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Don't miss the '1971 Reading Festival Exhibition' - now on at Reading Museum

1971 Reading Festival Exhibition Poster featuring Rory Gallagher by Michael Putland

2021 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the world famous Reading Festival, the iconic event that put Reading on the map for music lovers across the globe. In celebration Reading Museum is currently hosting a unique exhibition, 'The 1971 Reading Festival: For the First Time'; a display that tells the story of the very first festival, from its conception, through to its musicians & fans, and long lasting legacy.

Curated by renowned photographer Jill Furmanovsky and with expert narration by Ian Shirley (Record Collector magazine), visitors can explore a remarkable range of objects and ephemera from the first 1971 festival. The exhibition also features over 50 fine art images, many of which were previously unseen and specially uncovered from the archives of photographers Michael Putland and Ray Stevenson. 

Readimg Museum

Reading Museum

Reading Museum

Highlights of the exhibition include stunning historic images of Reading and the bands that performed at the very first festival including Lindisfarne, Wishbone Ash, Rory Gallagher, Arthur Brown, Sha Na Na and Ralph McTell. There is also an array of clothes and camping memorabilia on display to capture the spirit of the time. Gibson Guitars and Marshall have both supported the exhibition by lending retro instruments and equipment, including a renowned Gibson Les Paul. However, the star of the show is Rory Gallagher's 1966 Fender Telecaster, accompanied by his Vox AC30 amplifier and other items that he played at the festival 50 years ago.

Reading Museum

Reading Museum

The exhibition is on display until 15 January 2022.