The UK’s biggest three-day rock festival, The Carling Weekend: Reading Festival commands a heavyweight reputation for putting on the biggest and best contemporary rock acts each year, and is always an explosive finale to the UK summer festival season.
It has steamrollered its way into rock history through many legendary on-stage moments, including the first ever recorded ?bottling off? at a festival (Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler in 1988), Nirvana?s classic performance in 1992 (which saw Kurt Cobain arrive on-stage in a wheelchair in response to speculation about his mental health), the notorious on-stage demise of the Stone Roses in 1996, the clash between The Beastie Boys and The Prodigy over the song ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ in 1998 and the bottling of 50 Cent in 2004, to name but a few.
Starting life as a jazz, blues and folk festival in 1971, the event mutated into a prog rock and heavy metal event in the ?70s and ?80s before Mean Fiddler Music Group seized its reigns in 1989, injecting a new lease of life and reinventing Reading as the unrivalled alternative/ indie/ punk/ metal festival we all know and love today. Recent headliners have included Muse, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Pixies and The Darkness with the Sunday night traditionally reserved for more legendary acts, such as Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
Since 1999, it has formed the southern half of ‘The Carling Weekend’, the only three-day dual site music festival in the world, with its younger sister – Leeds Festival.