Network Rail staff at Reading station are preparing to welcome an influx of music lovers ahead of the annual Reading Festival this weekend.

Thousands of excited revellers will pass through Reading station as early as this Wednesday, as well as during and after the three-day event, which takes place from Friday 23 August – Sunday 25 August. Festivalgoers can then either walk approximately 20 minutes from the station to the festival site or catch a dedicated shuttle bus from the Northern exit of the station.

Passengers who are planning to use the station during the course of the bank holiday weekend are being urged to stay safe around the tracks, platforms and concourse – both on the way to the festival and on the way home.

Andy Phillips, Reading station manager for Network Rail, said: “We’ll see thousands of extra people passing through the station this bank holiday weekend at all times of day and it’s important that they start and finish their weekends safely.

“Trains, platforms and walkways will be busier than usual and it’s really important that both regular stations users and those going to Reading Festival can all pass through the station safely. Please be patient when travelling over the next few days and try not to block walkways and the areas around the ticket barriers.

“While people will arrive with full rucksacks and clean equipment, the return journey on bank holiday Monday is likely to see muddy boots and unwanted tents brought through the station. The station is expected to be busier than normal on bank holiday Monday as festival goers’ return home. We will have extra customer support services in action throughout the bank holiday weekend to make sure that the station is pleasant for all who visit.”

The following Saturday, 31 August, Reading will once again be in a celebratory mood as Reading Pride takes place. The steps at the station have been turned into a giant rainbow flag to mark the occasion and have been well received by passengers. Those travelling to and from both events can now top up their water bottles for free using the water fountain facilities that were installed earlier this year.

Passengers travelling on both weekends are advised as always to check before their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk