Iconic Reading, who's counting?

August’s Bank Holiday weekend is almost upon us, which means, there’s only four weeks and one day left until the iconic Reading Festival, but who’s counting.  We’ve told you all about the festivals line up, location and a couple of the extra features, but there is so much more left to explore.  From the announcement of alternative stage acts and luxury loos, to a chance of winning envied free tickets- now how often does the chance of a ‘free’ anything actually worthwhile come around?!

More names added to the Line-Up

The world’s oldest and most popular music festival always keeps us on our toes by adding more names to the August line-up, and this year doesn’t disappoint.  Celebrating not only renowned headline acts, but bright and industrious up and comers, the BBC1 Xtra Stage will host a trio of promising hip-hop artists. 

American rapper Vince Staples is one of these stars on the rise- if you love musicians that unabashedly speak their minds then Staples is a must see!  Signed by Def Jam he released his debut album ‘Summertime ’06’ last month, which, greeted by rave reviews takes you on a vivid journey through his mind.

Described as “the one to watch” by The Guardian and announced as “unquestionably the finest female MC in the country” by Time Out, rapper and singer Lady Leshurr makes her debut Reading Festival performance next month.  Continuing to represent for women in rap music, Lady Leshurr’s rhymes and beats are sure to get you fist pumping.

Ending the hip-hop announcements is Manchester born Bugzy Malone.  Rightly dubbed “evil genius”, his heartfelt lyrics and poetic grime has racked up over 10 million views on YouTube.  Having the fastest ever ‘Fire in the Booth’ freestyle to get a million views, the 24 year old has already obtained a first in History’s book.  Malone’s big tracks and knock out mixtapes have not only amassed a loyal fan base but caught the attention of rapper Drake; who swiftly became a follower of Malone’s on Instagram.  Now if that’s not an example to follow I don’t know what is!

Alternative Stage Acts Revealed

Alternative comedy, spoken word and incredible live music will be in full swing.  Presenting only the best for the festival crowds, TV favourite Milton Jones will lead the proceedings on the comedy front.  Joining the one-ling gag star of Mock the Week, is Boston comedian and twitter legend Rob Delaney.  Russell Kane, Katherine Ryan, Seann Walsh, Holly Walsh, Tom Deacon and many, many more will also be performing on stage.  With this wide array of comedic talent someone is bound to tickle your fancy, and have you laughing, crying and/or snorting into the night.

Soaring talent George the Poet will be making an exclusive appearance in the tent.  Drawing from his early life in the inner city, the spoken word maestro provokes social and political commentary though poetry.

Transgressive Records returns once again, bringing with it some famous friends to perform live DJ sets.  And finally rounding out the alternative stage will be Propaganda and Buttoned Down Disco, bringing their anthem –filled blowouts from some of the best indie rock club nights around the country.

More Than Music

For those of you who love the festival experience but can’t bring yourself to squat over soiled toilets and tiptoe over questionable substances on the floor- I raise my hand- the luxury loos at Reading would have been for us.  But unfortunately this year you and I both will have to put on our big boy boots and pull up our big girl panties, throw up a ‘rock on’ sign and use the common loos; as the Seat of Luxury wristbands have all sold out.  No worries, we’ll be the first to snap up those wristbands next year.

As the night comes to a dreaded close don’t panic, the Film Oxford Cinema will convert the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage into a haven for all movie lovers.                                                                                                                          What’s playing you ask? I bet they won’t play recent movies you say! Well you’re terribly mistaken.  From Friday to Sunday, the tent will show box-office action hits, such as Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ and England’s home-grown ‘Kingsmen: Secret Service’.                                                                                                                                     A little less action and a little more comedy?  Films ’22 Jump Street’, The Interview’ and ‘Bad Neighbours’ will give you a comedic high that’ll fit perfectly alongside your nightcap.  You know the saying ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it’, with the Film Oxford Cinema Tent you can have your cake, throw on a dollop of cream and eat that sucker to your hearts content.  Because not only will midnight offer you films directly from Hollywood, they’ll be dozens of undiscovered shorts and music videos.

Free Tickets

I know you’ve been waiting in anticipation for me to mention a certain four letter word; here I go.  Reading Festival is part of the Firestone Music Tour, and the Firestone roadies are looking for an additional member to join their crew as they touch down in Reading Festival.  After touring Europe’s renowned festivals, the roadies have all areas access, and so could you!  Just upload an application movie for the chance to win tickets for yourself and friend.  If you think you deserve the festival experience of a lifetime and have what it takes to be a roadie, actually let’s be honest- if you want “free” tickets, join the contest on the Firestone Music Tour website.

Be Green

Festivals are all about having a good time to good music with good people, doing nothing but getting wild and getting loose.  But Reading Festival is not only dishing out “good vibes”, it’s also giving you a chance to make a difference.

 If you find yourself with any unwanted non-perishable food, you can leave it at the Recycle Exchanges.  The Salvation Army will be using the food to help those in need within the local community.

For each bottle of water sold a 20p deposit charge will be required, but trust me the festival knows how precious those 20pences are. So when you’ve finished-here comes the exciting part-return the empty bottle to the refund points and your 20p will be returned into your loving hands.  The same will go for drinks in cups bought over the bars, except it’ll be a 10p deposit.

Could this year’s festivities get any better?! Not only will you leave Reading Festival still in a musical daze, possibly a little frowsy and totally knackered; you would have helped the planet and your fellow man!

To keep up on all things “Reading Festival” you can visit their Licklist Page festival


By Jessika Downes-Gossl

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