Reading goes indie

25-27 August 1989: Number 33 in our series of the 50 key events in the history of indie music

With new promoters Mean Fiddler keen to erase memories of everyone from Meat Loaf to Bonnie Tyler getting bottled the year before, in 1989 the Reading festival undertook a dramatic change of direction and shed its reputation as the home of muddy rock. Kicking off with a Friday night featuring the Sugarcubes, Spacemen 3 and headlined by New Order, curtain-fringed indie kids were spoilt throughout the weekend as bands including My Bloody Valentine, Jesus Jones and Loop showed the way forward. Stalwarts grumbled, but tickets sold out and rock never had the same hold over Reading again.

Contributor

Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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