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Reading Festival 2014!

Reading eh? What's it famous for? Well…there's the M4 that runs past on its southern side…there's the Thames that flows through the centre of town…and there's a delightful shopping centre that looks…well it looks pretty much like all the other shopping centres in major towns and cities across our noble land. Not very rock and roll huh? Well, hang on, this is probably the right time to stop messin' and box up the irony, because music fans everywhere know exactly what Reading's good for.

Yeah we're talking about the Reading festival, but I guess you got that shortly after you read the word 'Reading' in the first paragraph. It's fair to say that the Reading festival is up there in the Premier League of British music festivals.  How so you might ask? Well for a period at the end of August each year, music fans descend on the town like Bieber fans at a signing session to see some of the top names in music perform.

It’s got great pedigree too. Reading originally started life as a jazz festival (such a promising beginning) a little further away in Richmond.   It found a home in Reading in 1971, which makes it the world's oldest music festival of its type, and is definitely one you should not miss if you are a true festival fan. It's got some heavyweight endorsement n'all: The 2013 NME Awards saw it awarded the ‘Best Festival’ gong!  

So what type of music can you expect to hear at Reading?  Pretty much anything you can imagine and quite a bit in-between. There are plenty of big name acts alongside others that you might never have heard of, but this should never be a concern as there's enough variety here to ensure your ears will encounter something they want to listen to.

Between the 23-25 August, you can catch the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg and Blink 182 on the main stage. The NME/Radio 1 stage features acts such as Disclosure, The 1975 and Nero. The Dance stage will be home to Netsky, Gorgon City and the Klaxons – amongst others – and you can also check out the Lock Up/Rock stage, which will feature names such as Gogol Bordello and Jimmy Eats World, or move on to the Festival Republic stage for banging tunes from the Augustines and Band of Skulls.  Meanwhile, the 1Xtra stage will Urban artists such as Pusha T and Krept and Konan.

The official website can tell you everything that you need to know about the line-up (far too many great bands to list them all here!) and you can get all the latest news too.   

So what should you expect if you are a festival newbie apart from great music and a great time?  The site has everything you need for the perfect festival experience from on-site supermarkets to great grounds for camping.  There are plenty of different areas for camping and it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.  You should also be prepared for any eventuality when it comes to the weather though – arrive in flip-flops and it’s sure to rain!  Make sure you have weatherproof boots.  Don’t worry about how these look; you aren’t going to make a fashion statement!

So what do you say? Are you going to whistle by Reading on the M4 on the way to a nondescript beach holiday – or are you going to Reading to rock?