I promised myself that after last year, I wouldn’t ever bother with Reading Festival again. There was too much rain, too many bad bands barring the Lock-Up and the company was goddamn awful. But somehow, here I am, being suckered up back into its warm musical bosom. And well, the lineup this year is, to be honest, great for me! The Lock-Up is yet to be announced but when it is, I’m sure it’ll be fun. The Friday is pretty much my teenage dream – MCR, The Offspring, Rise Against and New Found Glory are sure to keep my adolescence happy, with Bring Me The Horizon to suit some of my new found tastes and 30 Seconds To Mars to fulfil the eye-candy proportion of the day. Jared Leto, you are a beautiful man. But that’s just me. I appreciate that while I am not alone in my musical selection, I am limited – hardly any of my friends are making the trip down there this year. Perhaps it’s because they have limited funds. Perhaps it’s because they’re otherwise engaged. Or, just maybe, it’s because they’d rather be festival misers and shit on pretty much every line up that’s available.
There is one guy in my friends list on Facebook who has taken it upon himself to be the anti-Reading crusader. Any and every status, he’s in there with a “NO, IT’S SHITE” or a “SO GLAD I’M NOT GOING HURR HURR HURR”. I just don’t get it. Does he get some kind of smug satisfaction from attempting to shoot down people’s glee and then failing? Because trust me, it’s a failure. I am happier about this line up than I was about the news that Panic! At The Disco were releasing a new album and if only you could have seen me on that day. If only. There is nothing wrong with liking the popular choice once in a while. Bands get to be famous because they are good at what they do. For example, I may not like You Me At Six at all but I can appreciate that people like them because they’re ridiculously well practised at their particular brand of pop-rock parading. There is but one band I reserve unadulterated hatred for and that’s a story for another time. My point is, I can appreciate it when bands are good at their craft, even if I don’t like those bands’ music. If I don’t like the line up poster, I won’t click buy. I’m not going to moan about it. There’s enough variety for everyone!
But sadly, that’s not enough for yet another of my Facebook friends. Metalhead syndrome is his curse, and anything that isn’t Sonisphere/Bloodstock/Download is up for abuse. Every line up announced, he’s just got to have his say in his poorly spelt and badly constructed statuses. Fair enough if you can at least put an intelligent-ish argument together about why it’s rubbish (e.g. it’s too expensive, the genres aren’t fairly represented, too many dicks there last year), but if all you can say is “lol reading is shit this year, So glad Im going to Download” and respond with the same stock phrase to any and every Facebook post about Reading, then are you really in the position to complain? If you argue with him, he’ll just respond with the same insipid smiley face. I’m not sure if he’s a bit simple or if he’s a tactical genius. Either way, come on guys! Festivals are about fun! You can’t be fun if you’re being elitist and grumpy. In the last few years, I’ve found out about new bands that have gone on to be my favourites and had a great time dancing along to stuff I wasn’t really into, purely because I was there with a good group of people and having a ball. I’ve been hugged by random gingers. I’ve been part of one of the biggest group chants ever (“WANKER!” at the P!ATD bottler, anyone?). I’ve been almost knocked out in a Rise Against pit, only for some big burly bloke to pick me up, wink at me and toss me back in. The music is great, but it’s all the little things as well that make a festival. Who wants to decry that for everyone?
The thing is, there’s plenty out there for everyone. If you’re a festival fan, there’s no doubt at least one that you can go to and you’ll more than likely have a fantastic weekend. This year, I’m hoping, will be a definite improvement on my one last year. No brats, plenty of good bands straight off the bat and a couple of good friends seem to be opting in. Plus the Coffee and Cakes stall will be there. Those cappuccinos are to die for.