Reading Festival - 26-28 August 2005

Kids... who'd have em? The reason I worked at Reading again this year was so as Lee could come. The day before he decided he wasn't going to come, he was going to Alton Towers instead! Last year was my first Reading festival (why is it called a festival? its not one really) and I didn't really like it. I met some great people there but the vibe of the festival is not my kind of thing. So on the Wednesday I found myself going on my own to Reading.


Jon at Oxfam had rang me the week before and asked me to be a deputy shift leader which I was looking forward to, I was also looking forward to catching up with other Oxfam stewards as this was the last festival till next year. I arrived and set up my home in my van and then it was time for my first shift. Very quiet as we had few stewards on as the punters weren't even through the gates till the next day. It was a nice introduction to shift leading though, got to know all the basics before the madness started!


That evening some of the boys dug a fire pit and got a fire together and we all sat around chatting to old friends and new. A lot of talk was of the amazing luxury toilets Mean Fiddler had decided to give us for the weekend, I think at least half the stewards went and took photos of them! Thursday was spent just chilling, Jon my mate from Gloucester who had come to the Big Green Gathering with me rang to say he was on his way as he'd got a job toilet cleaning. It was nice to see him, and another Gloucester face, Abi from my drama group.


Friday morning I was on shift at 6am and although everyone was arriving we had no problems and handed over to the next lot at 2pm. Then came the highlight of the festival, I'm walking to the crew cafe to get something to eat before Dreadzone and I bump into MC Spee, Ben Balafonic and Leo Williams from the band! I'd met Spee and Ben last year at Beautiful Days and it was great to see them again and to get a cuddle off Spee of course! After a quick chat it started to rain and they were off into their portacabin and I went and grabbed my lunch. Then it was off to the dance tent. I'd only been told a couple of weeks before that Dreadzone were playing and I could hardly believe it. But there I was at the worst festival I've ever been to watching one of the best bands ever! I had already seen them at Glastonbury and Glade and was really getting into all the new songs they were doing. (Their new album Once Upon A Time is now out!)


That really made my weekend, as did the people working for Oxfam as without them it would have been a pretty lonely place. Saturday I wasn't at work until 10pm, my friend Kate was working Saturday and Sunday on the Herbal Highs stall so we caught up with each other for a quick chat. I was expecting our Saturday night shift to be a nightmare with all sorts of drunken antics going on but it was worryingly quiet! Most of our stewards came off shift at 2am so for a few hours there was very few of us around although there was plenty of off duty stewards round the campfire! I did a couple of tea and coffee runs on the push bike in the early hours which went down well with the cold stewards on the gates.


I fell into bed at 6am for a well earned rest. I couldn't really decide when to leave as there was nothing really keeping me there. Everyone said I should stay for Marilyn Manson as he puts on a good show so I thought I'd give him a go. I was not impressed but it was a blessing I stayed as Kate ended up needing a lift home when she finished at 11pm. I also caught some of Iron Maiden who I thought were well boring but each to their own! So that's it for me and Reading Rock Weekender (better name than festival I think!) If I didn't have a normal job and a child I would go back to help Oxfam out but unfortunately there is only so much time I can get off and I'm not going to waste it on Reading again!

Below are a selection of photographs from the gathering.