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Reading Festival chaos as tents go up in flames

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Reading Festival chaos as tents go up in flames

Music fans have been scrambling to get away from Reading Festival after the site descended into chaos with fires being set, tents being destroyed, and fighting. You can see some of the incidents unfolding here.


Reports suggest that the whole thing started at around 4:00pm on Sunday afternoon, with security low on the campsite.

There have been multiple social media posts showing gangs of people setting fire to their tents.


Further reports claim there have been incidents of looting tents and fights breaking out amongst attendees of the huge music festival, headlined this year by Arctic Monkeys, The 1975 and Dave.

These types of scenes are unfortunately commonplace at the festival, and the final night has developed a reputation for fires, fighting and vandalism.

One festival-goer said that she and her boyfriend decided to bail out at around 7:00pm on Sunday night because they believed things were only going to get worse as the night progressed.


The woman told The Mirror: "We saw fires start at about 4:00pm in various camps, the crews & security were fast on them, but all the kids were surrounding and egging it on, throwing rubbish and cans into them.

"We felt the whole vibe of the camp sites change, and when we saw people start picking up tents and rubbish, throwing them into the trees and across the camps, we thought it was best to pack up and head out - annoyingly so!"

"But it just didn’t feel safe for two grown adults, let alone all the kids there.


“When we left at about 7:00pm, there was a fair bit of security but not masses.

“More volunteers who dare not get involved - and I can’t blame them."

She added that they thought the situation ‘would get worse’ by the time The 1975 had finished playing and the festival’s music had ended for the day.

There was also chaos in the car park of the festival as well, as people scrambled back to their cars in order to make a getaway.


Tent fires and fighting have become a bit of a theme at the festival, particularly on the last night.

The festival organisers pleaded with attendees to take their tents home in the early hours of the morning.

At the sister festival of Reading in Leeds a 16-year-old boy was confirmed to have died.


West Yorkshire Police said: "Police have launched an investigation following a suspected drugs related death of a teenager at Leeds Festival.

"Officers were called at about 10:16pm on Saturday and were informed a 16-year-old male had been taken to the medical tent after falling ill.

"He was taken to hospital but tragically died earlier today.

"His parents have been informed."

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson added: “Our thoughts are with the family of the boy who has died, and we have officers supporting them at this very difficult time.

“While the exact cause of his death is yet to be established, one line of enquiry is that he had taken a particular type of ecstasy (MDMA) tablet, which was described as a grey or black oblong shape.

“At this moment in time this is believed to be an isolated incident as we have not received any similar reports.

“Users of any drug which is not professionally prescribed can never be sure of their contents and the risks involved with taking the substance.

“Anyone who does feel ill after taking any substance should seek urgent medical attention.

“We are continuing to conduct enquiries on site and are liaising closely with the event organisers.”

Featured Image Credit: @999bradders/@_shannonbolitho/Twitter

Topics: Music, UK News, Festivals

Tom Wood
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