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Published on August 27th, 2015 | by Kate Ellis


8 acts bottled off stage at the Reading Festival

Reading is famous for having one of the most volatile festival crowds in the UK. Bottling bands and musicians is probably the festival’s longest tradition with dozens of famous incidents over the years. We had a look at some of the worst (or best) bottlings that have happened at the Reading Festival.

Steel Pulse


Other acts had been bottled before Steel Pulse, but they were first to cement the reputation of the crowd at the Reading Festival. Performing back in 1983, the reggae group exited the stage almost as quickly as they arrived as punk and rock fans pelted them with bottles demanding to see The Stranglers.

Meat Loaf


The 1988 Reading Festival crowd was particularly volatile as the organisers tried to make a move towards becoming mainstream. Bonnie Tyler was the first act of the Festival to be bottled but managed to make it through her entire set regardless. The day’s headliner, Meatloaf, was not so tolerant and exited the stage after twenty minutes and a 2-litre cider bottle to the face.

Daphne & Celeste

With hits such as Ooh Stick You and U.G.L.Y. you would wonder whether the bubblegum pop duo would feel at home at the traditionally rock-focused Reading Festival. However, in 2000 Daphne and Celeste were bottled off the main stage of the festival after just two songs. Speaking about the gig, Celeste said: “Some people hate you so much, they keep throwing things at you repeatedly, there’s some people who’d throw whatever they had”.

50 Cent

‘Fiddy’ Cent survived life on the street but couldn’t handle twenty minutes with the Reading Festival crowd. During his act he was not only pelted with bottles but with mud, a paddling pool and a deckchair until he threw his microphone into the audience and walked off the stage. Festival boss, Melvin Benn, said the reason for the crowd’s bad reaction was not due to his music but his attitude.

The FF’ers

While it can said that 50 Cent warranted the reaction from the crowd, the bottling of The FF’ers seemed completely undeserved. They were an unsigned band performing on the BBC Introducing Stage in 2008. Rumours circulated that they would actually be a secret Foo Fighters gig and when the 3,000 strong crowd realised that Dave Grohl wouldn’t be turning up they turned on The FF’ers and pelted them with insults and bottles.

Kevin Rowland


Looking back at his performance in 1999, lead singer of Dexy’s Midnight Runners said: “I was nuts”. Wearing a white mini skirt and stockings and showcasing his solo work, Kevin was bottled and booed off stage during a performance of Whitney Houston’s ‘The Greatest Love of All’.

Panic! At the Disco

Panic! At the Disco were bottled two years in a row at the Reading Festival but the most dramatic incident happened back at their first performance in 2006. During the middle of their performance, lead singer – Brendon Urie – was hit in the face with a plastic bottle and fell to the ground. Their set was stopped for a few minutes as Urie received medical treatment before they carried on with their performance. However, this incident didn’t deter them from coming back and performing next year.

Good Charlotte


Not all acts have been so fearful of being bottled offstage and instead have embraced the tradition. Back in 2003, after twenty minutes of having bottles and detritus flung at them, Good Charlotte decided to stop their set shot and encouraged the crowd to bottle them. After a countdown the audience threw a barrage of bottles onto the stage which helped the band get through the rest of their performance.

Any other bottling incidents you remember? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

is a English Literature student at the University of Reading. She is interested in vintage clothes and oddities.

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