Ah, the Reading Festival. Four days in a field with loud music and beer. Heaven. But what to pack? Reading veteran Ben C gives his advice on what you should bring with you and what you should leave at home.
The first thing to note about Reading is that unlike some festivals, it's not in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it's a brisk walk to the centre of a thriving town centre, so you don't need to bring everything from wherever in the country you're coming from; you can buy some of the heavier stuff directly in town. With that in mind, let's have a look at what should be on your packing list.
Clothes - you're only going to be away for three to four days at the most, so you don't need to go bringing your whole wardrobe with you. Having said that, make sure you bring a spare change of clothes (or two) in case you get muddy, wet or both. Band t-shirts are all the rage at Reading, predictably. Bring a fleece/hoodie for the evening. Combats and army gear are also popular. Should I bring wellies? you may ask. My advice is check the Reading Festival weather - not just the forecast, but what the weather was in the week beforehand. If it has rained during that, the ground is likely to be soggy and muddy, so wellies might be a good idea.
Food/cooking stuff - prices are steep at Reading, although as mentioned you can wander into town for brekkie or dinner. Cereal bars are good for snacks, as are those snide looking Scandinavian crispyrolls. If you bring a simple cooking stove and kettle, you can boil water for tea (essential for fellow brewheads. Tip: bring UHT milk) or for pot noodles/supernoodles, which are great cheap and filling snacks to bring. Beats paying out a fiver for a tiny burnt burger. Frankfurters are also good, too - they might be made of donkey lips, but if you forget about that they are great in a bun. Just boil them for a few minutes in water. Bring sachets of tomato sauce and mustard acquired from McDonalds for added kudos.
Accommodation - a tent would be good, although you might not always end up in your own every night. The popup type are the best by far: they take seconds to put up and down again, which is good news if it's raining. Someone else will have a mallet (or so everyone thinks, so no-one ever brings one). A bedroll is essential, posh people bring air mattresses. Bring a good sleeping bag as it can get surprisingly cold some nights.
Beer/alcohol - buy the beer when you get there if you are bussing/training it there. If you're in the car, why not bring some. You can top up when you arrive by wandering into town, but get there early - some places might sell out and you'll be left with the Tesco Value beer nobody else wants. Transfer any spirits from their glass bottles into plastic bottles before you leave home; they might not let you bring glass into the site, and they certainly won't let you bring it into the arena. There's nothing worse than being forced to part with your Â£15 bottle of Russian Standard vodka. *Sob*
So that should pretty much sort you out on the topic of "Reading Festival what to pack". Just add to it any personal effects you might want, such as teddy bear, fairy wings or Optimus Prime costume, and you're ready for Reading!
Have a great time.