Placed a few days after exam results day on the calendar, Reading is considered a rite of passage for many teenagers, having just concluded their academic year.
It was my first festival, and I had an amazing time.
Here are just a few of the things that made Reading fantastic...
1. My friends
I went to Reading with two close friends from my old school, and they made the whole trip amazing. By the end of the weekend, having suffered bruises and aches in the mosh pits, we were even rubbing Muscle Soothing Cream on each other's backs. Bonding experience or what?
2. The DIRT
By the Monday morning, we were all disgustingly dusty and muddy and sweaty. It was great! Being completely filthy was strangely refreshing, and made me truly appreciate the hour-long bubble bath I had when I got home.
3. Friendly strangers
Whilst it would be naive to think that everyone who offers you a drink at Reading has your best interests at heart, most people are really friendly, and I had some very pleasant conversations with strangers - at gigs, by the lost property collection (long story) and at the Salvation Army hot chocolate stand. Oh and a word to the wise: Salvation Army hot chocolate is amazing and very cheap, so if you're broke by the end of the weekend go there!
4. The Lord, Our Saviour, Jesus Christ
People often do fancy dress at Reading so that they get picked up by the cameras and shown on the big screens on either side of the main stage. Over the weekend, we saw morphsuits, pimp costumes, onesies - but the best by far was a long-haired man wearing plain white robes, who was lifted up by his friends and screamed 'I AM THE MESSIAH'. That man honestly made my day.
5. Security Guards
In a fit of madness,my friends and I spent about 11 hours of the last day at the front of the main stage, waiting for Biffy Clyro, and we probably would have passed out or fallen asleep had it not been for the incredible security guards working there. In between acts, the security men told jokes, chatted with us, gave everyone at the front sweets and chocolates, and even did magic tricks to keep us entertained, which they didn't need to do at all! And Biffy Clyro were amazing - a good day overall.
For a first festival experience, I really enjoyed Reading, and I'll definitely be doing festivals again. I've got high expectations for next year...