Reading & Leeds 2023: List of banned items and what you should bring

21 August 2023, 12:15 | Updated: 21 August 2023, 16:03

Reading and Leeds Festival organisers have shared a list of banned items and sustainable swaps
Reading and Leeds Festival is set to take place this month. Picture: Getty

Reading and Leeds organisers have shared their updated list of banned items ahead of the festivals and suggested some "sustainable swaps" for 2023.

By Jenny Mensah

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Reading and Leeds 2023 is almost here, with the twin festivals set to take place as is customary across the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

This year's festivals - which are held at Reading's Richfield Avenue and Leeds' Bramham Park - will play host to Sam Fender, The Killers, Foals, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons and The 1975 as headliners with many more joining them on the bill.

Organisers have refreshed their list of banned items plus suggested "sustainable swaps" for 2023. Find out what's banned from the festival and what they do suggest you bring to the event this year.

READ MORE: Reading & Leeds 2023: Headliners, line-up, tickets, opening times & more

Revellers at Reading Festival 2022
Revellers at Reading Festival 2022. Picture: Jo Hale/Redferns/Getty

Which items are BANNED at Reading and Leeds 2023?

  • Disposable vapes - The festival warns attendees not to bring single-use or disposable vapes, adding: "they pollute the environment and incorrect disposal of these can be hazardous at waste centres."
  • Campfires and disposable BBQs - Both are no longer allowed anywhere at the festival, including the campsites.
  • Flares, blow torches, fireworks, pyrotechnics
  • Spray cans
  • Nitrous Oxide and any items associated with the taking of NPS and NOS (including but not limited to balloons, whipped cream dispensers, water crackers / CO2 dispensers)
  • Air horns and megaphones
  • Animals (other than registered hearing or guide dogs)
  • Catapults
  • Soundsystems (small mini speakers are allowed on campsite)
  • Chinese/sky lanterns or paper lanterns
  • Clothing and garments which promote cultural appropriation
  • Unofficial tabards and reflective jackets
  • Unauthorised professional film or recording equipment
  • Drones and other flying devices
  • Radios and walkie talkies
  • Lasers - portable equipment or pens
  • Knives or sharp cutlery and cooking equipment like can openers are not allowed unless you are camping
  • Flags - while they are allowed on the campsite, they are not welcome in the Arena
  • Excessive alcohol or food - while these are not banned from the campsite, festival-goers are warned not to take more than they would need for private consumption over the weekend, so it doesn't appear they are selling goods at the festival.
  • Selfie Sticks - While permitted at the campsite, they are banned from the arena
  • Flat based cooking stoves - Are only permitted in the campsite
  • Bags bigger than A4 in the Arena - Festival organisers strongly advise attendees not to take a bag into the Arena as there will be long queues while all bags are searched. However, if you do wish to bring a bag into the Arena, make sure it's no bigger than A4 in size (8.27”x11.69). There is also a limit to one A4 sized bag per person.

See the full list of banned items at Reading here.

See the full list of banned items at Leeds here.

Disposable vapes are among the items banned from Reading & Leeds this year
Disposable vapes are among the items banned from Reading & Leeds this year. Picture: Peter Dazeley/Getty

What to pack for Reading & Leeds Festival 2023:

  • Tent
  • Good quality wellies or waterproof boots
  • A raincoat
  • Toilet roll
  • A face cloth
  • Layers of clothes
  • Suncream
  • Sunglasses
  • A portable phone charger
  • A roll mat to sleep on
  • A torch
  • Cash in case the card machines stop working
  • Your photo ID (no photocopies) - Reading and Leeds operate a Challenge 25 policy
Reading & Leeds want you to steer clear of disposable ponchos this year. Picture: GettyNICOLAS MAETERLINCK/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Reading & Leeds' suggestions and sustainable swaps for 2023:

  • A high quality tent instead of the pop-up kind, which you're only likely to use once
  • Swap reusable flannels for wet wipes- using one for your face, one for your body.
  • Choose soap bars over plastic bottles for a lighter packing and plastic-free options.
  • Share toiletries and suncream with friends to minimise waste.
  • Replace camping chairs with picnic blankets for comfort and less waste.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle and refill at free water points situated all around the festival.
  • Consider tent hire or borrowing a tent instead of buying a new one
  • Use self-inflating roll-up mats
  • Quality waterproof boots rather than cheap wellies you are likely to throw away
  • A proper waterproof coat instead of disposable ponchos
  • Travel: Use public transport, Big Green Coach, carpool with friends or use a service like Liftshare to reduce your carbon footprint.

Find out more about staying green at Reading & Leeds here

How old do you have to be to go to Reading and Leeds 2023?

  • The festival is welcome to all ages but does not recommend bringing young children.
  • Anyone 15 and under must be accompanied by a ticket holder over 18 years old at all times.
  • Children under 13 years are admitted free and ID may be required upon entry to the event.
  • Those who look under 25 are warned to bring ID or they risk not being served any alcohol.

What ID should you bring to Reading & Leeds 2023?

The following forms of identification will be accepted:

  • A Passport (Not a photocopy)
  • Full Driving Licence or Provisional Licence
  • A Proof of Age Card bearing a PASS hologram
  • A Ministry of Defence identity card
  • A National identity card issued by an EU member state

READ MORE: Reading & Leeds 2023: Headliners, line-up, tickets, opening times & more