Reading Festival in trouble as Glastonbury sells out

The fate of our two most beloved and iconic festivals couldn’t have had a more contrasting week with the fortunes of Reading going up in a puff of smoke!
The last few weeks has seen Reading festival face accusations of poor sound quality, fire-related safety problems and now a fine for breaching the health and safety rules in a separate incident back in 2006, involving power lines, a crane and a couple of electrified workers!

Anyone can see when visiting the Reading site that it is mis-managed and poorly staffed.   Having 80,000, mostly adolescents, running around fuelled by alcohol and testostorone inducing hard rock, committing mayhem with no apparent supervision or regulation is like a lighted keg waiting to explode!  How has it got to this?  We are now in an age of state control CCTV, health and safety overload, bureaucratic – red tape – regulatory officialdom, where everything has to be insured and accountable!  Just look at the high security standards strangulating Glastonbury now and one can only beggar belief when examining Reading’s apparent regulatory carte blanche.  

Festival Republic has  interests firmly in both festivals with an ever increasing stake in Glastonbury.  So it is probably a combination of contrasting councils and the personalised atttention to detail that Eavis brings to his own festival.  Although surely the wealth of experience that Melvin Benn and Festival Republic possess with festival logistics is about as vast and knowledgable as it is humanly possible – they practically run most of our major events including Latitude and now the Big Chill?    It was also Benn who Eavis turned to in his darkest hour of need back in 2001 to help save the festival from over-zealous council safety regulations.  Glastonbury was comprimised but ultimately saved from extinction with the new super fence and an increased security presence.  At the end of this decade of festival blow out it is now Reading that requires the help of considered and compromised planning!  With Glastonbury selling out astonishingly 9 months before the farm gates open it confidently strides into the next decade revitalised, leaving its nearest rival to wait for the smoke to clear.

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