I’ve wanted to go to Reading Festival for YEARS. I might’ve missed its glory days as the number one festival for emo kids (my mum wouldn’t let me go – I was still in school and wanted to spend the weekend alone with my older boyfriend, to be fair to her), but that doesn’t mean it ever lost its place on my bucket list.
When this year’s line-up was peppered with hope for my lost teenage years – Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Papa Roach – as well as some newer bands I love, I decided that 2018 would be the year for my first ever Reading Festival. And you know what? It was probably the most fun weekend I’ve ever had!
I knew jamming to some of my favourite bands and drinking all weekend would be a laugh, but I didn’t expect it to do me quite so much good. I left feeling ten times better in myself than when I arrived, despite stinking to high heavens, and I realised just how much I needed this.
Not looking in a full-length mirror for five days is something I’d highly, highly recommend. It didn’t even cross my mind, but when I left I realised I hadn’t actually checked my body’s reflection the entire festival. It felt amazing. I didn’t worry about if my hips bulged or my butt looked big, I just threw on whatever clothes I’d packed and that was that. If only it was always that simple!
I didn’t worry about what I ate, either. I picked at chips, treated myself to burgers and halloumi fries, and just generally ate whatever I fancied, whenever I fancied it. I didn’t have to plan ahead or cook for anyone or worry about calories and honestly, it was such a weight off my mind – no pun intended!
Okay, so it wasn’t perfect. I don’t know a single thing about camping and our tent ended up full of muddy puddles, and we weren’t exactly the youngest people there. I never want to see another can of Strongbow in my life, nor will I ever take white boots to a festival again (seriously, what was I thinking…).
But still, it’s probably the least self-conscious or anxious I’ve ever felt, for longer than I would’ve ever thought possible, and that’s a pretty big deal for me. I spent all weekend in a damp tent and dirty fields but it turns out it might as well have been a spa weekend!