The Reading Festival diaries

Kate Goss of PRS for Music rolls back the years as she returns to Reading, where she made her festival debut 10 years ago

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 1 Sep 2011
  • min read
Kate Goss of PRS for Music rolls back the years as she returns to Reading, where she made her festival debut 10 years ago

The opportunity to work Reading Festival this year was something which I was really grateful for – 2011 being the 10th anniversary of me attending my first festival, which was in fact Reading. At the age of 16 I couldn’t imagine anything greater than having the opportunity to go backstage at Reading and meet all my favourite bands, and now thanks to PRS for Music the opportunity had arrived.

In terms of the site, not much has changed, and despite some early troubles finding an appropriate place to camp I was pleased to find out that we had the luxury of guest camping, as I don’t think I could have made it out with the thousands of teenagers going crazy in the general campsite!

The line up too took me back and it was great to see some old familiar bands in a familiar place such as Deftones, Rise Against and The Offspring. Although unfortunately the sound on the main stage as always wasn’t great, which meant some of the impact of the acts got lost.

For me the band of the weekend had to be The Bronx in the amazing Lock Up tent. The crowd were going crazy and people were crowd surfing over the barriers almost constantly keeping the security guards busy, including lead singer, Matt Caughthran, who crowd surfed at least 15m back into the crowd, started a huge circle pit and made it back to stage all whilst singing his lungs out. Their set was impressive with huge amounts of energy, all the more so when you consider they had already performed under their other band name Mariachi el Bronx playing Mariachi music to the Festival Republic stage and getting the crowd dancing earlier in the day.

It was a weekend of surprise guests on stage too which was exciting with Brian May coming out for My Chemical Romances encore, John Paul Jones joining Seasick Steve to play bass and the lead singer of the Music joining The Streets on stage.

The opportunity of working at a festival is great as it allows you to see bands and performers you wouldn’t usually so I had the opportunity to catch people such as Frank Turner who gave a heartfelt performance and completely won me over! I suppose I can’t really write a review without mentioning the headliners – The Strokes were bland and emotionless – compared to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones who gave an amazingly tight and engaging fun performance in comparison. The Lock Up stage was definitely the place to be on the Saturday night with Janes Addiction pulling out due to illness. And of course there was Muse on the Sunday – a 2 hour set including the entirety of Origins of Symmetry followed by a best of set – as always Matt Bellamy does little to engage the crowd, but the sound, amazing playing, lights show and fireworks all made for an impressive headlining act.

So was backstage all that I would have hoped it would be when I was 16? Yes! As always – you meet lots of friendly, helpful people and I got the opportunity to see something I never thought I would, and best of all … I got to meet Noodles of The Offspring, and he was a nice guy!