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First time going to a festival? Check out our Reading First Timer’s Guide

It’s your first time going to a festival and you’re excited and, let’s be honest, maybe a tiny bit scared. Well, fear not my friend as our handy First Timer’s Guide is here to give you some tips to ensure you have the time of your life and stay safe at Reading.


Pack this stuff

You’ve just started packing and the whole of your wardrobe is lying on your bedroom floor. But, really this is stuff you need to bring:

  • Your ticket! Sounds obvious but without it, you’re not getting in.
  • A4 Sized bag – only bags A4 sized or smaller are allowed in the arena so pack that bumbag
  • Warm bedding and an airbed – That way you’ll sleep like a baby and be mosh-ready for SWMRS.
  • Comfortable footwear – We’re talking trainers or walking boots that you’re not going to weep about if they get muddy or dusty. Leave the Post Malone crocs at home.
  • Warm clothes – And lots of them. It looks like it’s going to be a hot one this weekend, but at 3am in the campsite you’re going to be loving us for telling you to pack a jumper.
  • Socks – Think you’ve packed enough socks? Pack another pair.
  • Sun scream – Do you want to go home with the nickname ‘the lobster’? Best pack the factor 50 then. Remember a travel-sized version so you can bring it into the arena.
  • Reuseable Water Bottle – Water points are available in the arena and campsite so you can keep refilling.
  • Biodegradable Wipes – A festival must unless you want to embrace the stink

Check out our info section for the full list of stuff you can and can’t bring to Reading.


Get your bearings

We’re not going to lie, Reading festival is humungous, but there are lots of things you can do before and when you arrive to get your bearings. Like these.

Download the app

Not got the official Reading Festival app? Sort it out. In the app, you’ll find [drum roll]…the MAP! Check it out now to work out where you’re campsite is, how to get to the arena, where you can get McNuggets and much more.

Also, our map is fancy. It’s geo-targeted which means like Google Maps it’ll show you exactly where you are when you’re at the festival.

Know your campsite

In the dark or even in daylight all tents can look the same, trust us. So, do yourself a favour and take a good look around you when you arrive and pitch up. Take a note of where you tent is in relation to landmarks like the fire towers, pathways or flag poles.

To make it even easier, bring your own flag and tie it to your tent. Make sure it’s unique to you

Hit up the info tent 

The two info tents at the festival are seriously the oracle of all knowledge for finding your way around. So, why not pay them a visit on Scott Street in the Green Campsite and in the Main Arena near the The Lock Up/Pit stage.

Dog getting into a tent

Stick with your mates

Hanging out with your BFFs is one of the best things about going to a festival. Not only that but staying with your mates is the easiest way to stay safe at Reading.

Have a meet up point

Agree on a place to meet up with your mates at least twice a day. That way if you get lost and your Whatsapp messages aren’t going through, you won’t end up as billy no mates for the whole day.

Friends who pee together stay together

If you’re a night pee’er it’s a good idea to work out where the bogs are in daylight. Also, make sure you have someone to go with you and you pack a torch as no-one wants to get lost on their own with a full bladder in the dark.

If you do lose your mates, go to a help point 

If you do end up losing all of your mates and you need help, don’t panic we got you. Just head to the Welfare tent and the kind people there will give you a hand. There are also lots of other help points, just take a look at the help map and find the nearest one to you.

Friends Gif

Look after your valuables

Like normal life, there’s always going to be some cretin that might want to steal your stuff. But, there are simple things you can do to make sure you go home with everything you came with.

  • Lock your valuables away in our safe storage facility at Reapers Street or the lockers at Baker Lane.
  • Pack clothes that have pockets with buttons or strong zips. That way if thieves can’t get into them easily and they’re also less likely to fall out and get lost.
  • Get a Reading 2019 phone/wallet lanyard from the campsite police. With your phone or wallet attached to the lanyard there’s less chance of them flying out when you’re going wild in the mosh.
  • Make friends with your campsite neighbours and suggest looking out for each other’s tents when you’re not around
  • Don’t padlock your tent. We know it seems like a sensible idea and in any other case it would be, but at a festival this is just a sign to thieves that you’ve got good stuff to nick.
Pulp Fiction Wallet

Practice safe sex

If you’re going to have sex, play it safe and use a condom. The Welfare tent will be able to help you out if you forget to bring them.

Remember, if you meet someone new make sure your friends are nearby or they know where you are going.

Drugs, don’t even think about it

Do not bring illegal drugs or ‘legal’/psychoactive substances to the festival. You may be ejected from the event and be handed over to the police. Check out our Personal Safety section for more info.

Bring ID

If you’re 18 and over and blessed to not look it, bring your ID with you. You’ll need it to get served at the bars and if you’re collecting tickets.


To get ever more prepped why not check out our The Ultimate Reading Festival FAQ.

Reading Festival is now sold out, but tickets are still on sale for Leeds Festival. Up the north!