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Reading and Leeds Festivals

From Academic Kids

The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events both happen on the bank holiday weekend in August (on Friday, Saturday, Sunday), and share the same bill (usually with one or two exceptions.)

They are strongly rock-oriented festivals. The festival will typically have the following stages:-

  • Main stage (major rock/indie acts)
  • NME/Radio 1 stage (breakthrough acts)(recently renamed with NME)
  • Carling stage (emerging acts)
  • Concrete Jungle stage (underground punk/hardcore acts)
  • Dance tent
  • Comedy tent

The festivals are run by Mean Fiddler (now controlled by the entertainment conglomerate Clearchannel), and are currently sponsored by Carling. For promotional purposes they are known as the Carling Weekend Reading and the Carling Weekend Leeds.

Contents

History

The Reading festival originates from the National Jazz Festival, which was first held at Richmond Athletic Ground in 1961. This festival, in turn, took inspiration from events held in America. Throughout the years, the festival changed names and moved around sites a few times, being held at Windsor Racecourse, Kempton Park and Plumpton, before finally reaching Reading in 1971. The festival then enjoyed a number of years of success, which lasted until the 1980s, when the organisers were perceived to be 'out of touch' with musical trends. This came to a head in 1988, where Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler were bottled off stage. The festival was then handed over to the current organisers, and immediately resumed its previous success, doubling sales for the 1989 event.

Reading spawned a northern equivalent in Leeds in 1999, which started off at Temple Newsham, but moved to its current location of Bramham Park in 2003, after complaints from residents and large-scale disturbances.

On the final night of the 2002 event in Leeds, after the Foo Fighters had left the main stage, a number of individuals caused fairly extensive damage to portaloos and other items of festival equipment. This put the festival's future in jeopardy, although the license to go ahead for 2003 was finally granted, after promises of much-increased security and non-combustible toilets.

List of Headliners

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