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The Worst Reading Festival Moments... Ever!

Published: Thu August 21, 2014
As Reading & Leeds Festival is once again upon us, here's a timely reminder that, when it comes to music festivals, sometimes the sad, the pathetic and the embarrassing moments can be just as memorable as the triumphs... enjoy!

Reading Festival Worst Moments Ever

5) 50 Cent, Reading Festival 2004

The American rapper just didn't... let's say, bond with the audience. Let's make it clear - the Reading crowd does appreciate rap acts, and acts such as Dizzie Rascal and Lethal Bizzle have done very well there. But it just seems the crowd didn't warm to 50 Cent's arrogant posture and his pro-violence, anti-women lyrics. Result: a rain of bottles and the millionaire rapper's set cut short!

4) Panic At The Disco, Reading 2006

Sometimes, a rain of bottles is preferable to just a single, well-aimed one! Just ask Panic At The Disco's singer, Brendon Urie: after just a few seconds onstage, he was knocked down buy a bottle, and the band had to stop their set. Fortunately, he was alright enough to carry on minutes later, and they did a great, well-received sets. Lesson: sometimes the bottle-throwing represents what the majority of the crowd is thinking... but sometimes it's the opposite, like in this case, when just one person almost spoiled the fun for thousands!

3) Hole, Reading 1994

Here's a case where what we call "worst" could also be among the "best". When Hole played at Reading festival in 1994, it was just 4 months since Kurt Cobain had killed himself. For those who were there, watching the band was an uncomfortable experience... Courtney Love was a train wreck of a performer... rambling, ill and still obviously shocked by the recent events. It was a mental meltdown in front of a massive crowd.

2) Daphne & Celeste, Reading 2000

If you thought 50 Cent had a hard time, it was nothing compared with the rain of bottles that "welcomed" the pop duo Daphne & Celeste in 2000. Hundreds of bottles, many of which filled with something else other than water, kept coming throughout their set. Not to mention the death threat banners the audience were waving at them. You'd think they'd just run away and never want to perform again. However, the girls soldiered on, finished their set, and some in the crowd were actually won over by their courage!

1) Stone Roses, Reading 1996

How do you kill the dreams of a generation? The Stone Roses got pretty damn close: first, you take ages to release a follow up album to your classic debut, with disappointing results. Then, you lose a key member, who was considered the best drummer in the scene. Then, you lose another key member - the guitarist who many considered the best of his generation. Then... you go and headline the biggest rock festival in the country, and totally, massively screw up! The Stone Roses set in 1996 was nothing short of a disaster: without drummer Reni, without iconic guitarist/ songwriter John Squire, the band, led by Ian Brown, played an utterly embarrassing, half-hearted set, that made grown men cry. Soon after, they split up.

Thankfully, when the Stone Roses reformed in 2011, with the classic lineup, they were good enough to live up to their reputation, thrill massive crowds, and erase the disgraceful Reading 1996 gig from everyone's memory. Well... almost, thanks to YouTube! So... "enjoy":


View our Top 7 Must-See Acts of Reading & Leeds 2014
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