Haiku For Reading Festival

1st September 2005

Summer's last weekend
And a hundred thousand punks
Descend on Berkshire.

Arriving Thursday
I am greeted by dry mud
and moron rock fans.

For the next four days
Everything will smell of smoke

But there is more here
Than uncooked beans and warm beer
Once the music starts.

Do Me Bad Things are
The first act of the weekend;
A glam rock wake-up.

Cooper Temple Clause
Play one too many new songs;
An ocean of bass.

Killers and Pixies
Fifty thousand audience
Singing every word.

The night is fireworks
And some guys in the next tent;
Guitar by firelight.

Metallica drones
From five thousand stereos
On into the night.

There is constant noise:
The festival never sleeps
Until the sunrise.

Freezing in a tent
Two hats, three shirts, no trousers
(They are caked in mud).

Saturday starts cold
As an inflatable shark
Sails through morning mist.

A massive crowd have
Turned out for Biffy Clyro;
They do themselves proud.

Then we lie around
In the swank Nokia Tent
Rock karaoke.

Arcade Fire: hectic.
Richard and Will fight on stage
Swapping instruments.

Win Butler stage-dives
Sarah and Owen fight too,
Wielding violins.

The Go! Team make "fun"
Their own word. The Carling Tent
Erupts into dance.

I missed Foo Fighters
But apparently they rocked.
What a surprise, eh?

Sunday earns its name:
My lack of sun-tan lotion
Leaves me red-faced. Ouch.

Everywhere you look
Are Iron Maiden t-shirts.
I can't understand.

Some more rock music;
Funeral For A Friend and
Incubus, too much.

Four Tet refreshes
Like a sorbet between meals.
Dance-chill-funk-hop? Nice!

Then the finale:
Futureheads play a packed tent
With angular ease.

But the night belongs
To Bloc Party, whose set is
A celebration.

Banquet, Little Thoughts,
The Answer, This Modern Love,
Positive Tension,

We sing and we dance
And as we shuffle outside
Confetti snowdrifts.

The weekend over,
The final night is chaos
Like Lord Of The Flies.

Police cars attacked,
Gas canisters exploding,
Tents being pissed on.

But Monday morning
Arrives in peach sunrise mist
Everything is calm.

We pack up our bags
Wipe the dew from our tents and
Go home, ears ringing.

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