The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Reading Festival 2011

One of the UK’s biggest and most popular festivals returned this year with headline acts Muse, My Chemical Romance and The Strokes, but who stood out and who just flopped?



Little John’s Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading

26th-28th August 

Standout Act

A lot of people reacted negatively to the Reading line-up this year. Anyone who’s seen Muse live will tell you that it was a stupid reaction to have. Now I’ve never been a huge Muse fan but it’s hard not to be convinced when you see their huge live show, performing “Origin Of Symmetry” in full. It’s Rock Opera at its finest, and I’m not talking Mamma Mia.

Biggest Flop

Beady Eye. As much of a rock star as Liam Gallagher is, it just sounds like tired, subpar Oasis. Not “Definitely, Maybe” Oasis either – Oasis that should have retired long a go. Apart from the hardcore Liam fans, the crowd wasn’t falling for it.

Surprise Package

Grouplove, Festival Republic stage. American indie art-rockers whose single “Colours” has had some airplay. Surprisingly, the live show and the other songs were memorable too. Definitely a band to watch for the year ahead.


It’s Reading. Even though it rained for days on end you know before you arrive you’re going to have a good time. It’s a friendly crowd, if you can handle the occasional bottle of warm piss thrown around and fanatical Muse and MCR fans wearing nothing but band merchandise.

Worth The Money?

Like every major festival, the price has basically doubled in the last decade. But, with three days of quality music and this year having 4 main-stage headliners, as well as 4 other stages, you can’t really go wrong.