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The Reading Festival

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The Reading Festival is one of the UK's great music bashes of the year. Run in conjunction with the Leeds Festival, the three day musical extravaganza attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry today.

The festival enjoys a reputation for putting on unforgettable shows by big bands since the early 1960s, the festival has hosted greats such as the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Jam, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis....the list goes on.

As you can see, some class acts want to play Reading, and this year's event, starting on the 26th of August, is no exception headlining on the Friday are My Chemical Romance, with other acts such as Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Offspring, Deftones, and The Blackout also providing the entertainment.

On the Saturday, returning to the road only recently after an absence of some four years, are The Strokes, with The National, Madness, and Jimmy Eat World also doing their best to send the crowd into a frenzy. One of Saturday's undoubted highlights will be seeing Pulp back on stage, with wiry front man Jarvis Cocker poking his bony fingers in time with their plethora of catchy numbers.

Sunday headliners are the magnificent Muse, arguably the best live band performing today. It's amazing how three blokes can make such a racket, but they surely do, and their records have sold millions around the world. Sunday also sees Elbow, Interpol, The View, and Frank Turner playing live.

New acts are being added all the time, so if you're thinking of grabbing a day ticket, be sure to check the festival's website to find out exactly which day is best for you. If you can afford it, and have enough energy for three days of hard partying, then get a ticket for the whole darn thing.

It's a massive festival, and besides the Main Stage you also have the NME/Radio 1 Stage. Friday on this stage hosts acts such as Beady Eye, White Lies, and Noah and the Whale. On Saturday Jane's Addiction, Crystal Castles, and Bombay Bicycle Club will be doing their stuff. And on Sunday you can catch 2 Many DJ's, The Streets, and Death From Above 1979, among others.

But wait - there are even more stages you've got the Dance Stage (Unkle Sounds), the Lock Up Stage (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones), and the Festival Republic Stage (Peter Doherty - that's right, former Libertines member Pete Doherty).

If your ear drums start pleading with you to take a rest from the music, head along to the Alternative Stage. Here you can enjoy sets by comics Tim Minchin, Lee Nelson, Mark Thomas and spoken-word artist Henry Rollins.

Those planning on staying overnight can bring tents and caravans. See the event's excellent website for full information on accommodation.

You might want to take along a pair of wellies too in 2007 the Thames, which flows past the festival site, burst its banks and flooded the place.
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Why? It's a big event with big names putting on big shows.
When: 26 -28 August, 2011
Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading.
Cost: One day from 82.50; all days 192.50
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