Reading Festival 2017 will be remembered for a few things; a diverse line-up, glorious sunshine…and pineapples. The latter was thanks to one of the stand-out artists of the weekend, Glass Animals. Their fans have taken to bringing pineapples to gigs but the festival organisers felt this might present a safety hazard and banned the fruit from the event. This was inevitably seen as a challenge, and the crowd awaited the band in pineapple outfits, clutching smuggled fruit or even huge inflatable versions. A giant pineapple sat centre stage as the Mercury Prize nominees blasted thousands of pieces of confetti into the crowd, all bearing tiny images of the fruit.
The energy and enthusiasm of this gig was echoed across the site all weekend. Reading Festival has become a favourite for teens celebrating exam results and the last few weeks of their summer freedom. This tradition is perhaps the reason for the increasingly varied line-up each year. While some of the old hands might not be so keen on the more indie-orientated bill, the mixture of rock, grime and pop turned out to be the perfect cocktail in the summer sun. There was a stage for everyone this year.
On the main stage, Eminem and Muse both offered huge sets. Eminem got 90,000 people chanting “fuck Trump”, while Muse delivered one of their signature, all-out performances to close the festival with stunning visuals and fireworks. There was a special moment when they brought out AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and performed the iconic Back in Black.
Other than an electrifying set from Glass Animals, the NME/BBC Radio 1 stage saw Brighton’s Fickle Friends step up to the mark and deliver their infectious pop which dared you not to dance. HAIM closed out the stage on Sunday night with a set brimming with confidence and showing off their new album.
The new indie trio, Outlya, managed to get the early-risers moving on Sunday as they opened the Festival Republic Stage. While Will Joseph Cook delivered a performance almost unrecognisable from his festival appearances last summer. He has rightly gained bags of confidence, and the audience seemed well-acquainted with his debut album as they sang it back to him. Later in the evening Tom Grennan battled through his set despite vocal troubles. He apologised profusely to his audience but they didn’t seem to mind as they helped him out with a chorus or two.
The variety in the line-up and the energy of the crowd made Reading 2017 a triumph and we’re already counting down the days to next year.
Reading Festival returns on Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug 2018
Words by Katie Allen and images by Chloe at CCZHPhotography