The Ultimate Guide to Reading Festival 2023

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Are you heading to Reading Festival this summer? If so, we’ve got just the guide for you with a full run-down on this years line-up, how to get there, the history of the festival, and how to stay sustainable whilst attending.

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. 

So, sit back, relax, and get the festival excitement flowing with out Reading Festival Guide! 

reading festival guide

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. 

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. 

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.  

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!  


Reading Festival Line-up 2023

This year, Reading Festival is taking place from the 25th until the 27th of August, so make sure to save them to your calendar!

Reading Festival is always smashing it out of the park with their stellar line ups, and this year is no exception.

With being this year’s headliners being Sam Fender, The Killers, Foals, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons and Lewis Capaldi – wow!

Sadly, Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi will not be performing this summer, with the replacing act yet to be confirmed.

Some of the other amazing artists performing across the weekend include Steve Lacy, TV Girl, Loyle Carner, Central Cee and Lovejoy. 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 Festival website. 

We are so jealous of anyone attending Reading 2023, it’s the place to be this summer for music lovers across the UK and beyond!  


Reading Festival Stage Breakdown

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. 


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

How To Get Tickets For Reading Festival 2023

If you’re wanting to attend this years Reading Festival, you’re in luck as there’s weekend tickets and day tickets left for Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you can grab yours.  

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.

There’s even the option to pay via payment plan if you’re wanting to attend this year but your student bank account isn’t stretching to cover the costs – what a winner!

Get ready for August by purchasing your ticket now…


Travelling To Reading Festival

Next up within our Reading Festival guide we’ll be highlighting the best ways to travel to and from the event, with a list of different ravel options below!

Travelling By Car:

The festival organisers strongly recommend to use public transport rather than travelling by car. 

However, if you do choose to drive, why not carshare with other festival go-ers to save money and be more sustainable? 

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. reading festival guide travelling by car

Travelling 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 Uber’s  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!  

reading festival guide travelling by taxi

Travelling 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! 

Reading festival guide shuttle bus

Travelling 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 on the official Trainline website.

reading festival travelling by train

Travelling By Coach:

Big Green Coach are yet again the Official Travel Partner to Reading 2023 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. 

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.  

Reading festival guide travelling by coach

Travelling 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 23rd: 13:00 – 22:00
  • THURS 24th: 08:00 – Midnight
  • FRI 25th: 08:00 – 01:00 (Saturday)
  • SAT 26th: 08:00 – 01:00 (Sunday)
  • SUN 27th: 08:00 – 02:00 (Monday)
  • MON 28th: 08:00 – 14:00

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 At Reading Festival

Are you curious how you can be more sustainable this festival season?

Well, here’s our top tips to stay green at Reading Festival 2023.

how to be sustainable at reading festival 2023

1. Leave No Trace

When 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. 


2. Avoid Single Use Plastics

If you want to be sustainable this festival season, we’d suggest bringing a re-usuable water bottle with you to the festival.

Not only is it more environmentally friendly than using single use bottles, it’s also cheaper to fill up at the onsite facilities so you won’t have to keep buying them!


3. Leave The Wet Wipes Behind

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! 


4. Reduce Your 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. 

You can find out more about how to be green at Reading Festival on the official website.


And that’s it folks, the end of our Reading Festival guide.

If you’re going to this year’s addition, we hope you have an amazing time, and don’t forget to take on board our sustainability advice!

If you’re attending a festival this summer you should check out our festival fashion guide next.

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