All the teenagers at Reading Festival will make you feel really old

Don’t ever go back

The rite of passage for all of those who conquered their GCSEs and needed to blow off steam after a stressful wait all summer for the 6 Bs that they needed to get into sixth form, the pinnacle of teenage bliss, the first time you got really high: Reading and Leeds festival. What better way to celebrate than to get absolutely tanked up while listening to The Wombats? What better place to lose your festival virginity than in a field near Slough?

That was back then. You would never dream of going to Reading Festival now. Sure, you could get a free lift from your Mum as she’ll be dropping your younger brother off, but you’ll be mercilessly mocked.

We went along to find out what the fuss was all about and, more important who is still actually going to Reading Festival?

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The kids

Never have I seen so many people I want to punch in the face. Kids were unironically dancing to A$AP Rocky, wearing Huaraches with impunity and trying to finger each other to Radio 1 chart music. They’ve never looked so young.

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The fashion

When you waste £200 of your parent’s hard-earned cash on your Reading ticket, what’s the point in not trying your hardest to look like someone who is at a festival? Will the rest of the greater London mandem accept you if you aren’t dressed head to toe in what is effectively gym wear? Wearing a onesie will signify to everyone else that you’re ready to go absolutely fucking mental and have a crazy time. How will people know that you’re the biggest Biffy Clyro fan in the world if you’re not wearing one of their t-shirts?

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The old people

Fair play to the oldies who had come to Reading to see their favourite band, unwittingly stumbling into the epicentre of post-GCSE celebrations. For the most part, they cut a dejected figure. They couldn’t quite summon up the exuberance of Ryan who was over the moon at his C in Geography and was making the most of the summer holiday before the prospect of two years of BTECs brought him crashing back to reality.

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The squads

Did you even go to Reading if there isn’t a photo of you and all the boys having the best time just before you all lost each other in that insane mosh pit during The 1975’s set?

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The people who had overcooked it

Wide eyed kids stumbled around with their jaws swinging, usually topless, searching for their mates who said they’d meet you at the main stage for Imagine Dragon’s set but you had to make a quick stop back at your tent as listening to Radioactive on a bunch of pills that you bought off your mate Darren from down the road is an experience that you can’t afford to miss out on.

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The camping

As a social experiment, I shouted ‘Alan’ at the top of my lungs like it was 2012 all over again, to gauge the reaction. Immediately a chorus of prepubescent voices chimed in, echoing my rallying cry. This really speaks volumes about the sorts of people that go to this festival.

Bored kids who had come for a weekend away from their oppressive parents and clearly didn’t give a shit about the music were sitting around on delapidated camp chairs, drinking lukewarm cider and making fire using deodorant cans like the muddy neanderthals that you become as part of the package when you sign up to spend four days camping in Slough.

The facepaint

The girls all had near identical glitter make up, swirls and dots covered their faces with immaculate precision in an attempt to defy the fact that no-one had washed or changed their clothes for three days and everyone looked pretty grim.

The boys who had given in reluctantly to pressure from girl’s to join in with painting themselves had compensated in the only way that adolescent males can, by drawing on fake six packs and adorning themselves in swear words. That will really impress the ladies, fellas.

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It was a completely exhausting experience. We had to applaud the plucky teens who had suffered through a whole weekend of slightly past it indie bands and still looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves as the festival was drawing to a close.

The reason that people find it difficult to get their head around Reading Festival is because of the variety of acts on offer and the resulting kaleidoscope of music fans that it attracts. An army of kids enjoying their first taste of what a festival is like, and fully grown adults who are still rocking up to see the likes of Frank Turner and The King Blues.

In short, I don’t think we’ll be coming back next year.

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