The Complete Guide to Buying Tickets for the Reading Festival

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The Complete Guide to Buying Tickets for the Reading Festival

The Reading Festival is the annual British event of the year with famous musicians of all genres coming together and playing for their fans. Hordes of crowds come from near and far every year to the 90,000 capacity event. The Reading Festival always takes place on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday weekend usually in the autumn. Currently, the event is held at the Little John's Farm in the charming city of Reading. Visitors even have the chance to rent campsites so that they can stay at the location all through the event.

This festival is the world's oldest music festival that is still highly popular. There have been many changes over the years, but the rock, alternative, indie, punk, and metal genres still usually dominate the festival. The event is organised by the Festival Republic and they do an excellent job of keeping their fans coming back for more fun and excitement every year. Those who want tickets do not have much trouble finding them if they know where to look and how to purchase them.

History of the Reading Festival

The Reading Festival actually formed from the National Jazz Festival which had started in 1961 and was held at the Richmond Athletic Ground. There were many changes in names and locations within the first ten years, but it finally found its home in Reading in 1971.

 The Reading Festival in the 1970s

The bands in the early 70s played mostly progressive rock, blues, and heavy metal. However, in the later years, the festival tried to mix together more bands in order to add to the appeal. Unfortunately, when they tried to bring together rock and punk bands, there was a bit of a clash between the two different fan groups. Though the outcome was a little tough, the popularity of the festival continued on.

 The Reading Festival in the 1980s

Things continued much as they did in the early 1980s until 1984 when the local city council managed to ban the festival by procuring the site where the festival was being held and not allowing them to get a license for a new location. The festival organisers tried desperately to find a new venue because they already had acts lined up and were selling tickets to the event, but their attempts were unsuccessful. In 1986, the Labour Party regained control of the council and granted to give permission to the Festival to use a new site that was located adjacent to the original one and, with only three months to get everything planned, they were able to hold the festival and had a record attendance.

 The Reading Festival in the 1990s

Several notable events happened in the 1990s as they continued to draw in fans every year. The 1992 Reading Festival was the last time that the Nirvana played in the UK. Kurt Cobain from the band came onto the stage in a wheelchair and in a medical gown to make fun of the speculations about his mental health. Due to its popularity, that performance was then played on DVD at the 2009 festival.

 Reading Festival Expansion

As the 90s rolled by, the festival kept growing in numbers, particularly because outdoor festivals were becoming more popular. By 1998, the festival was attracting such huge crowds that they had to begin looking for a larger site to host the event, so they moved to Temple Newsam in Leeds which had the space they needed.

 The Reading Festival in the 2000s

The move to Leeds was so successful that it led to the festival selling out faster every consecutive year. However, the stay in Leeds was not perfect. The festival continued to have violent riots which their minimal security was unable to contain. This lead to issues with maintaining their license and they ended up having to move their location to Bramham Park and increase their security. The move did not affect the popularity of the festivals with the fans or the success of the event.

In 2006 when the announcement of line-ups was released, the tickets sold out completely in under two hours, showing just how famous the annual event had become. Deciding to open up their doors to more people, additional tickets went up for sale and were sold out in just 26 minutes.

2007, however, was slightly more disastrous when the bad weather conditions in the UK lead to flooding and the realisation that they had no contingency plans in place for such a situation.

In 2009, the rules had to change and all flags were banned from the premises. Originally, groups used flags to identify each other in the crowd, but as the years went on, fights between different groups started causing problems. However, despite the changes, all of the tickets sold out in two days and the second batch of tickets that was released sold out in a matter of hours.

 The Reading Festival's Stages

One of the things that attract fans to the festival is its many stages. This ensures that there is something for everyone to do and those who only prefer certain acts, can attend those stages and then leave. The following stages are usually open at the festival.



 Alternative Tent

This stage is usually reserved for comedy and cabaret acts as well as DJs

BBC Introduction Stage

The BBC stage is most often used for the acts which are not well known that are trying to rise in popularity

Dance Tent

Upbeat music is played at this tent to encourage the crowd to dance

Festival Republic Stage

Like the BBC stage, this area is used for the less popular acts; however, it is geared more towards the upcoming and breakthrough acts

Lock Up Stage

This is the stage reserved for more hardcore acts such as underground punk

Main Stage

The main stage is used for rock, indie, and heavy metal performers

NME Radio 1 Stage

Again, this is another stage reserved for the upcoming acts with potential

The festival lasts for three days and most of the stages are open the entire time. This makes it easy for people to move from one stage to another throughout their visit and see multiple popular acts.

 Tickets to the Reading Festival

Because the Reading Festival is known worldwide and attracts up to 90,000 people every year, tickets are far from cheap, especially if they include a camping spot. However, day tickets and early event tickets can be found for lower prices. Those who are worried about not being able to secure a ticket before they are sold out can also reserve a ticket if they are willing to pay a fee. There are also installment plans in which fans can pay for their ticket over a period of time so that they can spread out the cost.

Shoppers can only by four tickets per person or per credit card, and children under 13 can get in free if they are with an adult at all times.

However, it is important to keep in mind that there is no box office at the event. All of the tickets are sent by mail prior to the festival and cannot be redeemed in any other way.

 Shop for the Reading Festival on eBay

The tickets for the Reading Festival can be found at multiple places and one way to cut down on the cost is to shop on eBay for them. Anyone can sell their tickets on the website including those who previously bought tickets and later found out that they could not go after all. This gives you the opportunity to look around and see if there are any good deals.

To start shopping for the event, go to the eBay website and enter " Reading Festival tickets" into the search bar. After doing this, you'll see a list of tickets to start browsing through. Be sure to read the full product descriptions because there are many different kinds of tickets to buy. For example, some have a camping pass included, while others do not. Also be sure to include the postage rate into the overall cost of the ticket. Some sellers offer free shipping, but they may raise their prices to accommodate for that. Lastly, read through the seller's feedback to make sure that they have established a good reputation on eBay by keeping their past customers satisfied.


The Reading Festival is famous worldwide for its continually great lineup of famous bands, singers, and acts. There is constant entertainment provided from the start of the day until the end. Food venders, dancing areas, and even camping areas are provided. Camping at the location makes the experience even more fun for those who want to remain as near the excitement as possible. Music fans enjoy the festival's rich history and the fact that there have been relatively few changes throughout the years. The event still continues to wow fans by obtaining the best acts every year and never failing to entertain their many guests.

Since the festival attracts so many people, it is always recommended that fans purchase their tickets and make their travel arrangements as soon as possible to avoid any complications or sell-outs. There are multiple venues to get the tickets from, but some websites offer shoppers with a better ability to find deals than others.