The Reading Festival, the older of the two festivals, is the world’s oldest popular music festival still in existence. Many of the UK’s most successful rock and pop bands have played at the festival, including The Rolling StonesFleetwood MacThe KinksPink FloydDeep PurpleThe Who, Eminem, Black SabbathJudas PriestGenesis and Iron Maiden.

The festival has had various musical phases over the years, but since the current two-site format was adopted in 1999, rock, alternativeindiepunk and metal have been the main genres featured in the line-up.