Final preparations for the return of Reading Festival

Reading Borough Council

Reading Festival is back next week and people are being warned to plan ahead.

The event was cancelled last year due to Covid, but will return for three days over the August bank holiday weekend.

It will run from Friday 27 August to Sunday 29 August, with more than 100,000 people expected.

People in the town are being warned to expect shops, public transport and roads to be much busier than usual.

Reading Borough Council has issued this guidance:

Plan for Traffic Delays

Local residents planning to travel into or around the town centre from Wednesday 25 August to Friday 27 August are being asked to plan their journey in advance, leave early and be prepared for longer travel times as festival goers arrive.

Near to normal travel levels are expected on the Saturday and Sunday (28 and 29 August), although shops and supermarkets will likely be busier than usual.

Roads are expected to be extremely busy again on the Bank Holiday Monday (30 August) as festival goers leave the event.


Residents are advised parking restrictions will be in place around the Richfield Avenue site as usual and the area should be avoided wherever possible.

Festival car parking is available at Mapledurham and Kings Meadow for parking pass holders.

Hills Meadow Car Park will be the dedicated area for drop off/pick up. From here festival goers can either walk to the site, or use the free shuttle boats provided.

For festival visitors parking at Mapledurham, a pedestrian bridge has again been constructed direct to the site to ensure easy access.

For those parking in Kings Meadow, a boat service is provided free of charge to help transport everyone, including tents and belongings, to the festival site.

Temporary Traffic Management

As usual, temporary traffic management will be in place at various locations around town.

For security and safety, a night-time closure of the Thames Path (from 8pm to 6am) will again be in operation from Thursday 26th August to Monday 30th August. The closure will apply between Scours Lane to the far end of Thames Side Promenade.

There is again a full closure of Richfield Avenue - between its junctions with Cardiff Road and Tessa Road - from 10.30pm to 1.00am, on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

During Bank Holiday Monday, the Napier Road / Vastern Road roundabout will be particularly busy, with temporary traffic management utilised if required.

The northbound closure of Cow Lane is likely to be reinstated between 8am and 3pm to assist with the coach transfers and exit of service vehicles on the festival site.

Getting to the Festival Site

The quickest walking route from Reading Station to the site is via the Northern Interchange.

Festival visitors also have the option of travelling to the site by taxi, or a special festival shuttle bus that will operate from the northern exit of the station.

A temporary taxi rank will be running on Tessa Road - opposite Rivermead Leisure Centre next to the festival site. There will be a second taxi rank at Thames Prom from 1130pm Sunday until 2pm Monday only.

For private cars, the only pick-up and drop-off is Hills Meadow car park.

Rivermead Leisure Centre

Rivermead Leisure Centre and its facilities will be closed for normal activities for the three days of the festival.

Noise Checks

The standard of noise control has been reviewed for the 2021 event and the intention is once again to avoid unreasonable disturbance to local residents.

Sound testing will take place on each day of the festival and these will be conducted under the direct supervision of officers from Reading Borough Council.

Residents Hotline Number

A special hotline number - 0208 396 7621 - has been set up for local residents' use who want to raise queries during the event.

Organisers Festival Republic have sent Reading Festival entry requirements directly to all of their ticket holders. Festival Republic require all ticket holders need to demonstrate their Covid 19 status before entering the site. More information on Festival Republic's ticket holder entry requirements can be found here.