Reading and Leeds Festival is probably classed as one of the renowned festivals. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is alongside Download – or more commonly ‘Drownload’ – Waken or Bloodstock but they are in a different class of festival entirely.
In past years Reading and Leeds Festival at least provided some type of competition on the rock front but in recent times the line-up has been one not to live up to some expectations. The audience has shifted rather than expanded within one universe of people containing several mini – multiverses. Starting out with bands such as: Rage Against The Machine, The Buzzcocks and Radiohead Which has now developed to inviting bands such as Alt – J, Snoop Dog and The Wombats. Doesn’t exactly lend itself to the title of a rock festival now.
Rock is rock or so you may think, but ask someone who their favourite rock band is and answers will vary from one extreme to the next. So could this mean Reading still is a rock festival but one that has evolved into the mainstream calibre, or was this always the case?
Rather than seeing jackets branded with bands creating a very distinct persona for each individual, neon polka dots have become the popular fashion. Shorts and wellies are applicable to any festival but the band logo on a t shirt can vary wildly.
Reading Festival could now be described as a rock festival for a fresh crowd, meaning there are fresh acts coming onto the scene. They don’t necessarily belong in that scene but who is anyone going there to say otherwise. If the crowd wants to rave they will, if they want to see one of the bigger bands rock they will. It is good the fact that Reading offers range at least but it is inevitable that the line-up is moving more towards a lighter future, especially when there’s neon paint involved.