Reading Festival has become so regimented these days. The hordes of yellow jackets reinforced by sniffer dogs at the station, who pluck bemused travelers from the crowd and escort them, arm tightly gripped, to the make-shift Transport Police marquee outside the entrance. The vast police presence on-site, many of whom were on horseback in an apparent bid for intimidation (although, admittedly, they offered to most a decent photo opportunity); and chiefly, the riot squads drafted in to control the ensuing mayhem on the sunday night which has become synonymous with the festival itself. Sub-contracted security firms were hired in and given fluorescent reign and a free license to prowl the campsites, ears pricked and itching for the slightest sign of back-chat and non-compliance. Of course, the reasoning behind all of this is the growing problem of controlling such a vast and often hot-headed amount of revelers, all of whom are drunk, drugged and seemingly separate from the toils of day-to-day life. The price of cigarettes alone is enough to convince one that he is in another world. More than with any other festival I've found Reading has this sense of a separate entity; that different rules apply here and all are happy to exploit. A close friend overheard a conversation between two lads, whose solution to a lack of money was to 'pick-pockets some mugs.' Couple this mentality with the descent into a primal state on the Sunday evening - mass burnings of tents, beating of oil-drum bins, intoxication from chemical fumes, and you have your justification for such a hefty presence of enforcement. However, although I rarely find this imposing (after all, I have no particular need to), I also fail to find encouragement or need in such a heavy handed approach. It's a sad state of affairs which detracts from the festival as a whole.