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For more years than we care to remember, Sphinx has been covering Reading Festival, primarily to grab images of bands and festival goers.  This year, 2013 sees a change from the norm.  This year we are part of the festival!  2013 has given us the opportunity to get backstage and capture the true activity, in fact we will be there before the stage even exists.  Here is a random selection of images taken over the years at the Rivermead.

18th July - confirmation from First Great Western, Reading's £884m railway station to play host to exhibition launch! The metamorphic change from cow field to music city will be seen by an estimated minimum of 300,000 people arriving at Reading over the August Bank holiday period (21st - 25th August). The collection of prints will highlight the sweat, effort and planning that goes into creating an event like Reading Festival. This will also be the first event of its type at the new station, which is still undergoing a metamorphosis of its own. Features have been agreed with the press, live feeds with BBC Radio, the excitement is building.

25th July - confirmation, Broad Street Mall to be the venue of the substantive exhibition in October. Dates have today been confirmed, Broad Street Mall will be hosting the Reading Festival Photographic Exhibition, project name BACK2FRONT from Friday 25th October through to Sunday 3rd November. Centre manager 'Steve Fawke' expressed his eagerness to demonstrate, yet again, that Broad Street Mall (BSM) is the shopping mall of choice for Reading people and as such the natural choice for such an event. BSM has been in the news of late for their amazingly popular 'Italian Markets' and an equally popular exhibition centered on the short life of Anne Frank.

Image gathering has already started with shots of the cows and horses being herded from the grazing land at Little John Farm and the arrival of the first portacabins.

Adobe UK have confirmed their support in the form of sharing the latest techniques for sharpening large format images when using their products. This support involves Adobe experts tweaking images prior to printing. This means no excuses for Sphinx not getting it perfect!

6th August - image gathering is progressing at a pace as the festival site rapidly comes to life. The changes, day on day, at the Rivermead site demonstrate the huge development which has transformed the event over its forty plus year history. Money is being spent to ensure the coming two exhibitions will be the talking point of Reading for many years to come. Interest is being shown from far and wide even to the extent that some high profile photographic magazines are showing interest in giving feature coverage.

18th August - Reading Railway Station Exhibition now ready to drop into place. We have been blessed, changing weather conditions have only provided us with some dramatic sky scenes and there has been no stop to image gathering. With a cut-off point of Friday (16th) lunchtime for early images, prints have now been assembled and are in place on the display panels. It is possible that one or two changes to the display may be made up until Friday the 23rd and all further images will be held back for the full blown event in Broad Street Mall in October.

It is also possible that workers at Reading's Green Park may also get to see upwards of 40 large images at their conference centre close to j11 of the M4. Details to be confirmed this coming week.

Photographer, Malcolm Bassett-Smith, is a guest on the Mike Read radio show on Tuesday afternoon and the exhibition is being covered in the Evening Post on Wednesday 21st and the Reading Chronicle on Thursday 22nd August.

22nd August - Just one day to go. The image libraries are full to brimming with all sort of shots and angles showing the build up to the Reading Festival. Today, Malcolm takes the royal tour with the BBC site manager to work out where to be and when to catch those all important intimate moments when performers start to relax. The Railway Station exhibition is in place and drawing a lot of attention from festival goers as they arrive in town. All is going to plan and everybody is rested ready for three sleepless days and nights. The Canon EOS 1D X is performing like a dream and certainly earning its keep this week!

30th August - The party's over. I definitely have photographer's finger this week, thousands of photographs have been taken covering every aspect of the festival and now it is just recording the mammoth clean-up operation and the return of the cows. The exhibition at Reading Railway Station was massively successful and plans are being put in place to hold part 2 at Reading's new technology village - Green Park. Once image content has been agreed with Festival Republic and the BBC a fresh gallery will be built into this site. On to tomorrow and a day with Jamie Oliver, then Monday and Tuesday capturing the removal of the temporary bridge spanning the Thames in Reading to Mapledurham.

21st September - It's show time! A rather healthy number of prints are now on display at the Conference Centre, 100 Longwater Avenue, Green Park, Reading. With the assistance of Chris Carter Keall and Nicole Coulson (of Oxford Properties) we have managed to erect 20 panels each containing two prints on each side. This means we have the fun task of swapping the display stands around on Wednesday morning! Green Park Reading, is Berkshire's newest and most influential technology park and home to some of the UK's premiere high tech companies. 6,000 people currently work on the site and it is growing at a rapid rate. The exhibition will be in place for until close of business Friday 27th September.


Go to our Photo Galleries page to select the full 100 Reading 2013 images!  (or just click here!)

 Young fanChilli in hereCajan




Made a boobRadio1GCH

Press areaTakes all sortsKings of Leon

LPMCRMaximo Park


NYD                                  tiara                                 Alban

Chili2           Dev           CSS           Aiden

Juliette           Foo           KN           Placebo

PJam           Goodness knows           Edith  Edith's lost for words!