Your first festival is a very special experience. My first festival saw me travel four hours only to find that we’d forgotten to pack the poles to our tent. I eventually ended up face down in a field after downing an entire box of wine.
Reading and Leeds Festival is, for many, the first taste of a true festival blow-out. And this year was no exception. We’ve trawled through the socials to bring you the hot-takes from the festival virgins who hit R + L.
There are tears, a lot of mud and a lot of Friday Night Dinner references, apparently. To be young again!
Some embraced the inevitable mud
Is anything more closely entwined that the British festival experience and a lovely double helping of a downpour and the inevitable mud that follows? While things this year weren’t quite as bad as that one year in Glastonbury where no-one could actually leave, some people found it within them to embrace the muddy chaos.
Some got a bit crushed watching Brockhampton
The self-proclaimed best boyband in the world, Brockhampton brought their singular vision for pop to Reading, which proved to be a surprising revelation to many who may have been unfamiliar with the boys’ work. The only hitch? It all got a bit messy for those in the crowd.
Some discovered new culture
A festival like Reading and Leeds – where, for one brief weekend, all the teenagers in the UK seem to congregate after GCSEs and A-Levels – is always a good opportunity to discover what’s at the very cutting edge of youth culture at this moment in time.
In previous years, there’s been widespread calls of ‘morning campers!’ and the actually iconic ‘ALAN?! ALAN?!’ Apparently, this year it’s ‘nice one bruvvvva!’ and Friday Night Dinner? And they say culture is dead.
Some saw their faves for the first time
Let’s not forget that the main attraction of Reading and Leeds will always be the music, and never mind the politics or the controversy that surround it.
For many, these faves included punk-pop gods Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy the Courteeners and Post Malone.
Of course, a lot of focus was on this year’s bill, with many older music fans lamenting that the line-up had shifted from the more traditional rock-based fare to incorporate some of the biggest stars of pop, hip-hop and grime. This didn’t seem to bother those new to the festival though – sets by Dua Lipa, Krept & Konan and J Hus had a rapturous reception, despite there not being a guitar in sight.
Although the less said about the weird, quasi-cult Bring Me The Horizon organised for their not-so secret set, the better.
Older veterans had some sage words of advice
Attending your first festival can be a very eye-opening experience. There is of course the struggle of finding a place to camp that’s not too near the portaloos, but there’s also the question of endurance – can you, actually, live your life as a boozed up, glittery cave-person for five whole days?
Everyone loved a bit of Kendrick, alright
Forget all the noise about his headliner status and the rumblings of a poor reception to his set, it turns out that people actually turned the f down to a bit of Kendrick, ok?
The only question now, of course, is if it was your first time in Reading and Leeds this year, will you be going back for more? There’s no telling who will be headlining next year…
Words: George Griffiths