Festival review: Reading Festival 2018
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This bank holiday weekend, thousands of music fans headed to Reading or Leeds for arguably the biggest live event this year in Glastonbury’s absence. Reading and Leeds festival is typically known for showing some of the best names in indie and rock. In previous years, the headline slot has been filled by bands such as Blur, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Nirvana - we all know someone whose wet dream that is. However, this year the festival introduced more rap and urban names onto the billing, including a headline set from Kendrick Lamar, which made this year’s line-up one of the most controversial with fans in the festival’s history. Many even took to social media to declare that ‘music is dead!’ - but if anything, this weekend showed us all that is certainly isn’t. Let’s chat about Reading Festival itself. Personally, as a Yorkshire gal, I have been going to Leeds Festival all my teen life. I’ve always believed that it was superior, but going to Reading Festival for the first time, I was open to changing my mind. I didn’t. It depends on what you count as enjoyable, or a ‘good atmosphere’, as to which festival you prefer out of the two. With the line-up being the same, it’s the people there and the festival organisation that makes it. If you enjoy friendly northern banter with everyone you meet - Leeds. Prefer to generally keep yourself to yourself, and just enjoy your festival without fear of being set on fire? Reading. Actual, real mosh-pit fan? Leeds. Fan of half heartedly jumping around? Reading. It was clear all weekend that Northerners do go harder - and that’s either a good or bad thing depending on what you like, but Reading simply doesn’t have those same vibes as Leeds does. There was just something missing from the heart of it. The line-up, though? Incredible. Opening the main stage on Friday was Big Shaq, the alter-ego of comedian Michael Dapaah who became a viral sensation with ‘Man’s Not Hot’ last year. Reading Festival literally opened with a meme! The perfect welcome for the kids. Other acts to grace the main stage through the day included indie legends and Reading regulars The Wombats and The Kooks, who played their sets in the middle of a rap sandwich (a wrap?) made up of Post Malone and Travis Scott. The Festival Republic stage boasted its strongest line-up on Sunday, with sets throughout the day from soon-to-be-peak-time-main-stagers King Nun, Yonaka, Dream Wife, The Night Cafe and Bad Sounds. The highlight from the BBC 1Xtra stage was certainly Steel Banglez who managed to incite absolute madness and draw a crowd so large it was pouring out the sides of the tent. Nothing But Thieves gave their all in the Radio 1 tent, but it wasn’t long before many people left to run down to main stage for a dose of pop punk. While Fall Out Boy effortlessly played hits such as ‘Irresistible’ and ‘Sugar We’re Going Down’, Wolf Alice helped fans Hannah and Katie get engaged on stage before jumping into 'Don't Delete The Kisses'. It was a set that once again proves they’re one of the best guitar bands around at the moment.
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