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.
I think the highlight of reading is a girl trying to get past Sarah at the vaccines by crawling in the mud through Sarah’s legs
— terry (@tezzzarr) August 27, 2018
has leeds fest ruined me? yes. but do i regret mud sliding down red camp hill last night and not getting back to the tent till 7? absolutely not.
— chlo (@_chlotate2) August 27, 2018
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.
brockhampton destroyed reading fest today they were so god damn good the pit to boogie was just so fucking FUN
— pete (@petexciv) August 25, 2018
“How was Brockhampton?” pic.twitter.com/Prrmrr9twY
— ?? (@OUTR0JIMIN) August 25, 2018
I survived Brockhampton at Reading 2018.
— David (@WrittenByDavid) August 25, 2018
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.
If you ever decide to go to reading festival for the first time be prepared to hear “nice one bruva” shouted every 30 seconds.
— Harry (@DaveSavesSZN) August 28, 2018
First time at reading festival:
– had 4 chairs stolen all together
– alcohol stolen from my tent
– a puddle of rain in my tent
– heard “nice one bruva” shouted every 2 minutes when trying to sleep
But I’ll still go again next year ?
— Harry ?? (@Hahaurawoffler) August 28, 2018
It’s hard trying to sleep at reading when all you can hear is – ‘shalom Jackie’ – ‘shit on the bloody thing’ and ‘nice one bruvva’
— Jonathan Toogood (@JonathanToogood) August 23, 2018
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.
My voice hurts so much today and I can't wait to sleep in an actual bed but @OfficialRandL has been so amazing this weekend my first time going and all the bands where soooo good!Especially @falloutboy I've wanted to see you guys live for about 6yrs now so thank u for playing??
— Alex ? (@alexddww) August 27, 2018
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Reading 2018 was crazy from day 1 and I experienced it with the best company. Started off the weekend by joining a cult (Before anyone becomes concerned- it was to promote @bringmethehorizon and wasn’t a real cult ?) and the rest of the weekend followed suit. Bring on Reading 2019 #reading2018 #readingandleeds #readingfestival #randl
— Poppy Cleary (@poppycleary1) August 27, 2018
the level of absolute wankerism on the timeline surrounding reading and leeds was wild. here's some facts for y'all:
teenagers are the future, get the fuck out of here thinking they're anything but.
guitar music isn't dead, it just doesn't bang half as hard as Dua Lipa.
— charlie simmonds (@charliesimmondz) August 28, 2018
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?
My cute and innocent little cousin is off to leeds fest tomorrow for the first time and I’m honestly scared for him to return
— courtney (@courtneydddd) August 21, 2018
doing a q&a about going to reading and leeds, send me your questions pls! first time going? tips/tricks, general questions? ask away!
— Zoe London (@zoelondondj) August 13, 2017
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?
Can’t express how good Kendrick was at Leeds
— Louis Pepper (@LouisPepper) August 28, 2018
Everyone’s saying how disappointed they was with Kendrick Lamar at Reading. I thought he was brill but idk if that’s because I was off my tits ??
— mol ? (@mollrowe) August 29, 2018
Seeing Kendrick Lamar singing King Kunta live at reading was honestly the most insane and unreal experience ever
— Mia ? (@miapalmerrr) August 28, 2018
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