As this bank holiday weekend nears it’s end- so does the wonderment of the Reading and Leeds’s festivals. I was unable to attend this year due to my student squanderings,  however I have heard vague reviews from drunken calls and texts sent by friends- hardly anything to go by of course (with one expressing: “I bloojghf love you ellli, redin is amazment”). It does seem judging by the quality of music ( I thoroughly enjoyed Vampire Weekend jealously from my car on Saturday)  that Reading and Leeds this year seems to have been a great success. The line up was superb with the likes of The Killers, Bloc Party and We Are Scientists performing in Reading and Feeder Metallica and new hot shot Ida Maria (whom was also fabulous at Z00) playing Leeds.

  Also unable to attend V this year to which I was almost salivating (if that’s even possible) at the line up. Stereophonics? Alanis Morissette? The Prodgy?  The Verve? Maximo Park? – YES PLEASE! Barr the Sugar babes the line up this year was close to perfection.My brother was able to attend this year with thanks to NME  returned completely drained and experiencing what all us festival goers do- “post festival come down” or as some call it “Post gig blues”- after questioning him about the acts and the general feel of the festival it was clear that this years V was awesome.

  The one festival I attended this year was the first Zoo Thousand music festival- situated at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford in Kent. Some say brilliant, some say disorganised- I would have to agree with both. Myself and many others certainly couldn’t say that Z008 wasnt enjoyable- however there were low points and not only caused by the oh so wonderful British “summer time” weather conditions. Those who attended Z008 will not only express their frustration for the over priced food and essentials (expected, however higher than any festival I have attended- £4.50 for a bacon roll!!) but also to the fact that not all the bands turned up, headliners such as Athlete being an example!!- Rumours went around that the organisers hadn’t the money to pay them! (it was said that Dizzy Rascal was offered to be paid in pennies?). These were the festivals major flaws, however being that it was the first ever Z008 all can be forgiven- I mean, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” as they say! Credit goes to the bands who did show up, with big names such as Mark Ronson, The Delays and the Cribs brightening peoples day-The Rumblestrips were also at their best. The selection of tents was also impressive- with drum and bass tent being the most memorable. The new bands tent contributed an array of up and coming talent- including my personal favourite “Monday Street” (check them out at- ) a band who seemed to appeal and impress all those (like myself) in spaced out mode- a gentle yet exhilarating escape from the drum and bass tent.


All in all Z008 wasn’t a flop, however most who attended would say that a lot of things could have been handled better. With organisation being key to a festival this is one thing it lacked. In order to ensure total success next year Z008 better have a good line up to lure the punters in- a line up they can afford!

 Those I have spoken with about the festivals this year have been satisfied- with mixed reviews on Glastonbury (Jay-Z?!!) and positive reviews on V and the more unknown yet increasingly popular Lounge On The Farm. All that remains is hearing the Reading and Leeds reviews which I am sure will be excellent. So we pack away our tents and sparkly wellies and say good bye to the festival season for another year, has it been the best so far? One can only hope that the line ups (and weather!) next year will be just as spectacular. 



*Those who have attended Reading or Leeds- would be interested to hear your thoughts.


Ellie MacDougall