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A guide to Reading Festival 2019

Reading Festival - picture credited to Jonathan Richards

This year's Reading Festival will be packed with lots of people once again, as stars from the world of music perform at the famous event.

The headliners at the top of the bill this weekend are The 1975, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters.

An estimated 105,000 festival-goers are expected at the event, with Reading likely to be as busy as ever.

The local council is joining forces with Festival Republic to urge festival goers to take action to care for their environment.

Together the organisations have issued these tips:

  • Say no to ‘single use’ plastics and take your tent home with you. Don’t forget the majority of abandoned tents end up in landfill.
  • Think about how you get here and get home – car share, catch a coach, catch a train and use the station shuttle bus provided
  • Bring your own water bottle and refill it as much as you like at the taps provided
  • Make use of the 10p refundable deposit for all bottles and cups, redeemable at refund points in the arena
  • Take some time to put the right waste in the right bin by making use of the ‘three bin’ system in operation

Melvin Benn, MD of Festival Republic, said:

“We have put in place a number of initiatives to help Reading Festival goers take proactive decisions about their carbon footprint and deal with their stuff responsibly.

“As a company we have committed to eliminating single use plastic by 2021 and reducing our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.  

“We do everything that we can, but we need your help too. Have fun, enjoy your weekend, keep each other safe, and take your tent home!”

Councillor Tony Page, Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“The Council’s commitment to a climate emergency and a carbon neutral Reading by 2030 means we are delighted to support Festival Republic on a range of environmentally friendly initiatives in place at this year’s festival. A big part of that is of course how people choose to travel to and from the campsites. We would urge festival goers to car share wherever it is possible or even better arrange for coach or rail travel into Reading, where they can then make use of the regular shuttle bus which operates to and from the campsites from the station.

“Local residents will know very well how busy the town is before, during and after the festival weekend and we would again advise them to plan ahead and use public transport wherever possible, as it is often the quickest way to get around.”

(Above: This year's line up - picture credited to Festival Republic)


All roads in and around Reading will again be busy throughout the week beginning August 19th, but congestion is expected to peak from Wednesday August 21st and Thursday August 22nd as festival-goers arrive in town. It will peak again on Bank Holiday Monday (August 26th) as crowds depart. The town will also be busy for the duration of the festival, which runs from Friday August 23rd to Sunday August 25th.

Local residents who need to get around town should consider their journey carefully. Where possible taking the bus, cycling and walking may offer a speedier journey. People who do need to travel are being advised to allow plenty of time.

Parking restrictions will be in place around the Richfield Avenue site as usual and the area should be avoided if possible. Festival car parking is available at Mapledurham and Kings Meadow for parking pass holders. Hills Meadow Car Park will be the dedicated area for drop off/pick up. From here festival goers can either walk to the site, or use the free shuttle boats provided. For festival visitors parking at Mapledurham, a pedestrian bridge has again been constructed direct to the site to ensure easy access. For those parking in Kings Meadow, a boat service is provided free of charge to help transport everyone, including tents and belongings, to the festival site.

As usual, temporary traffic management will be in place at various locations around town. For security and safety, a night-time closure of the Thames Path (from 9pm to 6am) will again be in operation from Thursday August 22nd, to Saturday August 24th inclusive. The closure will apply between Scours Lane to the far end of Thames Side Promenade.

There is again a full closure of Richfield Avenue – between its junctions with Cardiff Road and Tessa Road – from 10.30pm to 1.00am, on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday (August 23rd, 24th and 25th). This closure is to assist a safe exit from the festival site of the 20,000 day ticket holders.

During Bank Holiday Monday, the Napier Road / Vastern Road roundabout will be particularly busy, with temporary traffic management utilised if required. The northbound closure of Cow Lane is likely to be reinstated between 8am and 3pm to assist with the coach transfers and exit of service vehicles on the festival site, depending on traffic levels in this area. It is advisable to avoid driving through these areas if possible, in addition to the areas immediately around the site and main event car parks, during Bank Holiday Monday.

Reading Borough Council has again worked with the festival organisers to produce travel information leaflets. These have been sent out with tickets with details of bus, rail and park and ride services.

The quickest walking route from Reading Station to the site is via the Northern Interchange. Festival visitors also have the option of travelling to the site via hackney carriages, or a special festival shuttle bus that will operate from the northern exit of the station.

To help maintain traffic flow, the Council’s parking enforcement officers will as always be working alongside police to crack down on people who park illegally and cause an obstruction.

Throughout the duration of the festival a temporary taxi rank will be operating in Tessa Road – opposite the Rivermead Leisure Centre next to the festival site – as a further option when travelling to and from the site. There will be a second taxi rank at Thames Prom for those exiting the site on Monday only. Visitors are being reminded that they should pre-book private hire vehicles and not hail them from the roadside. All licensed vehicles will display a Reading Borough Council plate on the back and all drivers should have an identity badge in full view.

For private cars, the only pick-up and drop-off is Hills Meadow car park. Festival goers then have the option of walking along the tow path to the festival site via Christchurch Bridge, the Council’s pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames, or taking the free boat up to one of the ticket entrance gates.

Rivermead Leisure Centre and its facilities will be closed for normal activities for the three days of the festival.

(Above: Festival-goers at Reading Festival - picture credited to Jonathan Richards)

To find out more about this year's Reading Festival click here.

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