This years V Festival saw 120,000 revelers over the twin site event who were in luck for some supreme delights. In its 19th year there was a whole host of different acts on offer for festivalgoers. From disco to indie to dance to good old-fashioned Rock n Roll. there was certainly something for everyone.
Dublin band Kodaline kicked off Saturday at V Festival Chelmsford with summer sing-alongs. Setting the tone for the day with uplifting songs the crowd were in full verse by the time they belted out their well known hit ‘High Hopes’.
It’s been a long time since one man and his piano sparked such an engaged crowd as Tom Odell managed. Even though the onlookers did not seem old enough to have experienced such angst ridden relationships; Odell had them jumping along to ‘Another Love’, whilst the blues hipster passionately pounded the keys.
With all the classics, Kaiser Chiefs reminded the crowd why they were all there., to have a bloody good time. Ricky Wilson put in a performance to answer all the critics, running up and down the stage more times than anyone could count, he was back in full form, even surprising the backstage crew when he went slightly too far. Ricky’s passion could not be mistaken; he puts everything into the performance. Evidently someone is prompting him that this is to sell records as between the mosh pit inducing hits he enlightens the audience that they are the Kaiser Chiefs and that the new album ‘ Education, Education, Education and War‘ is out now. Clearly agitated from the sound of Bastille’s drums in his ear, Ricky mischievously jokes with the stagehands before lifting everyone with the ‘Angry Mob’ and ‘Oh My God’.
Meanwhile there was no mistaking the summer vibes of the Wailers on the MTV Stage, how can you resist singing along to tunes such as ‘Jammin’, ‘ One Love’, ‘Could You Be Loved’. Everyone left beaming from side to side.
Back on main stage was the penultimate act before what everyone had been waiting for. Ed Sheeran, one man and his guitar, brought the vibe to serve as the perfect warm up act for JT.
The stage was set, the crowd were pumping, the most anticipated set of V was ready to kick off. JT certainly brought sexy back looking suave as ever in Tom Ford suit and backed by The Tennessee Kids, could be mistaken as arrogant but no he actually looked overwhelmed at ‘how far back you all go’. Hit after hit, in a perfectly polished fashion that you would expect from this superstar, the night was Timberlake’s.
Even festivalgoers who would not admit to being Timberlake fans were swept into it, everyone singing every song. The acoustic rendition of What Goes Around (Comes Back Around) was a highlight of the night. Justin served what appears to now be the theme of this weekends V Festival taking a selfie with a fan. He wowed the fans at every moment, didn’t put a step wrong and was pitch perfect. The crowd obligingly taking their part in Senorita, finishing the night with ‘SexyBack’ and ‘Mirrors’ everyone wanted to leave with you, Justin.
Sunday started with threatening skies, you couldn’t blame fans for hiding in the comedy tent. Newton Faulkner brought out the sunshine and the crowds on the gloomy Sunday. Followed by San Francisco band Train, with hits ‘Hey Soul Sister’, ‘Marry Me’, ‘If Its Love’ they even managed to get Bananaman crowd surfing. Pat Monahan gets the award of the weekend for the most selfies taken, it would appear that everyone in the front row has a piece of photo memorabilia.
Closing the set with ‘Drops of Jupiter’ the crowd was well and truly warmed up for the party that was about to ensue Nile Rodgers and Chic.
The most lovable performance of the weekend goes to veterans Nile Rodgers and Chic. Who knew how many hits Nile Rodgers had written. He is a true legend, inspiring character, telling the crowd how he battled cancer by going out and living life. Using music the way it was intended, uplifting everyones spirits and bringing the funk to V. It was true carnival atmosphere. Too many hits to believe one man wrote them all; ‘I Want Your Love’, ‘I’m Coming Out’, ‘Like A Virgin’, ‘Lets Dance’, ‘Get Lucky’, the list is endless. No one was standing still, jiving along, doing the salsa as the legend requested. Fifty lucky punters were brought on stage for the last song and all the rules were broken. Nile Rodgers left everyone exhilarated wanting more.
Rizzle Kicks brought the largest crowd to the MTV stage, all ages, connected for ‘The Lost Generation’. Two hip-hop boys who genuinely looked like they were having a blast in the middle of this corporate festival. What a sight to see 15,000 people ‘Doing the Hump’.
Lily Allen looking svelte as ever bounded onto stage in a silver leather catsuit. Lily baffled a large number of the crowd with a stage full of milk bottles, as if people needed to be reminded she is now a mother. Allen did feel the need to quash rumours of a split with her husband, and passionately sang ‘As Long As I Got You’. This performance felt like it was a big ‘Fuck You’ to all the critics along the way, comparing her song ‘LDN’ to a William Blake poem, this was lost on the festivalgoers.
Paolo Nutini followed in Allen’s footsteps intriguing the audience by appearing in a different world. Whilst slurring when speaking, "feeling a little bit drink" he was mysteriously in tune when singing. With hits ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ and ‘New Shoes’ providing the perfect warm up for The Killers.
Embrace vs The Killers. The clash of the weekend. Embrace were back after an 8 year break from the festival. Whilst having one of the worst clashes of the weekend, with The Killers, the McNamara brothers attracted a 300 strong crowd . With festival favorites ‘Come Back To What You Know’ and 'One Big Family’ Embrace have certainly hit the ground running on this comeback. Fans lucky enough to have got tickets to their now infamous Secret Festival are in for a treat. Danny was very proud of his "little brother Rich" encouraging everyone to dance, with Danny himself joining the fans in an out of character dance along.
Meanwhilst completing the all American headline, Brandon Flowers of The Killers stormed onto stage in a glittery purple suit. Ever crowd pleasing, ‘Somebody Told Me’ was the first of a multitude of triumphant songs. After a few beats everyone was set for 90 minutes of singing, word for word, all the tunes. The classics from Hot Fuss, pulled the most promising reaction, with a handful of covers driving the audience to a new level of excitement. Jimmy Carr, comedian, introduced the band for a well received encore. The Killers closed the festival with ‘Mr Brightside’ and the obligatory fireworks.
V Festival certainly had something for everyone this year, VIP bar, posh toilets, celebrity packed Louder Lounge, hammocks, comedy, funfair, skydivers and of course a plethora of music acts. As the sun goes down on another year, the organizers set the bar high for next years 20th anniversary.