Reading festival is immersed in our cultural and musical history; it has a rich tradition dating way back to the 60's when the festival was first born, starting out life as a small jazz and blues festival. It's changed and evolved a fair bit over the years with a few venue changes along the way and in 1971 it settled in Reading , this is where it remains to this day.
Reading festival holds a very special place in the heart, it's the festival that many pop their festival cherry at, it's the one that in all probability your parents attended, possibly for some even your grand parents! When you wander around the festival site you can almost feel the ghosts of festivals gone by, this is a site that has seen some action and it's past can be felt everywhere, it's in the ground (and mud), in the air and also in its pedigree which it wears with pride, this all contributes an ambience that's quite unique to Little John's Farm.
Reading festival attracts a predominantly young crowd, many of whom are venturing out there on their own for the very first time, finally let off the leash after a long hard slog at school and college, with recent exam results ensuring that some are celebrating whilst others commiserating. These are people that really are on the verge of adulthood and all the responsibilities that go with it, so Reading festival is that one big opportunity to celebrate the kind of freedom you only ever really get at this stage in your life. All these factors add up to making Reading festival a very important event, one that will stay with you forever, so don't underestimate the importance of Reading festival, it's a festival that matters for a whole host of reasons. The young and excitable demographic brings with it both benefits and disadvantages, but more of that later.
2009 has been something of a vintage year for festivals in general. Vast improvements in customer care, extraordinary line-ups, better weather and a huge resurgence in people wanting to experience festivals coupled with the worst recession many have known has meant that the opportunity to completely escape from it all in an environment that allows you to be somewhere else both physically and spiritually has been taken to heart by the public who seem to have decided that if they are going to spend their money they’re going to do so at festivals.
Music festivals are something that the UK excels at; festival goers have been quick to pick up on this and although some of the smaller events have struggled in the economic climate many seem to have excelled at providing an environment that people actually want and demand. This has been great news for the event industry in general but for live music it's been a huge opportunity. Many event organisers may well find that this year has created a new era for the market as many thousands of people will have discovered just how special music festivals can be. Rather than hamper the festival scene, the recession may well have enhanced it, a surprising turn of events all things considered.
Festival Republic excelled themselves this year with a festival packed full of top names, stunning performances, a great site layout and surprisingly good loos - in fact the best of they year so far. There were quality services and great attention to detail everywhere, this was a fabulous festival and we don't say that lightly.
Prior to arriving on site we'd had some reservations about the size of the festival, given that in keeping with many other events this year there was an increase in capacity with yet more planned for the future. 78,500 ticket holders are being increased to 82,000 with plans to increase further to 85,000 for 2010. We're not really sure how this might affect the festival in the future but certainly this year the increase didn't seem to be overwhelming and the site coped well, with the other overall general improvements in layout and staffing levels it all felt quite positive.
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