Flooding threatens Reading Festival

Quarter of a million gallons of water pumped out to clear site.
The sold-out event has been held in Leeds since its inception in 1999. | GETTY.
The sold-out event has been held in Leeds since its inception in 1999. | GETTY.

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The organisers of Reading Festival have taken new measures to ensure that the site is not flooded following heavy rainfall over the past week.

More than 80,000 fans descended on the festival on Saturday and Sunday, and with the main camp site prone to flooding due to its location next to the river Thames, organisers took no chances.
Heavy rain has meant not only the risk of floods but also severely waterlogged grounds, causing frustration for punters and those behind the scenes who struggled to erect stages in less-than-ideal conditions.

The Environmental Agency stepped in at organisers request to remove a quarter of a million gallons of water from the festival site. "The cooperation and positive response of the Environment Agency has ensured that the thousands of festival fans will continue to have a fantastic weekend here at Reading," Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic said in a statement.

"I am extremely grateful to them. We have obviously experienced heavy rainfall over the past couple of days but the rest of the weekend is looking good - here's to another great Reading Weekend."

Meanwhile, the Libertines were forced off-stage halfway through their set at the festival on Saturday night. The sound was switched off during their song ‘Time For Heroes’ with the band continuing to play, despite the crowd not being able to hear them, until roadies ran on stage to advise them of the glitch. The band reappeared after a few minutes and completed the set.

While there was no official explanation as to why the disruption occurred, witnesses say a crowd crunch close to the stage could be to blame. The Libertines lead-singer and all-round bad-boy Peter Doherty is reported to have said to the crowd: "If anyone goes down, don't go standing on anyone's head or anything. Look after each other."

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