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updated July 2021

The 21st Reading Rock Festival.

Richfield Avenue. 
August 28-30th 1981.

Policing the Reading Festival 1981.

In light of the aggressive tone taken by the police during the festivals early years, (whiich had lead to much negative criticism ) the assembled plod had been told that the piority was not to arrest as many people as possible, they were to concentrate on dealers , also they were told not to hang near the Samaritans tent in order not to freak out people who might be having a bad trip .


Booze was everywhere , by far the biggest instigator of violence or unrest......

The plod had been told to take a softly softly approached, compared to trhe early 1970s they were models of decorum.

a few dozen festival attendees were in the street outside a pub , which seems to have been the biggest issue.

thewy wewre a fairly jovial bunch eyed warilly by about half a dozen officers.

a few became bl;ocked the path of this police car,

rather rthen escalate the situation the police car ( assisted by the crowd) withdrew

In the streets of Reading, life went on more or less as usual.



Reading 1981 Pages

Policing reading 1981

Can we get a witness ?

We need more info on this and the other Reading festivals, we are now in the curious situation of having better documentation on some of the earlier festivals, so c'mon headbangers, get yer photos out and fire up whats left of the aging braincells .Send your recollections and scans to us NOW ! !! Contact us

Thanks to photographer Alan Perry for allowing us to use his excellent photos of Reading 1980, you can purchase copies of these pix at his website where he has oodles of top photos of metal bands from the 70s to date.

Reading in the 80s to date- Fat Regs excellent site covers Reading from 1982 onwards

The early festivals.

You can find out the complete line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below .

Festivals 1965-1990

Most of these have fairly complete documentation .But new contributions of any sort are always welcome regarding any of the festivals.
Richmond 1965
Windsor 1966
 Windsor 1967
Sunbury 1968
Plumpton 1969
Plumpton 1970
Reading 1971
Reading 1972
Reading 1973
Reading 1974


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