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The world’s oldest surviving festival, Reading has welcomed legendary musical acts since the 60’s. It began life under the name of National Jazz Festival, and slowly began integrating acts from different genres. In 1963, the Rolling Stones performed, and by the end of the decade the festival lacked any jazz. In the 70’s Reading was the place to be to hear the best popular music acts perform live, gaining a strong reputation and attracting festival-goers in the thousands.
Despite a minor downturn during the late 80’s, Reading was soon back with a bang, hosting bands that defined the 90’s scene such as Nirvana, Ice Cube, The Stone Roses and Beastie Boys. The festival was so popular it required another area to host music fans, which lead to the creation of its sister festival Leeds.
Reading has continued to remain popular to this day. In 2016, it proved it was still climbing with a record attendance of 90,000. It’s lineup has crossed different multiple genres of punk, rap, and grunge, but remains dominated by rock and indie music. The current festival organiser’s - Festival Republic - Managing Director claims that the lineup is intended to reflect what the public are listening to, and so continues to change in line with trends and taste.