Reading Festival Memories

Reading is not the most exotic location for an epiphany but they come where they come. It was 1991. The festival’s heavy metal years having ended in 1988 when Meat Loaf was struck in the face by an airborne bottle of urine, it was three years into its new indie-rock incarnation. I was 20 and mortifyingly insecure. Reading offered great bands – Sonic Youth, De La Soul, the Sisters of Mercy – and, more importantly, three glorious days and nights with two of my best friends and no parents. I got back into into a tent for the first time since my Army days (yes, I was assured, the stars did indeed look beautiful), put myself off vodka for life, had my trousers stolen (with all my money in them) while I was sleeping, lived off £1 garlic bread, and made countless new friends while sitting around campfires. In the car home on Monday morning, I felt like a different person, flushed with a social confidence I had never experienced before. Even through the scrim of a three-day hangover, life looked brighter.

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