Reading Expected To Go Ahead

Although parts of the Rivermead site are still waterlogged from the last month’s heavy rain, festival chief Melvin Benn says enough ground has been reclaimed to allow the Reading leg of the August 24-26 Carling Weekend to go ahead.

Three days before the event was to open, he said he expected conditions to improve but had to put a plan in place "on the basis of it not getting better."

He said it had been a "challenge" to recover from the floods, with parts of the site covered in waist-high water during July, and praised the efforts of Reading Council, the Environment Agency and site crew.

Some parts of the 80,000-capacity site, which sits on the banks of the River Thames in Berkshire, were still under a couple of feet of water less than a month ago, and Benn has had to reconfigure it to avoid the muddy and waterlogged areas.

"When we got on site on July 25th, Green Camps ABC and D were waist high in water from the floods," he explained, and detailed the condition of the festival’s other camping zones.

An August 21st message on the festival Web site explained all the changes that have been made to some of the camping and parking areas.

A report in The Times that suggested the event has had "an unwanted show by muddy waters" predicted the August Bank Holiday Weekend would have some showers, but it was expected to be mainly dry with good sunny spells and warmer temperatures.

The weather in the U.K. has been so wet this summer that Hunter, the Scottish-based Wellington boot manufacturer, has reported sales up by something in the region of 30 percent.

The acts expecting to reach for their wellies at the twinned Reading and Leeds Carling Weekend Festivals include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Gogol Bordello, Interpol, Panic! At the Disco, Klaxons and Noisettes.