News and comments from Arthur

Reading Festival

 Tuesday 1 Sep 2009, 6:34 AM

Well Saturday was my visit to the Reading Festival, mainly to see The Prodigy. The one good thing about the day was that it didn`t rain - other than that it was a bit of a metaphorical washout (OK, maybe not that bad but not as good as it should have been).

Things got off to a bad start when I missed the bus so I decided to walk the approximately 4 miles to the site. And once I got there there and got my wristband they took you all round the houses to get into the thing itself so that must have been anohter mile - I was knackered and had sore feet and the day hadn`t even begun!

I watched a few miscellaneous bands on various stages before metting up with friends a bit later on (I think Dinosaur Pile-up were my favourite fo the lot - grungy yet tuneful!) Then the rest of the day was spent watcher even more miscellaneous people, of which Enter Shikari were the best.

Some food was consumed (whippy ice cream, pork and jalapeno hot dog which was very nice apart from the lack of brown sauce, and some bacon & cheese garlic bread), all leadin up to the main event fore me - The Prodigy.

I decied to get a spot right in the middle, just in front of the crush barrier as I thought it would be relatively safe there. And it was for the first 2 tracks and it sounded really, really good. But then suddenly what little space there was around everyone just vanished. Everyone was just crushed and it became very difficult to breathe let alone enjoy the music. I then spent the next 2 songs trying to lift crying children, women having panic attacks and people who had fainted over the crush barrier into the saftey walkway and when I eventually found myself next to the barrier as well, I just got out of there (ripping a layer of skin off my shin in the process) - it was not a fun place to be at all. And then there was another log jam within the crush barrier itself as there were so many people despearte to escape but no way out as the crowds were so packed at the exits as well. The Prodigy even had to leave the stage at one point to let things calm down a bit. Eventually I got out and watched the last 1/3 of the show from further back and slightly off to one side but the sound was rather poor due to the strong wind that had plagued the main stage all day. And reading about it online once I got home, apparently it was even worse off to the left hand side where there were various injuries and people climbing onto and into ice cream vans to escape being crushed! Other than that it was a fantastic peformance with a great light show as usual! It`s just s hame I didn`t get to see a lopt of it and couldn`t much enjoy the rest either. Just hope they play Brixton just before Christmas like they often do, to make up for it!

In the end probably the most entertaining part of the day was puddle of mud. Not the rock group but a real puddle of mud that had formed in a dip in the field near some bins. Once it got dark it was difficult to spot walking along and people kept falling in. And the more people fell in the more entertaining it became and the crowd just became bigger and ever more inventive trying to herd people towards it for that comedy moment of seeing someone lose their flip flops in a puddle of muddy beer dregs!

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