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Amandeep: It’s the height of the music festival season here in the UK. Some of the biggest bands in the world are performing to huge crowds in the open air. This is Reading Festival where over three days more than 200 acts are performing across eight stages.
I’m going to be following one of Britain’s top bands, British Sea Power, as they prepare for their show tonight.
Late in the afternoon, the band arrive backstage by tour bus.
British Sea Power have a very distinctive sound. They mix the influences of poetry and the English landscape with an indie rock sound. I spoke to the band’s vocalist and guitarist, Scott Wilkinson.
What’s the atmosphere like at a music festival?
Scott: Erm, they’re all very different, they have their own character. This one was traditionally … it was kind of like the rock festival. Because you see a lot of music in one weekend, maybe see some new music that you wouldn’t buy a ticket to go and see, see something by accident, you know.
Amandeep: For the band, there’s lots of hanging around before their concert later tonight. But I wanted to find out what life is like for the fans.
When you come to a festival, there’s a few things you need to bring with you. A lot of people stay overnight, so of course you need a tent. After dark, a torch comes in handy. The British weather is very unpredictable, so a lot of water, because it might be hot, but if it rains, of course, you need your waterproofs, an umbrella and the all-important wellies.
It’s also very important to remember where your tent is. There are thousands of them. So what’s brought so many people to the Reading Festival?
Fan 1: Music, I've got friends and having an absolutely wicked time.
Fan 2: I just really like the atmosphere, and there’s so much here ...
Fan 3: … meeting new people, listening to good music …
Amandeep: It was getting dark, so after looking around, I headed backstage again to see how the band were doing. There are a lot of last-minute preparations before the band can perform. Just before they went on stage, I spoke to guitarist Martin Noble.
Martin, what’s it like to perform at a music festival?
Martin: Erm, it’s really exciting. You know, you rehearse all the time in a small dark room, and then this is your chance to actually finally get out there and play to your audience.
Amandeep: You’re just about to go on stage soon. Are you nervous?
Martin: You know, sometimes you get the nerves, but you know, if you can see the crowd are up for it, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Amandeep: The band are just minutes away from performing. They’re doing their last-minute soundcheck now, and from here the crowd looks amazing.
Would you like to go to a music festival? Why? / Why not?