Reading Festival Site and Car Parking

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reading site

Access to site and Arena? 
Are there any age restrictions?
When does the site open/close?
What’s this whole wristband malarky?
Where do I camp?
Can I camp by my car?
So where are the car parks?
I haven't pre-booked a parking pass - can I buy one when I get there?

Access to the site and arena?

You enter the site into a CAMPSITE. YOU CAN ONLY ACCESS THE ARENA FROM INSIDE THE CAMPSITE. So the only way you can get OUT of the Arena is into the CAMPSITE. So for those of you who are there for the day and wish to visit your friends at their tent, this will not be a problem.
Are there any age restrictions? says: Under 13 (12 and under) are admitted free but MUST be accompanied by a ticket holding adult. Please note that there is no separate children's area at this event. No unaccompanied under 16's will be admitted to the festival.
But i reckon you can blag it if you're 14 or 15. if not, find a nice 18 or 19 year old and get them to pretend you're their younger sibling, even if it's just to get you through the gate.
When does the site open/close?
It opens to Weekend Ticketholders 8am Thursday morning. Those rich enough to purchase a Wednesday Pass will be able to get in Wednesday evening at 6pm (although times have varied over the years). The site closes at 12 midday on Monday. You are free to camp during that time. Sunday night is the last and the craziest night of all, it is your last chance to be random and silly before you have to return to normality for another year, so they will not turf you out the site at midnight or anything silly like that.
What’s this whole wristband malarky?
Your wristband is essentially your ticket on your wrist, and it allows you access to the site and the arena All change for 2008! There are three new wristband exchanges this year, one as you leave white car park to enter the campsite to cross the river, one just before green gate and one in red camp, and they replace the one that used to be by Reaper Bridge. 
These are now for first time entry and so you will be wristband on your first arrival to the site, rather than show your tickets. They open when the site does at 8am Thursday, or 6pm Wed if you have an Early Bird ticket. You must pass through these tents with your tickets in order to gain access to the campsites and arena. Your wristband will be colour-coded in accordance with your ticket - for example:
Weekend ticket - Yellow
Friday - Blue
Saturday - Red
Sunday - Green
Colours change every year.
Where do I camp?
You turn up at the site, walk in, and find a spot. You will not be assigned to a section of the campsite (unless you have a campervan). Do not camp on the roads as security will come and remove your tent whether you are there or not. Also try to avoid camping right by the main roads, by the toilets or by the taps - people will fall on/tread on your tent, the toilets are rather fragrant in the heat, and the tap is very wet, and you'll have queues of people stood in the middle of your camp waiting to get water. 
Can I camp by my car?
No. Your car goes in a car park along with the rest of the cars. There are FREE shuttle boats that run too and from the car parks. It's a bit time consuming, but you can make as many trips as you like to the car park, meaning you don't necessarily have to carry all your stuff at once. Take essentials on the first run (tent and your rucksack) and then go back for the rest.
So where are the car parks?
For 2008 there will be 2 car parks - White and Green. White is the other side of the river (accessible by boat or a very long walk for which we don't know the route) with the 'Quiet Camp' and Green is a mile further down the river on the same side as the festival site (shuttle boats available but you could walk it in 20-30 mins). Parking for caravans/campervans is in Red Camp (but you need a special permit, not just a car parking pass). When I drove last year, there were directions to other car parks, but no idea where they were in relation to the site. ORANGE CAR PARK IS NO MORE. ORANGE CAMP WILL BE BIGGER TO ACCOMODATE MORE PEOPLE CAMPING.
The site selling car parking permits may recommend you which car park to go for depending on where you're coming from, but they can't force you to buy a pass for that car park. Booking and postage is still £3.70, which is a bit cheeky, but hey. They will ask you for your registration plate, but it doesn't come printed with your reg on it - so it's not the end of the world if between now and Reading you buy a new car or decide that you're going to go in your friend's car.
If you can drive and have a car, drive down in the middle of the night on Wednesday/Thurdays morning. Ok you will be knackered by the end of it but you will get a decent camping space. I got a peach of a space in Green by turning up at 5 o'clock in the morning. Plus you miss all the traffic on the motorways and the queue to get into the car parks. 
When you have parked your car, empty it. Leave nothing on display, stick everything you are leaving in the car in the boot if you can get away with it. Empty the glove box, the ashtrays and anything else and leave them open. This shows that that you have nothing worth stealing in your car. A steering lock doesn't hurt either.
I haven't pre-booked a parking pass - can I buy one when I get there?
Yes you can. Parking for the weekend cost me £2 to park in green (I did have an Orange pass for 07, but as parking was reallocated to White to cope with the flooding, I decided that £2 to park in Green wasn't too bad). I'd imagine it costs the same for day tickets too. Simply turn up to the car park and pay the stewards on the gate. YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE BOX OFFICE TO BUY A CAR PARKING PASS. 

Published on 06 February 2011 by aurehsalla

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