Reading Festival – which is the best day to attend?

An extra musical musing for you on this Bank Holiday weekend here in sunny England. A few people have said to me, including several CPOs, and CEOs of several leading procurement software firms, (you know who you are) – “Peter, which day shall we attend Reading (or Leeds) Music Festival this year?” (August 22nd - 24th).

The obvious answer is “all of them” – if you live near enough to commute, as we do, that’s clearly the best idea. But if not, it is a tough decision, although it really is just about the line-up. If this was a tender evaluation exercise, you might give a tiny weighting towards Friday because the grass is green and fresh, the toilets (in the arena) are relatively pristine, and everything is just exciting and new.  The weather is a key factor, but you can’t really wait for the detailed forecast before buying tickets, unless you want to risk the second hand market on Viagogo.

So my method for working out the ‘best’ day is this. I choose the ten acts I am most looking forward to on each day, and score my level of anticipation on a 1-10 scale. As they are my favourites, none scores less than about a 7, but whereas Vampire Weekend would be a 10 (love the latest album, have never seen them live), Metronomy or Foster the People (quite like them, have seen them before) score 7.

Bear in mind the acts for the smaller stages aren’t all announced yet, and that might change things. But at the moment, if your tastes were the same as mine, I would say Saturday leads from Sunday. Saturday combines a great main stage day from ‘lower’ acts like Dry the River through to the Arctic Monkeys headlining, plus a strong NME tent with the brilliant Bombay Bicycle Club and one of the most exciting new bands around, Royal Blood.

However, if you really like the big main stage bands, Friday has an amazing last few hours in prospect with Vampire weekend, Paramore and Queens of the Stone Age. (But the NME stage is weaker that day, for me anyway). Sunday isn’t bad either, with the string-driven dance pop of Clean Bandit and the smart song-writing of the charismatic The 1975 to look forward to.

So just for interest, here are my choice of bands and scores!

FRIDAY

Score

SATURDAY

Score

SUNDAY

Score

Queens of the Stone Age

9

Arctic Monkeys

10

Blink 182

7

Paramore

9

Imagine Dragons

8

Mackelmore & Lewis

8

Vampire weekend

10

Foster the People

7

You Me at Six

8

Deaf Havana

7

Peace

9

Disclosure

7

Blood Red Shoes

7

Dry the River

9

The 1975

10

Courteeners

7

Bombay Bicycle Club

10

The Horrors

8

Metronomy

7

Chvrches

8

The Kooks

8

Warpaint

7

Cage the Elephant

8

Clean Bandit

9

Temples

8

Lower than Atlantis

6

Klaxons

7

Twin Atlantic

7

Royal Blood

9

Gogol Bordello

8

TOTAL

78

 

84

 

80

And here is Royal Blood...

 

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