The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in the United Kingdom and are run by Festival Republic (itself owned by Live Nation and MCD). The events take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. Between 1998 and 2007 the dual festivals were known officially as the "Carling Weekend", until parting ways with their sponsor Carling in November 2007.
The Reading Festival, the world's oldest popular music festival still in existence, has had various musical phases, as detailed below. In the twin-site era, rock, alternative, indie, punk and metal have tended to dominate.
The festivals are run by Festival Republic, which was divested from Mean Fiddler Music Group. For promotional purposes during 1998-2007 they were known as the Carling Weekend: Reading and the Carling Weekend: Leeds. Unsurprisingly, these titles were seldom used when not required, although NME did so as part of its involvement. In November 2007, the organisers welcomed "Reading Festival reclaiming its prestigious name" when the sponsored title was abolished after 9 years. In 2007, the capacity of the Reading site was 80,000 and the Leeds site was 70,000. This was an increase of several thousand on previous years. The Reading festival is held at Little John's Farm on Richfield Avenue in central Reading, near the Caversham Bridge. The Leeds event is held in Bramham Park, near Wetherby, the grounds of an historic house. Campsites are available at both sites and weekend tickets include free camping. Day tickets are also sold.