History of Reading Festival


The Reading Festival originates from the National Jazz Festival, which was conceived by Harold Pendleton (founder of the Marquee Club in London) and was first held at Richmond Athletic Ground in 1961. Reading festival, in turn, took inspiration from events held in America. Throughout its first decade the Reading festival changed names and moved around sites several times, being held at Windsor Racecourse, Kempton Park and Plumpton, before reaching its permanent home at Reading in 1971.

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