There was a time this year where I was adamant that I would be attending either Reading or Leeds Festival 2013. It was probably shortly after the big line up announcements were made, my uni friends and I decided that we had to go together to Reading this year. It was all arranged and it was exciting.
However, for a multitude of reasons, this plan never came to be. And I’ve been absolutely gutted from the minute we decided that this year was not the year for us.
I attended Leeds Festival last year and it was unequivocally the best week of my life. So when I found out that I wasn’t going to be going to Reading this year, it felt as if my heart had been torn out, ripped into a thousand tiny pieces and stomped on repeatedly.
It’s been exhausting trying to avoid any images, videos and news of this year’s Reading and Leeds whilst it’s been happening, and I’ve done so to try and save myself from the heartbreak of knowing that I’m not there and I’m missing out on some of the greatest experiences ever. So to try and direct my bitterness elsewhere, I’m going to list 10 reasons why I’m so devastated about missing R&L this year (mainly bands) and 1 reason why I’m not.
1. Seeing Fall Out Boy Return From Hiatus in Spectacular Style
I can’t even talk about this without wanting to cry or punch a baby or something. After Fall Out Boy returned from hiatus back in February and I missed out on tickets to their Underworld show by the skin of my teeth, I swore blind that I WOULD see them this year. Then they were announced for Reading and Leeds and my heart skipped a beat. I was so excited to finally see Fall Out Boy after years of disappointment but now, I’m here – sat in bed at midday, writing a sour post about why I’m sad I’m not at Reading and trying not to think about the fact that in a few hours’ time FOB will be taking the stage at Reading and I’M NOT THERE.
2. Queuing (and Failing) to Meet Fall Out Boy at the Signing Tent
When I found out about who was at the NME Signing Tent this year I legitimately almost cried. So this point won’t be very long. The only comfort I get from this is that last year at Leeds I queued for Paramore for several hours and still didn’t even get close to meeting my heros. I can only imagine that this year, Fall Out Boy would have been the same.
3. Finally Seeing Green Day, My First Ever Favourite Band
When I was 10, I bought ‘American Idiot’. It was my first real rock album and I fell in love with it – the album, the band, the genre. Green Day were the first band I really, truly loved and it would have been absolutely momentous to finally get to see Green Day perform live and sing along to all my old favourites. And now, I probably will never, ever get to see my first favourite band live. Stupid life.
4. Getting Caught in a System of a Down Mosh Pit
Now, I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to rough gigs, I won’t lie. I can hold my own but as soon as the crowd gets a bit too lairy, I like to move away. But not for these guys, oh no. I would’ve loved to have been in the crowd when System of a Down took to the stage and played some of their classic songs and, even for just one song, moshed around like a lunatic. I love System of a Down and have again come to terms with the fact that I probably will never get the chance to see them again (I haven’t really come to terms with it at all).
5. Rapping Along to Eminem
The wild card of the festival, I was really looking forward to seeing Eminem live. I wasn’t looking forward to the influx of Chavs suddenly appearing at R&L, but it would’ve been so cool being in the crowd for Eminem and rapping along with the best of them. I’ve always been a fan, so this would have been an experience I would have never forgotten.
6. Watching Johnny Marr Perform The Smiths
I love Johnny Marr. I love The Smiths. I love the fact that Johnny Marr plays The Smiths at his shows. I hate the fact I’m sat in bed this weekend rather than seeing Johnny Marr playing The Smiths. This would have been the closest I would ever have gotten to seeing The Smiths live in concert, as anyone who thinks that they will one day get back together is lying to themselves and everyone they have ever known. After seeing his show at Glasto a couple months back too, I was rather looking forward to his set. Pft.
7. Seeing Spector With Some of my Best Friends
Now I haven’t been a fan for very long, nor am I much of a fan now to be honest, but Spector was to be the band that all of us were going to see. I and my four best friends from uni were going to be seeing Spector together as two of them are big fans. It would have been a glorious moment for us, but no more.
8. Feeling the Grrrrl Power With Kate Nash
I saw Kate Nash for my birthday this year and she put on a fucking fantastic live show. I bloody love her, her new album, her live shows and when she was announced for R&L I got so happy that I was going to be seeing her again. I know I’m probably just being greedy now, but twice in one year would have been epic and I will never pass up a chance to see Kate Nash. Never ever ever. Except for this weekend. For God’s sake.
9. Camping and Getting Drunk With my Friends
One of the most spectacular things about festivals is it actually makes camping 100000x more tolerable. I’d never been camping before Leeds last year and I was dreading the thought of it, but it was actually a really great experience. Sharing a double sleeping bag with my boyfriend (so, so warm), sitting round the fire with your pals ‘til god knows what time in the morning, waking up to a nice, warm Strongbow… it was bliss. And for 5 days, I had the best time. Cry cry cry.
10. Finally Being Able to Make a Decision as to Whether Reading or Leeds is the Better Festival
It’s the age old question – more unanswerable than finding out the meaning of life… Which is better, Reading or Leeds? Few have been to both, few can answer. But if I had made the trek to Reading Festival this year I would have been one of the select few who had sampled both festivals and I could put a stop to all of this madness and tell the world that Leeds was in fact the better site. Okay, so I don’t really know that, but I imagine it to be true. But now, I guess I’ll never know (for another year at least, anyway).
And one reason why I’m not sad I’m at home….
1. Hope You’re Having Fun in the Mud!
The thing that made Leeds fest perfect last year was the complete lack of rain we had all weekend! Okay, so it drizzled a couple of mornings and one Saturday afternoon, but they were short spells that didn’t soak the ground, and we all left on Monday morning looking relatively unscathed and mudless. But not this year. Hahahah. Hope you’re all enjoying the rain and the mud, while I’m at home, dry and clean. (I’m clearly not bitter at all about this).