cooing to the melodies and a throwing of limbs in every direction. Their club anthem ‘Tidal Wave’ had everyone filling their lungs enough to try to combat the ever-dwindling main stage headliners audience.
While Skrillex tore it up on the NME stage, with light shows and raver kids bursting out the sides of the tent, over flowing onto one another and repeating the infamous “oo-oo” again and again, over on the Festival Republic stage Crystal Fighters were proving to be amiable contenders in this headlining battle. Their Spanish-inspired, hippy-coated dance songs lured so many from the intensity of the other stages and instead became a place of dance; somewhere to get high and hip-swing the night away.
After grabbing the cheapest thing I could to eat – a £5 chilli on chips, and consequently my staple diet for the weekend – I retired to the campsite.