Everyone has their "traditions" at festivals, and here's the lager-fuelled nonsense that afflicts us each summer
Peterborough beer festival.
This starts a couple of days before Reading, and is Britain's second-biggest beer festival. It provides an ideal opportunity for us to meet up and start on the drinking, as well as to sample weird and wonderful examples of the brewers' art. Well, you've got to be match-fit.

The Bull at Streatley.
In 1994, Kev and Fat Reg were driving down to Reading on the Thursday morning, taking the normal route via Oxford. Kev missed the turning off the M40, and Fat Reg navigated the hapless pair cross-country through some narrow lanes and quaint villages. At what happily coincided with lunchtime, we were at traffic lights in the village of Streatley, about 10 miles north of Reading. There we saw the pub, the Bull, and decided it was time for food and, naturally, liquid refreshment. Streatley is on the A329 and we discovered after lunch that this neatly avoided the queues of traffic off the M4 into Reading. We take this route every year now, including the now traditional stop at the Bull for lunch. It's also become a useful place for meeting up with the London contingent before going to the festival site. The pub's phone number is: 01491-872392. Web-site:
http://www.eldridge-pope-inns.co.uk/29707.html or http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/bbc/p618270.asp

Breakfast beers
Shopping for beer and food in Asda prior to setting off for Reading in 1993, we found a "bargain bin" of particularly potent and exotic-sounding French lagers, which we decided would do very nicely for breakfast at the festival. Thus was born the tradition of the "breakfast beers", which now extends to all manner of strange brews, though the 8 per cent strength ciders have been abandoned in recent years due to adverse effects that early in the day.

The crap jokes
Stupid jokes that the average primary school pupil would find unsophisticated, yet which get trotted out dozens of times during the average festie.
"Quaylie, is it too late to say we love you?" (It helps if you're familiar with Marillion's back catalogue here.
"Wigg!" someone shouts
he would invariably reply.
"SMELLS!" everyone yells back. Hilarious.

Swimming in the Thames
A very shortlived tradition - it happened only in 82 and 83. Well, it was a waste of drinking time...

Smelly alley
The delightful passageway filled with greengrocers etc between the two main shopping streets in Reading town centre. Always used on the way to BHS in the morning. The years have done little to diminish the peculiar experience of Smelly Alley.

Wigg's annual festival purchase
Wiggg often (in fact EVERY year) felt compelled to make some absurd purchase: ear rings, sunglasses, useless tat. Just one of the many things we miss about him.

Kev's own unique traditions
Kev having to buy 2000AD on the Saturday. This has now ceased as, according to Kev it is published on a Wednesday and he has it on order at his local newsagent. Kev is 35 years old

Kev running out of money on the Saturday. Also an ex-tradition, as Kev earns more these days. And he now has a credit card

Kev getting really pissed on the Sunday night, then wanting to wait until early afternoon on the Monday before attempting to drive. Oh yes, this still happens!

The Bull, Streatley
The tea ceremony
Arriving in Reading by train in 1982, Wigg and Dan decided they needed a cup of tea (what was wrong with lager, guys?) and went to the little cafe opposite the railway station where they experienced what they later claimed was the worst cup of tea ever brewed. They decided the experience should be repeated in subsequent years as "The Reading Tea Ceremony". Sadly, by the following year, the cafe staff had learned to brew a decent cuppa, and the tradition ended there and then.