Review of "Nirvana at Reading Festival" DVD

A commercial DVD of Nirvana's 1992 performance at the Reading Festival was released throughout Europe last month. It is important to stress that this is an unauthorized DVD and not in any way an official release by Nirvana's record label.

The DVD, released by the obscure German company masterplan, contains an unreleased professional recording of the Nirvana performance from August 30, 1992. The recording first started circulating online in January 2005. The original source has a timecode stamp in the bottom of the screen at all times. On this commercial DVD, the timecode has been obscured by a box with the respective song titles inside.

While the original source is 102 minutes long and contains the complete show, the masterplan DVD release is some ten minutes shorter and omits the opening intro as well as the first song, Breed.

In most countries, this particular DVD would most likely be considered illegal and consequently it can be a challenge to find stores that will sell it, although it is possible. Apparently a loophole in British legislation makes it difficult to crack down on these types of DVDs.

The popular online store for example has been selling the DVD, although it is currently out of stock (and will probably remain so). I was personally able to obtain it from the German branch of's marketplace. masterplan also has a DVD out, "Talk To Me", which is essentially a reproduction of the DVD from With The Lights Out in inferior quality.

Aside from the questionable nature of the DVDs legality it is a good, high-quality recording of perhaps Nirvana's best concert performance. However, since the DVD is incomplete as mentioned before (and not as good quality as the source leaked online), one would probably want to wait for an official release with better picture and especially audio quality. There's indeed a very high probability that the next item in line for an official release is in fact this show. Look for it out on DVD in late 2008.

For now, a few more details on this unofficial and unauthorized release:

Title: Nirvana / At Reading Festival
Released by: masterplan 2007
Runtime: 93 minutes
Bonus material: None
Audio: 2.0 Stereo
Cover art: Sleeve - DVD menu - Screenshot #1, #2, #3 and #4.

Posted in NFC news section at on 10-19-2007 @ 1:11 PM (GMT).

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