The Ultimate Guide to Reading Festival

Table of Contents

Oi Oi! Here it is, The Ultimate Guide to the iconic August Bank holiday celebration, Reading Festival. Prestige Student Living are giving you an insight into everything you need to know from this year’s line-up, how to get there, the history of the festival and how to stay sustainable whilst attending. So, sit back, relax, and get the festival excitement flowing.  

You’ll for sure of heard stories of Reading & Leeds Festival, and perhaps you’ve even attended previously or know people who have. Whichever festival you attend normally depends on which is closer, and it tends to be young people’s first festival so it can prove to be a rather special event. 

The festivals are organised by Festival Republic and take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend. This year the festival dates are 26th – 28th August 2022 – save them to your calendar!  

We’re here to provide you with a specific guide to Reading Festival. Whether you’re attending Reading Festival this year for the first time, or you’re a regular, we have you sorted with all the info you’re going to need before this year’s fezzy. 

Here we gooo!.. 

Reading Festival

History of Reading Festival 

Reading is one of the UK’s most popular festivals and one of the longest running festivals in the world. It’s fair to say that the festival provides music fans with amazing experiences year after year, and this year will mark 51 years of Reading. Although, the festival didn’t take place in 2020 due to the pandemic.  

Each year the festival attracts fans from across the country and worldwide and has saw generations of music fans party it up in the fields. With the typical annual attendance at the festival being around 87,000 revellers! 

But how far has the festival came since its humble beginnings? Reading originates from the National Jazz Festival, which was inspired from events held in the USA, it was first held at Richmond Athletic Ground way back in 1961. Although, the official Reading Festival didn’t take place until 1971, which was held at Little John’s Farm on Richfield Avenue. This site has remained the festivals home ever since.  

You can find out more about getting to the iconic festival site on Richfield Avenue in our transport section.  

Across five decades the festival has hosted performances from the likes of The Jam, Nirvana, New Order, Blur, Foo Fighters and The Stone Roses. Reading’s first addition would put you back a sum of £2.00, and boy do we wish that were still the same now!  


2022 Line Up  

Reading Festival is always smashing it out of the park with their stellar line ups, and this year is no exception. With Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me The Horizon, Halsey, Dave, Megan Thee Stallion, Rage Against The Machine being this year’s headliners – wow! 

Other amazing artists performing across the weekend include Wolf Alice, Little Simz, Maneskin, All Time Low and Bastille. We’re SO buzzing to see their performances on the live stream!  

The festivals line-up is HUGE and so varied with artists from genres such as rock, punk alternative, indie, dance, and electro performing across the weekend. You can explore the line-up in full on the official Reading website here. 

We are so jealous of anyone attending Reading 2022, it’s the place to be this summer for music lovers across the UK and beyond!  

Curious as to what the stages are like at Reading? Well, we have a complete stage breakdown for you below. There are different stages to choose from over the weekend which please all music fans. As well as stages which host all kinds of performances from film showings to comedy acts.  

In previous years there has been eight stages at Reading, however, in 2021 the festival introduced two main stages which they have kept for this year’s addition. So, you don’t have to worry about your favourite artists clashing. 

List of stages at this year’s Reading Festival: 

  • Main Stage East & West – Major headliners and quality names play at both Main Stages, it became a new addition in 2021 to have two Main stages.  
  • BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage – House music and DnB DJ’s play here.  
  • The Pit – Heavier music focus with underground punk and hardcore acts.   
  • BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage – Hip-Hop, RnB and Rap artists play at this stage. 
  • Festival Republic stage – Less popular appeal and breakthrough acts.  

You can find out which artists are playing at these stages to ensure your weekend is in check, on the official Reading website. 

Tickets and how to get them  

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but as the festival is just around the corner, all tickets are now sold out to this year’s addition (sad vibes). However, you may be able to find a re-sale ticket on TicketMaster’s Fan2Fan Ticket Exchange website.  

Remember to only buy tickets via the official festival website and their official partner Ticketmaster. Tickets sold or purchased via any other platforms may not be valid for entry, so it’s not worth the risk!  

Tickets for Reading Festival 2023 are not yet on sale and will go live sometime after this year’s addition, so stay tuned.  

How to get there 

Full Address: Richfield Avenue, Reading RG1 8EQ 

We’ve done our research on how to travel to the festival with the best options for those attending this year’s addition.  

Arriving by car: 

The festival organisers strongly recommend to not drive to Reading Festival but instead to use public transport. The train station is only a 15-minute walk to the festival site and shuttle buses run back and forth for just £1. However, if you do choose to drive, why not carshare with other festival go-ers to save money and be more sustainable! 

If you do want to drive, that is fine! To get to the festival by car you should follow the AA signage and directions on your car pass and not your Sat Nav. There are two festival car parks known as the green car park and the white car park, which are located on grass fields and are open as per the times of the campsites. The white car park is for weekend ticket holders whereas the green car park is for day ticket holders. Once you arrive just follow the signs to the relevant car park, there will be festival staff there to help! 

If you’re attending the festival for the weekend and driving home, remember to plan your route home and ensure your well rested. The peak exit times are between 8:00am and 1:00pm on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August. 

Car journey

Arriving by taxi: 

If you want to arrive to the festival by taxi or uber, remember to pre-book in advance to ensure you don’t arrive late to the festival and miss any of your fave acts. Upon your arrival, go to the main festival taxi pick up/drop off point on Tessa Road, near Red Gate. Taxis are not allowed access to drop off at the White Campsite. 

The prices for taxis or ubers will vary depending on traffic on the day, but you can expect to pay about £5 for a journey from Reading train station. You will be able to check the estimated fare and receive a quote for your journey on most taxi apps. And, if you book with a group, it’ll be cheaper splitting between everyone! 

Queues for taxis at the end of the festival tend to be long, especially on Sunday night and Monday morning, so consider pre-booking a private hire!  

Taxi journey

Arriving by shuttle bus: 

Shuttle buses will be available between both Reading train station and the town centre to the festival site and run frequently.  

The shuttle busses cost just £1 for a day ticket to and from the festival site or travel as much as you want for £5 with their weekend ticket! So, if you’re local to the area or wanting a quick and convenient mode of travel to the festival, why not use one of the two shuttle bus services. 

  • Service 98 will run direct between Reading Station North and Rivermead Leisure Centre. Service 97 will run direct between Rivermead Leisure Centre and Sainsbury’s Friar Street.  

Download the Reading Buses app to get your tickets sorted on your phone, so you don’t have to worry about having money on you! 

Shuttle bus

Arriving by train:  

If you’re go to festival travel is by train, then you’re in luck. The Reading train station is just a15-20-minute walk from the festival site. With routes from throughout the country to the station, including from London Paddington getting to the festival has never been easier! 

Getting back by train can be a bit trickier though, as If you have a day ticket to the festival, you may have to leave early to catch the last train as they do not run late on Friday and Saturday night. You should leave with enough time if you’re planning on using these services as leaving the festival can be hectic, and the trains themselves they can be super busy.  

You can check train times and prices for Reading here.

Reading train station

Arriving by coach: 

Big Green Coach are yet again the Official Travel Partner to Reading 2022 so you don’t have to stress about sorting a designated driver. With weekend and day return services from more than 40 pick-up locations, as well as drop off inside the festival gates. 

  • Weekend services – Arrive Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and depart home on Monday morning.  
  • Day services – Arrive before the day kicks off and depart when all is said and done.  

You can find out about the timetable or book your Big Green Coach on their official website here. 

Want to sort out your own coach? No worries. Just remember to email [email protected] to book your time slots as it can get very busy and the organisers need to plan arrivals.  

Coach journey

Arriving by boat: 

Yep that’s right, you can arrive to the festival by boat and the best part is, they’re free! However, these only run from Green Gate to Green Car Park and from Green Car Park to Green Gate. Below are the shuttle boat times: 

  • WED 13:00 – 22:00 
  • THURS 08:00 – Midnight 
  • FRI 08:00 – 01:00 (Saturday) 
  • SAT 08:00 – 00:30 (Sunday) 
  • SUN 08:00 – 02:00 (Monday) 

Don’t worry if we haven’t listed your preferred transportation, there are more ways you can get to the festival. And if your boots are made for walkin’ that’s absolutely fine too. Check the Reading Festival website for more information on transport 

How to be sustainable whilst attending  

Curious as how to be sustainable this festival season? Well, here’s our top tips to stay green whilst at Reading: 

  • Leave no traceWhen getting ready for the festival, remember to bring essential items that you know you can carry and will either dispose of after or bring home with you. After all, who wants to buy new camping gear every year?! You can even use your camping chair for your student home, sit back and relax in your garden. When leaving, take all your stuff with you and leave your camping area in the way you found it. 
  • Avoid single use plastics – Take a re-useable water bottle with you to the festival, it’s cheaper to fill up at the onsite water facilities so you won’t have to keep buying single-use bottles every time – boooring!  
  • Forget wet wipes – We know, it’s hard to feel clean whilst at a festival and wet wipes can feel like the closest thing to a shower. However, they’re super bad for the planet. Why not take a cloth and a bowl instead? Or get yourself some re-useable wipes instead which you can wash and use again – perfect! 
  • Travel impact – Like we mentioned earlier, another way you can stay green is to arrive by public transport or to carshare with others if you do want to travel by car, to cut emissions. 

Remember to check what you can and can’t bring into the festival campsite and arena here. 

You might be thinking, what is my impact going to do if the whole picture isn’t sustainable?! Reading Festival is actively committed to sustainability so don’t worry.  

You may have noticed on the festival line-up there is a ‘No Music On A Dead Planet’ banner. This is a campaign by Music Declares Emergency that Festival Republic are part of, which ensures a greener and more sustainable future for live music in the UK.  

You can find out all about the environmental sustainability initiatives that Reading Festival are implementing on their dedicated website section 


And that’s it folks, we’ve reached the end of The Ultimate Guide To Reading Festival. If you’re going to this year’s addition, we hope you have an amazing time – let us know all about it @prestigestudentliving.

We have just the blog for you to read next to spice up your wardrobe for Reading Festival, check it out here: Top 10 Festival Fashion Trends & Outfit Ideas for 2022/23. 

Need student accommodation in Reading? Here at Prestige, we have luxury properties in perfect locations for students looking to experience the thrills of student life. Check out our locations here.