The first Reading Festival in 1971

imageWe never tire of relating the story in our family. My darling wife attended the first Reading Festival in 1971. She went with some Christians from Twyford and Woodley, which made the spectacle of Arthur Brown (famous for his number one “Fire”) tying himself to a wooden cross on stage and then apparently setting light to himself, all the more bizarre.

Acts also included Wishbone Ash, Medicine Head, Sha Na Na, Lindisfarne and Rory Gallagher. Entrance was £2 and (and for some reason I can hear Alan Whicker saying this) it rained all weekend.

There is a fabulous archive film of the weekend here on GetReading and also some great photos here.

By the way, Arthur Brown is still going strong aged 71. His 2013 Crazy World tour rolls up at the Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury on October 5th.

My wife’s passion for the latest music continues. She is a daily listener of Radio One. I think she’s the type of person the programme controller of Radio One is trying to palm off onto Radio Two, but she’s made of sterner stuff.


3 thoughts on “The first Reading Festival in 1971

  1. Aha! I never knew Janet was there! Tell her I was on the other side of the field. I also went the year Rod Stewart, Cockney Rebel and Slade were on the bill. Happy days. 🙂

  2. I was at the 10th National Jazz Blues & Pop festival at Plumpton racecourse in Sussex in 1970 – this was the last year there before it moved to Reading. The racecourse probably didn’t appreciate the festival goers making a bonfire out of the wooden seating. It was quite cold at night!

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