This year’s V Festival came to a close this weekend, with the event displaying perfectly how to showcase some of the biggest chart stars in the world, as well as give some exciting up and coming artists a platform to shine.
The festival kicked off on Saturday afternoon and despite the unsettled weather, a buzz filled the air and the main stage began to fill up early with people eagerly awaiting the performance of a lady that goes by the name of Beyoncé.
First up on the main stage were The Fratellis, who played a triumphant set to seal their comeback to the music business. They helped set the tone for the day and had the crowd up on their feet and singing along to popular hit Chelsea Dagger amongst others.
After this I headed to the 4music stage, stopping along the way to grab a drink and meet a group of lads who were dressed as power rangers. Here I had a little wait before the next act, so I chatted to a pair of girls who had been watching Gabrielle Aplin serenade the crowd at the arena stage, with her “gentle tone and heart-warming lyrics.”
Finally, out came Maverick Sabre who provided the crowd with a laidback soulful sound to accompany some late afternoon sun. He was shortly followed by Of Monsters and Men who continued in the same fashion by mixing an inviting atmosphere with some uplifting melody’s to get the crowd going.
With about 40 minutes to spare before Labrinth took to the 4music stage I darted off to the arena stage where I saw Jessie Ware get lost in the moment as she delivered a faultless set. Then I was quickly back to the 4music stage to see the previously mentioned Earthquake singer bring down the house with an electric set that included hits Express Yourself and Sunshine. Not to mention some onstage flames which lit up the crowd as the sun slowly started to set.
I, like many other people then made my way to the main stage where a huge crowd gathered to see Jessie J do her thing. Rocking her recently famous short bleached blonde hair and dressed in a unique skimpy black and white ensemble, fitting of her personality, the singer delivered the only way she knows how, with a punch. Popular tracks Price Tag, Do It Like A Dude and Domino were accompanied by fist pumping and strutting from the 25-year-old as she got the crowd in the mood for the rest of the night.
The penultimate act to grace the main stage on Saturday evening was The Script. Despite the mellow rockers trying their best to hype up the crowd, many used this time to head to the bar and stock up on as many drinks as they could carry, or stuff their face with something from one of various food vans. However the crowd did all come together to sing along to The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, whilst frontman Danny O’Donoghue took the opportunity to connect with one of his many female fans by getting hold of her phone and singing to her ex-boyfriend, ‘Am I better off dead?’
As darkness descended on the Chelmsford site, it was finally time for what most people had been waiting for. The crowd, a mixture of Single Ladies and men too, were all there waiting to see the woman they adored, and wait they did. The delay of 25 minutes consisted mostly of fans chanting ‘Beyoncé Beyoncé’, as rain started to fall on the huge crowd. Leaving some wondering whether they should be over at the 4music stage watching as one of the world’s biggest DJ’s, Steve Angello, made an awesome replacement for Beady Eye.
The former Swedish House Mafia star absolutely smashed it with an amazing laser light show alongside dropping massive hits like, Don’t You Worry Child and Save The World,to get the respectable sized crowd raving the night away.
Back at the main stage and at last the music hit. Run The World (Girls) blasted out of the speakers and the crowd went crazy as out stepped Beyoncé. Dressed in a beaded leotard and sporting a new blonde bob hairstyle, Queen Bee dazzled the masses not only with her colossal hits but with her sophisticated video interludes, leaving them in awe. With the crowd all singing along to Love On Top, Irreplaceable and Halo, Beyoncé took the opportunity to show off a number of amazing outfits which just demonstrated that she really does know how to put on a show. All this combined with her fantastic all-female band and faultless dancers left people talking about the brilliant performance well into the early hours of the morning.
Sunday morning rolled around and with the sun shining in the sky, many people emerged from their tents looking a little worse for wear after last night’s antics. This however didn’t stop the lively atmosphere and many people were quickly back on the booze, including a large group of men spending the festival dressed as women.
I started off the day at the 4music stage where Lawson quickly got the crowd going with an excellent cover of Don’t You Worry Child. I then made the long trek to the arena stage to roll back the years and have a good ole sing-song with Five. A bigger crowd than was probably expected gathered to watch the 90’s boy band relive their youth with hits Keep On Moving and Everybody Get Up.
After stopping to grab a drink and an overpriced pizza, I headed to the main stage where I caught the end of the Jason Mraz set before getting amongst the crowd for Essex’s own Olly Murs. He provided the audience with plenty of opportunities to find their dancing feet, but it seemed like most were after a more exciting sound.
Luckily this came at the 4music stage as Rudimental’s late afternoon set attracted a large and energetic audience. Songs Waiting All Night and Feel the Love got the approval of the masses as most were going for it with their drinks being sent flying.
Later the early evening mellow atmosphere was accompanied by the elegant Emeli Sandé, who graced the main stage with her delicate vocals providing the crowd with the perfect opportunity to sit and take a break from the tiring day. Beneath Your Beautiful echoed amongst the audience as many joined in with the chart hit.
Having spent a couple of hours at the main stage, I once again made the long walk to the arena stage where I watched a very enthusiastic Ellie Goulding wow the crowd with not only her excellent voice but her ability to play multiple instruments.
With night fast approaching, it was left to two huge acts to fight out for the attention of the party-goers. Calvin Harris was in charge of headlining the 4music stage whilst Kings of Leon were given the same responsibility at the main stage, I was lucky enough to catch both.
The superstar DJ attracted a huge crowd as he closed the 4music stage in spectacular fashion, with a set of immense tunes including, Drinking From The Bottle, We Found Love and new song, Under Control. Combining this with lasers and an abundance of fireworks he was able to perfectly captured the spirit of the festival.
Meanwhile at the main stage Kings of Leon were keen to prove they were back on form ahead of their new album release, and they did just that. With new single Supersoaker and with a number of festival favourites like Sex On Fire and Use Somebody they had the crowd in raptures. With everybody singing at the top of the voices to the raw and exciting sound of the American rockers, the festival came to a close for yet another year.
All in all, V Festival again did what is does best, showcasing the best chart toppers in the business, and with its friendly vibrant atmosphere it is easy to see why the festival is so popular among a variety of age groups. The organisers yet again managed to attract some of the biggest stars in the music industry, all of whom delivered to put on one hell of a show.
So after a successful 2013, festival expectations for next year are high, and with confidence that V will deliver it will be a weekend you won’t want to be missing, I know I won’t be.