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15 Reviews

Virgin Mobil Festival in Hylands Park, Chelmsford and in Weston Park, Blymsvill, Staffordshire.

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    15 Reviews
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      22.11.2013 01:36
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      Recommend but not as good as othere

      I am a regular festival goer and have now been to V Festival (Weston Park - Stafford) three times so have a fairly good insight of this festival.

      Firstly I'd like to say that in my opinion, festivals in general are one of the most fun places you can go to with your friends. If like me, you enjoy camping, live music, beer, fun and good company, then you need to go to a festival if you haven't yet. I try to my best to convince friends and family to try it and always say "You need to try it at least once". Roughing it up with no showers, no clean toilets and no hair appliances (for the girls) can be a scary thought but everybody is in the same boat and you'll have so much fun you won't even care!

      V Festival takes place in two separate parks - Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in Stafford. They both occur on the same weekend, meaning the acts alternate between the two days - Saturday and Sunday. If you buy a weekend camping ticket that covers Friday to Monday, but you can also buy day tickets if camping isn't your thing. A weekend ticket costs approximately £200 and a day approximately £90.

      There are several camping sites which are named after different colors and if you want to get a camp site close to the arena you need to leave very early in the morning to guarantee it. The campsites are a far way away from the car park / bus stations and the walk whilst carrying all your stuff and alcohol is not pleasant, especially when it's pouring with rain, which has happened to me twice! The arena is where all the stages and bars are. On arrival you can get a program that shows you all the times the different acts are on each stage so you can plan your weekend and make decisions for acts that clash.

      V Festival was the first festival I ever went to. I absolutely loved every minute and fell in love with the whole idea of a music festival. However after attending a few other festivals since ( I'm now a dedicated Glastonbury goer) they have pushed V Festival down in my estimations.

      Firstly, every time you go into the arena you need to go past security and open your bag to show there is no alcohol or anything else that you shouldn't have in there. This may not sound like a big deal and it may not be to some, but the prices of the beer at the bars are sky high so it would be nice to at least be able to bring some of your own alcohol in to watch the acts, rather than only being able to drink it at your tent.
      Another downfall in my opinion is that the arena closes at 12 AM all the bars shut very quickly after the acts stop playing. For me, at this time I want to carry on partying but when nowhere is open you end up back at your tent drinking (which is also fun, but it would be nice to have the option.)

      Clashes are another problem I always face, but this is more of a general festival problem. Having to decide between three acts you want to see is a lot more difficult than it seems but this is something that can't really be avoided. It just means deciding who you want to see more. They also do not allow you to make fires, I suppose it is for health and safety, but one thing I love about camping is making fires!

      Overall I do like V Festival and I would recommend it for first timers and people who enjoy more mainstream festivals. I have had three enjoyable visits to Weston Park, however becoming more of a hardcore festival goer has resulted in it going down in my ranks!

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      27.07.2012 11:23
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      A great festival with some fab music

      I have been to 3 V Festivals and attended both the Staffordshire and the Chelmsford site, so can hopefully offer an insight into both.

      Firstly, an overview of how it works. V Festival is set over 2 sites, as mentioned, one in Staffordshire and one in Chelmsford. There are lots of bands and artists that play across a Saturday and a Sunday (usually around the third weekend in August). Whichever site the musician plays on a Saturday, they will play the other on the Sunday so they both get the same experience, but the other way around.

      My first V Festival was Staffordshire in August 2008, with my good friend Kerry. She had been to several before and really wanted to go again, so we decided that we would go together. We were both really excited as Muse, one of our favourite bands, were headlining! In the build up to the event, I spent a lot of time on the efestivals website, as there is a great forum on there. I found out all kinds of information, from where is best to camp, to someone even putting together a 'clash list' of who would be on at what time.

      We went prepared, and arrived late on the Friday afternoon. The signs from the road were pretty good once we got near, although we did learn that there were several different car parks but could only find our way to the 'West' one. So we parked up (for a £10 fee) and slowly started the trek to the campsites. Staffordshire and Chelmsford differ on this as a Staffs you can camp in any of the coloured campsites, but at Chelmsford you buy either a Red or Yellow camping ticket. I had read that red was the noisy site, so we knew that we wanted to avoid that as we wanted some sleep. We managed to find a lovely little spot in the Blue site, which suited us perfectly.

      Tent up, we decided to go to the arena to have a look around and get our bearings. V Festival has got pretty massive over the years, so there's a lot to explore. You can buy a programme and map for £10, which also includes a lanyard with all performance times on it. If travelling as a group, I would just recommend buying one between you as it's all you really need. We sussed out where the stages were in preparation for the next 2 days. There is a fairground, which always seems to be full and plenty of bars. You have to buy 'beer tokens' which I think are around £3 each, and you exchange these at any of the bars as cash won't be accepted. On the Friday evenings there is usually something going on: either an indie disco or silent disco and then a film is usually shown in one of the tents.

      The blue campsite was perfect for us as it wasn't too noisy or crowded, and was just 5 minutes walk from the arena. Some of them - gold and a a ouple of others, were AGES away, so we were very happy with our choice. On the Saturday we cooked breakfast by our tent - fires aren't allowed, but camping stoves are! We headed to the arena at about 12ish to catch the first few bands. There aren't that many people about until later on, so we took advantage of having lots of space to ourselves and managed to get near the front of a few stages!

      One thing that I much prefer about Staffs to Chelmsford is the layout. We went to see as many bands as we could, and Staffs was great for this as you could walk from stage to stage in less than 5 minutes. At Chelmsford, they are so spread out, we ended up missing lots of bands as they were too far away, or we were too tired to walk!

      Alcohol is allowed in the campsites (but not in glass bottles), but it isn't allowed in the arena. People try all kinds of things to sneak some in, and we were also successful in this. I won't give away all my secrets, but efestivals gave us some wonderful ideas! Alcohol inside can be very expensive, and whilst we did treat ourselves to the odd Mojito, it really wasn't worth the £5!

      There is always an array of food stands - fish and chips, pizza, roast dinners, veggie stands, mexican and much more. You won't fail to find something to eat! We decided that we would cook our lunch (usually pot noodle or similar) and then buy tea. You are looking at around £8 for a meal in the arena, and it's not great, but you have to eat!

      The toilets aren't necessarily as bad as you may expect. They are normally ok for the first couple of days, but the golden rule is : Always take toilet paper everywhere with you! This usally runs out and it's vital to have your own. Also always take hand sanitiser gel :-) When portaloos are used by that many people, they are going to get full quickly and smell, but take it as being part of the festival experience, hold your nose and you will get through it!

      So, the most important things to pack are:
      Wellies, plenty of changes of clothes (layers are really important), loads of people do fancy dress, tent, sleeping bag, pillow, alcohol for campsite (or to sneak in if you fancy it), nothing in a glass bottle or they will get rid of it, something to cook on, plenty of food and snacks for during the day, camping chair, money (but not too much), loo roll, hand gel.

      If you forget anything, there are always some shops on site. Usually a rather expensive camping shop, and they also have an Oxfam stall (people use this to pick up fancy dress items like fur coats and wedding dresses).

      V Festival usually have a really great line-up. I went again to Staffs in 2009 and was able to see Oasis, Snow Patrol and the Killers amongst others. I then went to Chelmsford in 2010 and saw Prodigy, Kings of Leon and Kasabian. I didn't go in 2011 as I thought it went downhill slightly with the headliners being Eminem and the Arctic Monkeys. It is a more mainstream festival than others like Reading and Leeds, but it always has a nice atmosphere and I've always really enjoyed going.

      I wouldn't go back to Chelmsford, but would happily go back to Staffs. This is because I prefer the layout and also find that it has a much friendlier, more laid back atmosphere about it. Chelmsford has a much longer walk from the car to the campsite and we found that in general everything was a lot further away.

      Ticket prices are around £180 for the weekend, including camping (although of course, you don't have to camp). This is fairly good value as it's 3 nights camping and then 2 full days of music. When you work out how much you would pay to see a band, and the amount that you see over the weekend, it doesn't sound so expensive. V will leave you with some fantastic lasting memories and I would thoroughly recommend it.

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      19.05.2010 09:30
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      One I'd recommend

      This is one of the more commercial festivals (or aren't they all now *sigh*) but I still enjoy my little trip to Chelmsford each year for a weekend of music, booze, and chilling out.

      The festival runs on two sites: Essex and Staffordshire. The same acts play both locations, whoever is playing Saturday in Essex will do Sunday in Staffs, and vice versa. So you'll see exactly the same acts whichever location you pick.

      I've only been to Chelmsford, so my review is based just on that. Friends say the Staffordshire site is a little quieter.

      Music
      There are two main stages but also a dance tent, and other areas such as the Barcardi bar also have live music all the time. You'll find quite a good mix but definitely more of the the chart/pop bands with a few odds and ends thrown in. It's not the place to go to see much non-mainstream music. Over the years my favourite sessions have been: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bare Naked Ladies, Prodigy, Faithless, Basement Jaxx, Keene, Lily Furtado, Morrisey, Muse, The Stranglers, .. but I've seen so many it's hard to keep track. There is a packed schedule and always a lot to choose from.

      Site
      It's quite compact, which is great as you don't end up walking miles and miles every day, and the two main stages are only 5-10 minutes walk away from each other so if you want to nip between them and see two bands that clash, it's quite possible.

      It's a pleasant large country park area. It has a high level of security, both to control the entrances and within the event. In all the years I have been there I've only seen one 'incident' with a fight in one of the bars and it was quickly broken up and the men dragged off by the ever present but not intrusive security.

      It has (it claims) the most loos per head of any major festival and there are plenty there. The ones in the main areas do develop huge queues but there are others around that are quieter. Tip: the loos between the two stages at the bottom of the hill (so right by the back of the stages) are normally fairly quiet.

      Food and shopping
      The usual selection is available and I allow around £6 per meal plus money for drinks. There are tons of burgers, bacon rolls, fried chicken places, and so on, but you can also find healthier options around such as hummous pittas, fresh fruit salads, and grilled corn on the cob. One thing I always end up craving is a salad but no luck. I reckon anyone setting up a fresh sandwich counter would make a fortune as by the end of the weekend you've had enough of heavy greasy stuff.

      Camping
      There are two campsites. Red and yellow. You want to be in red if at all possible. The campsites fill up ridiculously fast so if you want any choice of not being right next to a loo, or have a group who want to be together, you HAVE to get their early. There are loos, drinking water, and showers for the happy campers, along with food places and stalls selling useful camping stuff and snacks.

      Tips for V virgins:
      The best campsite spots have gone by about 2pm on Friday but if you get there late then head off into the middle of an area away from the paths and you should find quite a few hidden spaces not seen from the paths.

      Be prepared for all weathers: burning sun or pouring rain. It never turns into a Glastonbury style mud bath but you still need a mac/poncho and wellies sometimes. Suncream is a must.

      There are some restrictions on what you can take into the campsite but people smuggle stuff in - but be prepared for any 'naughties' to be confiscated if you haven't hidden them well. A lot of people take disposable BBQs and cook on Friday night, and in the mornings.

      Pace youself. You can make a plan but you can't see everything and the point is to relax and enjoy yourself.

      Parking: It can be a long walk from the car if you are unlucky. Make sure you've memorised the numbered signs near your car so you can find it again. Getting out can take hours. Literally. Especially on Sunday night. If you are leaving on Monday, you need to get up and out really early (like 6am) otherwise leave it till lunchtime, otherwise you'll just sit in a traffic queue for hours.

      Overall
      A great value weekend when you consider the cost of going to see a single band gig, very friendly atmosphere, lots of couples and groups, some families, age range is mainly teenage to 30 but you do get some older people (ahem) there too. It does get crowded in some areas but you can always move a little bit to find some extra space if you don't like that.

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        17.05.2010 20:04
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        The most fun you can have in a field in the rain!

        V Festival takes place in both Chelmsford & Staffordshire, as I've only attended the Staffs one it is this which I will be reviewing...

        I have to firstly say that I have sadly not yet visited Glastonbury (not through want of trying!) and the only other festival I have been to is Leeds, just for the day, so I'm reviewing this festival just as I see it, not really comapring it to others.

        I have been to V twice and have loved it both times. Despite the fact that I am a camping-phobic (having only been a couple of times as a child and hating it even then) and am the world's biggest wuss when it comes to spiders, getting muddy and not being able to wash my hair, I loved being at V within minutes of arriving and I soon forgot about my lovely comfy bed and nice shower at home! Each time I have been I camped there for 3 nights.

        Upon arrival the first battle is getting all of your stuff (food, beer, tents, sleeping bags, clothes etc) to the campsite from the carpark, whcih is unfortunately quite a trek. The earlier you arrive, the better, as this means you can park as close as possible to the site and camp as near as possible to the arena. Arrive late at your peril (you will endure an even longer walk and a rubbish camping spot!). Either way, like I say, it is a bit of a trek and I would advise you to take some sort of trolley / wheelbarrow / whatever you can lay your hands on to help you (not sure quite how far it is but I reckon it is a couple of miles if you are parked in a bad spot and that is not fun whilst carrying two crates of beer, a 5 man tent and a CD player!). There are a couple of different colour coded & numbered campsites, whcih do help you remember where your tent is to some extent, but a flag on top of your tent will be a great help in the middle of the night too.

        Once you have camped & got settled you can take your tickets to be exchanged for wristbands which allow you into the main arena. You can also purchase a booklet with a small map of the site and a list of which bands are playing, on which stage and when.

        Between the campsites and the arena is an area with stalls selling food (hot sandwiches, burgers, jacket potatoes, chips etc) as well as camping supplies (such as extra blankets and sleeping bags.

        Within the arena, in between the various stages, there are more food stalls selling everything you can think of as well as beer stalls. The food stalls are pretty expensive (imagine your usual fairground type prices for a burger and around £1.50-£2 for a small bottle of coke). The beer stalls work by you redeeming tickets, you cannot pay for your drinks with cash. Annoyingly this means queueing up seperately to buy beer tickets (whilst trying to work out how many you will actually need for the entire weekend so you don't have to queue for them again!) and then again as and when you want a drink. However, the ticket system probably cuts doen on the queues at the beer stalls as there is no-one fumbling about with their money there (not that you'd notice, the queues are still pretty bad!). They generally sell Carling, Strongbow, a couple of types of wine and Bacardi Breezers - choices are pretty limited. Tip; don't buy more beer tokens than you think you will need as they are non-refundable and therefore useless at the end of the festival. There are also loads of stalls selling clothes, funny t-shirts, wellies, hats, jewellry, sunglasses etc. There are some nice things for sale and it's worth a look. You can also buy official V memorabilia such as t-shirts and hoodys.

        In order to save money on food I would strongly recommend taking some of your own for your tent and trying to avoid buying it in the arena as much as possible. Obviously this adds to the weight of the stuff you will have to carry to the campsite but is still worth doing. Camp fires are not allowed but we took a small camping stove, which was allowed, along with little camping pans and kettles so we could make bacon butties and cups of tea in the mornings (presuming we weren't already starting on the beer!). Other food we've found good to take is a tub of cooked pasta & sauce, sausage rolls, crisps, apples and basically anything that won't give you food poisoning if you don't refridgerate it! You are allowed your own alcohol in the campsite but not in the arena - they do search your bags - so you can have a few beers in your tent.

        Children are allowed, although I personally would not want to take mine. If you are taking children they you may want to camp further away from the arena on one of the quieter bits of the campsite, which will mean a longer walk but will also mean you are less likely to be kept awake by drunken people falling into tents and will most likely be able to enjoy a slightly cleaner section of the campsite.

        Portaloo toilets are provided in the campsites and they do get very unpleasant after a couple of days. As a girl, I would recommend you take a small bucket to wee into in your tent & then tipping this out because as horrid as that sounds no-one will think you're strange and it is much nicer that the sight of someone elses excrement overflowing out of the portaloo at 6am! Obviously it's a bit easier for men! If you do use the portaloos then make sure you have some tissues with you as well as some antibacterial hand gel as you will need it!

        There are showers on the site though in order to have one you need to get there very early in the morning, you may have to queue and they may not be warm, so most people just go without. There are water points all over the campsites for you to fill up your own water bottles at your leisure so you can then use this to wash your hands, brush your teeth, boil the kettle etc.

        All that remains for me to tell you about is the amazing atmosphere at V. Despite the smelly portaloos, the fact that no-one has had a shower for 3 days, the fact that you have only had 5 hours sleep all weekend, the fact that you were woken up at 5am due to a party in the tent next door and the fact that you are often up to your knees in mud the atosphere is just buzzing with positive vibes, happy people and all that awesome music. In all honesty, if it weren't for the mud, the stinky toilets and the fact your hair is knotted and full of mud and stale ale it just wouldn't be the same! Everyone is in a good mood, people are friendly, everyone is relaxed, no-one has any worries and there is no better feeling than being within a huge crowd of people who are just loving the moment, ignoring the rain and cheering for their favourite band, and if the sun does come out then the general happiness of the crowd increases ten fold. I have never had a bad moment, a sad moment or felt anything other than thoroughly happy whilst at V Festival, you can forget about work, forget about the housework, forget about the mundane things that don't really matter and just get lost in the moment.

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        26.01.2010 22:18
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        A festival for beginners

        I first attended V at Chelmsford in 2007 and it was my first proper festival in years. Me and my mate went as my 29th Birthday present.

        Firstly get there early. We left Plymouth at 10am on the Friday morning but didn't arrive until 7pm due to festival traffic. It then took another hour to get through the various fields and pitch up.

        WORD OF ADVICE: GET A POP UP TENT!!! I nicked my boyfriends' (he attends Download and has done since it ws Monsters of Rock) and it saved all the embarassing tent in the dark moments. Get the one from Milletts for 2 people and you will have plenty of space.

        Grabbing a tinny we then went in search of the ticket/wristband echange point. Here we queued for 90 long boring minutes (should have taken the 6 pack) - i'm sure there must be a better system somehow.

        As other people have pointed out there is jack to do at this festival when the music is not on. Fortunately we had taken a lot of wine, our trusty camping chairs and settled in for a girly chat accompanied by some blokes from Leeds with a guitar who took requests. Fab evening.

        Unfortunately was woken up stupidly early by some idiot security guard trying to pick my tent up with me in it because i was allegedly pitched illegally. After getting out my tent and pointing out the chalk lines the wally then moved on to harrass others.

        Although there were 3 fields when I went there was only one entrance to the actual park. This was manned by the most ignorant security staff I have ever come across. They manhandled everyone.

        WORD OF ADVICE 2: At other festivals you may get away with sneaking your own drink in - here they fully searched everyones bag and confiscated the lot so don't even nother trying to sneak it in!

        Once in there were the usual overpriced food stands that serve every culture going. There were lots of wine and beer stands with huge queues but if you are a Virgin member (phone,mobile, internet etc) you can receive a txt from them which will give you access to a VIP section. Here they had proper toilets and most importantly NO QUEUE at the bar!! You can tell my priorities!

        WORD OF ADVICE 3: They reduce absolutely everything on the Sunday evening instead of having to take it home.

        The music itself was fantastic with a great line up. There were numerous stages and dance tents so there was something for everyone. I read somewhere they felt it was a middle aged festival - to be quite truthful i thought it was full of tenny boppers trying to look like Kate Moss and Pete Doherty judging by the amount of hotpants and pork pie hats I saw.

        Okay I can't mention a festival without talking about toilets. They were truly vile and only emptied once whilst we were there. Unless you have the self control of a camel you are just going to have to breathe through your mouth and get on with it. Also make sure you start queuing at least 30 minutes before you need a wee! And don't forget the wet wipes and hand sanitiser!

        There is a McDonalds and a Tesco within a 15 minute drive from the campsite so we just went to these for breakfast and supplies. Parking wasn't really a problem in all honesty.

        All in all I saw a good variety of bands (Pink, The Killers, Foo Fighters (TWICE - I LOVE TAYLOR HAWKINS), Knaye West, James Morrison, Paolo Nutini, Editors, Kasabian, James, Snow Patrol, KT Tunstall, and loads others i've forgotten.

        I think its pretty good value for money if you think what you would pay to see all these bands individually. V certainly isn't anything ground breaking but it does what it says on the tin. I also found it quite relaxed and pretty much anything went (and was ignored by the various police cycling round the site) but according to friends who went last year they felt this wasn't the case.

        If you are new to the festival circuit then this would probably suit you as its only for 2 nights and the music is pretty much middle of the road. Hey why not just go for a day and try it!!

        Thanks

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          13.01.2010 16:32
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          BEST WEEKEND EVER!

          I had always wanted to go to the V Festival and in 2009 when I had heard that they were going on sale within the next week, I texted all my friends and asked if they wanted to go. I immediately got 2 confirmed and 1 unsure.

          In the end, it turned out with 3 of us who bought tickets but we had other friends who were going too. We paid approximately £165.00 each for a weekend ticket including camping at Weston Park in Staffordshire, which included booking fee and delivery charges. We travelled with 2 of my other friends which made 5 and they also had friends who were going to meet them there too.

          On the Friday before, we left at about 9.00am so that we could get there in time for a good spot on the camp site. We arrived at about half 11 in the morning. It was raining and we had alot of things to carry. One of the others had a trolley, but this was still tough to push in the pouring down rain and the uneven bumpy grassy land.

          We walked for about 15-20 minutes past the gold camp site and stopped at the red campsite, where there was a space big enough for our tents. Red was right next to the venue, which was an absolutely perfect spot! We pitched our tents up with alot of trouble as there were many large stones on the ground that we were pitching on. It was raining too so we werent having a particularly good time!

          After we finally pitched up our tent, the sun came out it stopped raining and we began to relax. We decided to go for a walk, whilst taking in the holiday feel that we got whilst at this festival. I had never been to a festival before so I was going to make this one count!

          Walking around, we seen other people still carrying their very heavy things around the campsite and thinking to myself that I was glad that wasnt me and my part was done. Around the ´village´were many food shops, merchandise shops, game stalls and so much entertainment to make your inner child come out.

          We went into the village, where there was more shops, stalls and fairground like rides. I felt so happy! The sun was still shining and thats a rare thing in England right! We bought programmes, that were £10, but we didnt mind cuz they were kinda cool. They looked like VIP passes that you wear around your neck. We exchanged our tickets for a weekend camping wristband. Walking around you could see everyone with a pink wristband. which meant that they were a weekend camper.

          After a wander, we wwent back to our tents and drank some beers and got to meet our ´neighbours´. Everyone was so friendly and made the experience so much more holiday like. You werent allowed alcohol into the main arena, maybe so they make more money. The beers were about £3.00 for a large cup of beer which I didnt think was too bad. We decided to go to bed earlish in order for a fresh start to our V festival weekend.

          On Saturday morning, we woke up quite early, probably due to the noise and the sun but we didnt mind. We went for breakfast in a nearby cafe that sold bacon and sausage butties. Yummy it was for £5 I didnt mind.

          I havent mentioned the toilets, which is something everyone talks about right! Lets just say, they werent of very good hygiene and also something I prefer not to remember!

          We went into the arena at 12, where the first acts were on. There were about 5 or 6 different stages where there would be an act on everytime, which meant that sometimes the acts you wanted to see would overlap. This wasnt too bad for us actually as we got to see all the acts we wanted. As we dont have a favourite band as such, we were happy to watch half of this act and half of another act.

          Some of the best performances were from: Alicia Dixon, Tinchy Stryder, The Killers, Razor Light, Snow Patrol, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini.

          Worst Performances: Lady Gaga (late and pretty sure she mimed) & Saturdays (boring)

          During the Saturday and Sunday, we went from stage to stage drinking alcohol, getting to know other festivallers and generally having so much fun! The weather helped tremendously and I am looking forward to going to the next one in 2010! I cant wait to see what acts are on! I just hope the weather is as good this year as it was last year.

          Some thoughts we have for this year is to: get a bigger tent, take a better trolley for transportation of of camping stuff, take a mallot and mayeb bring some music for after the acts are on when back at the campsite.

          This was THE best weekend of my life even with some of the minor problems we had.

          I would definitely recommend everyone does the V Festival sometime in their life!

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            16.09.2009 01:46
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            AMAZING

            I managed to get a free ticket for V festival in Weston Park in Stafford this year. i went along with 3 of my friends and i have to say it was the best weekend i have experienced!
            Firstly the fact that i got to see some of my favourite artists of all time such as oasis and the killers!! I have to say seeing oasis live was one of the highlights of my life so far! massive fan! thank god they didnt cancel Weston Park!!! other highlights included Snow patrol, Lily Allen, Razorlight and James Morrison!
            Apart from the fantastic live music, the atmosphere is incredible. The park itself is like a little village and everyone seems to be happy and up for a good time.
            I would advise not to bring too much stuff as me and my friends didnt realise the long walk we had to our campsite and it was very long and painful!! i would also advise bringing a wheelbarrow/something you can pull for your alcohol as thats what will be the heaviest to carry.
            The only negative points are the toilets,which are probably the most vile things i have ever seen! haha! but i honestly didnt care that much as i was having such a great time! also the fact that some acts are on at the same time so you dont always get to see who you want and it tends to be the most popular at the same time which is a pain!
            I would definitely recomend V festival to anybody who likes live band music as it is just an experience of a lifetime. i definitely would have payed the price if i had to! so worth it!!! also i would advise you DO NOT bring little children!!

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            14.09.2009 15:26
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            a weekend not to be missed

            One word.....A.M.A.Z.I.N.G....im by no means a big fan of camping and a weekend without my GHD's and my bed takes alot to lurr me away...but ive been to V the past two years and i'd go for two weeks if it went on that long.

            The atmosphere cannot be beaten any where and ive been to alot of music concerts! everyone is really friendly and helpful. like this year (2009) for example...being girls we brought the wrong gas clinder so the guys in a tent near by ...cooked us bacon sandwitches ever morning.lol. you will never hear of any violence. This year i was at Weston park to see the 'last ever' oasis performance!

            What is also great is that its showcases many unheard of acts that make it big (the ting tings were in the strongbow tent 3yrs ago....) its the place to find all the top artists this year, lily allen, lady gaga, oasis, razorlight....

            Just the whole weekend is brilliant....

            a few tips for you....
            in terms of alcohol...take a sledge and rope all your alcohol (crates are best) take a proper camping (travelling) backpack, one that offers alot of support for your back....if you can afford it take a rubbish tent that you dont mind leaving there (all these get collected at the end and given to charity) take plenty of food as its quite pricy in the arena. also take suncream/rain jackets as the weather is really unpredicatbale. just enjoy yourself! also get tuesday off work....it takes at least a day to recover!

            of course like most things there is a down side... namely being the state of the toilets by saturday afyternoon....you have two options...get so drunk you have lost your sense of smell or take a potty...as stupid as that sounds it was a god send!

            also money....was £3.50 for a pint this year...up from £3.10 two years ago...this is only gonna increase!

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            04.08.2009 14:29
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            A feestival for middle aged couples, avoid (unless you're a middle aged couple)

            I love Music Festivals. I've been to at least one every year since I was old enough to get into them, which is about 12 years now.

            Summer 2008 I made my first visit to V festival, unfortunately this will also be my last. I went to the festival in Hyland Park however I'm sure that a lot of my major gripes with the festival will apply to the other festival as well.

            First of all, let me say I had a good time at V festival, its hard to not have a good time at a music festival, however I just felt a bit let down by the event as a whole and thought there were a lot of things that could have been done better.

            Before I begin to mention the festival itself, the cost is a bit of an issue. My ticket was £150 which at first glance doesn't seem to bad, however this is only 2 days of music festival so that's £75 a day. If you buy a ticket to Glastonbury the cost is about the same, and you get 3 solid days of the main acts, far more choice, and there's also plenty to do on Thursday and even Wednesday before. So that's 5 days of entertainment versus 2.

            Secondly there are colour coordinated campsites, red and yellow. If you have a bunch of friends going and they get a different colour campsite then you either cannot camp with them, or have to endure the hassle of trying to find someone who is wanting to make the opposite swap with tickets. I am not exactly sure of the thinking behind this, I presume its an effort to try and ease the congestion into the festival, which was as bad as any other festival so I don't really see that the objective was achieved. I'm sure there is a decent enough reason behind the red/yellow camping thing, but that fact aside, its just a pain to your average festival goer.

            I found the services and general amenities once in the festival were ok. As you'd expect from most festivals everything is ridiculously marked up and you're going to have to pay a premium but that's pretty standard nowadays. There was a cash machine and the toilets were the usual nightmare, although I'm thankful to say there was quite a lot of men's urinals meaning the men didn't have to wait so long and could leave the porto-loo's free for the ladies. Although the queue for the ladies did look pretty painful about 80% of the time. There was a decent amount of water pumps around the campsites and the queues in the morning actually weren't too bad.

            However, my major gripe with this festival was the lack of anything to do once the main stage acts were over. Once you've just watched a huge band perform live your energy levels and pretty high, and you want to maybe carry on the party a little bit. At V Festival that is not happening. Almost immediately everything shut (other than food stalls) and everybody was ushered out the arena. Around the camping area there was nothing going on and so everyone simply returned to sit round at their campsites which for me, completely killed the atmosphere of the festival.

            I appreciate that not everyone wants to be up all hours partying, most festivals will now make a camping area specifically for people to do this. However most will give you the option of some kind of late night entertainment. V festival 2008 had nothing.

            The line up with V festival is a bit more "pop" than your usual festival, and because of that I think you get more people who might not usually go to a festival. If you are one of these people and you're going to head to your first music festival, then do yourself a favour and try another one. This one really isn't worth the money.

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              12.06.2009 00:52
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              Well it truly was Madness, but (in the end) in a very good way!

              First of all I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place, I couldn't find the page for the Aussie festival.

              So its a hot day, we've just finished cleaning the hostel we're staying at for two and a half hours and we've decided that we're going to turn up to the V-Festival in Perth and see what happens. Perhaps, we hope, we'll find someone willing to give their tickets for a cheaper price than the official 140AUS (and this is only a one day festival.)

              So we jump off the train at the Showgrounds station outside of Claremont. No sign of anyone selling tickets. Now its rather expensive so we shouldn't go...but then we see the line-up. This year it includes French-Finnish old school band the dø, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol, Razorlight and most importantly the Madness! So, that's decided then, in we go. Well we queue for ages first and in the process get my perfume confiscated, and then we're in.

              The site seems rather well organised in my first impression. We're handed a flyer with the times and in front of us there are giant signs pointing to "THIS STAGE" and "THAT STAGE" (real names) and all around us there's the buzz of happy people. We have about 45 minutes before the next band starts and so we decide to get something to eat.

              It looks like there's a lot of choice, hand made Pizzas, Jacket Potatoes, Chips, Thai, Curry, pasty shops, you name it. However, none of these places accepts debit card. True, most people come with cash to a festival but all of ours went on the entrance fee. Stupidly enough, we believed that there would be at least one cash point on the festival site or near by. We're told by several festival workers that there is "over by the beer tent" but all it is, we discover, is this E-Pos system which is just like using your card in a Visa purchase and getting cash back...however it only seemed to work with Australian cards. "You've got no cash in your account" the cashier rudely says to me. Actually, I do. It declines because they don't bother to take a signature or pin number. It's a chip and pin card I continue to tell them, though I might as well be talking to a brick wall. We then establish that there's not even a cash point outside the festival site and that I would need to take the train to the next stop if I wanted an ATM. How ridiculous. Even for this privilege of being able to get my own money out, I have to put up a fight. "The rules are that no one is allowed to re-enter the premises." So we're supposed to starve then? All this, and we have wristbands to prove our purchase anyway. He kindly agrees to get a bouncer to escort me to the exit and let me out the gate, but only I'm allowed to go and my cousin is expected to just sit and wait whilst I get a train there and back.

              After finally getting the cash, I'm fuming and had never been in less of a mood for a festival. However, the dø are playing next and I have been desperate to see them. Somehow, we managed to get to the front and the show was fantastic. The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and Snow Patrol were great and Madness well, they alone were worth all the money and hassle.

              The line-up was brilliant and the crowd was also fine with no violence occurring. It was just such a shame that the organisers couldn't seem to get the hang of the Festival spirit.

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                10.06.2009 10:17
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                The best music festival!

                V Festival is held in August every year at Hylands park chelmsford and one other venue, and i have attended every year since V97! Each year is better although i have never camped as living just down the road the walk is all part of the fun!

                If you do camp you arrive on the Friday to set up and then leave on the Monday morning. What i have heard from campers is that the showers and toilets are not to be desired so if you're a bit of a clean freak like me it's probably best not to camp!

                Many sites sell tickets and it's always a mad rush the day they go on sale! I've been lucky enough to manage to obtain these every year and have seen some amazing bands over the years including, Green Day, the Verve, Supergrass, Stereophonics, Calvin Harris, James Morrison, Paolo Nutini, Kanye West, The Killers, the Kooks, Sugababes, and well the list is endless really!

                There are three stages where bands play and also the Strongbow tent and Bacardi tent...it can take a while to get served but the music is great! When i first went i think tickets were about £70 for a weekend ticket...now about £150 i think we paid for this year! It's well worth it as it is one of the best weekends of the year! Make sure you book the Monday off though as it can be quite a heavy weekend drinking and not getting much sleep!

                The toilets aren't great although what can you expect with the amount of people that go?! Try to stick with your friends because if you lose each other it can be difficult to find each other again and mobile phones don't always work that well. Arrange a meeting point if you become separated would be my advice.

                There are loads of stalls selling all sorts of memorabilia, food and drink, t-shirts, etc, etc. The police can be seen in uniforms and there are also undercover police to try and stop drugs being used so if someone offers you something unidentifiable don't accept. This said everytime i have been i have seen people using drugs in broad daylight. My best bet is keep and eye on your drinks, stick with your friends and use your intuition - if something seems a bit dodgy it probably is.

                Drinks can be pricey and often bags are searched on the way in, some years i have been lucky enough to get away with it but if you are found with drink on you they confisgate it. I would recommend V Festival not just to music lovers but anyone wanting a memorable weekend with friends!

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                21.02.2009 19:27
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                Tickets are on sale early March when the line up is announced. Come along... You won't regret it!!

                With tickets going on sale in early March, you may not have decided whether to attend the V festival. GO!! It is one of the best weekends of the summer!

                For those who haven't been to a festival before, V is an ideal starting point. It's a lot calmer than Reading and Leeds yet still offers a big festival experience in a safe and trouble-free environment.

                The Music

                Although the official 2009 line up is still to be announced, V festival normally offers a great range of acts, with genres to suit all tastes. From the pop (Girls Aloud, Sugababes) to the rock (Muse, Kings of Leon, Maximo Park) to the electronic (Prodigy), to the Indie (Verve, Kooks, Corteeners,) to the slightly annoying (Scouting for Girls).

                Headlining the main stage for 2008 were Muse and the Verve however the 4 music stage offers an alternative venue (which I must admit I prefer!). Even though it is still a huge area - it feels more intimate - because you can get near to the front of the stage. I saw the Kaiser Chiefs (who I had never been that bothered about before) and they completely won me over with a great live show.

                The Prodigy the following evening was truly the highlight of the weekend! A fantastic laser and light show, scarily energetic performances by Liam and Keith at the front, a frighteningly good drummer, and music so loud you could feel the bass in your stomach!

                Particular performances which stood out for me also included Alanis Morissette. After the release of her 'Jagged Little Pill' album - I have always thought she seemed a bit 'angry'. However she had a fantastic rapport with the crowd, her voice was stunning and her set was excellent.

                The Stereophonics, Kings of Leon and the Kooks also had terrific performances and despite the weather, the atmosphere within the crowd was excellent! The smaller tents also offered up some great acts - Jamie T was a performance which particularly stood out and randomly Goldie Lookin' Chain served up a terrific half hour of music!

                The only negative was Amy Winehouse - who was over an hour late, gave an appealing out of tune performance and forgot half her words.
                With so many great artists - the hardest decision is deciding who to actually go and see!!

                Camping

                It is worth getting there early enough to find a good spot preferably away from the toilets (they stink) and the showers (they leak). It is also a good idea to purchase cheap tents, airbeds and sleeping bags from the larger supermarkets (I got fixed up with everything for under £15) as you can just throw them away after.

                Whilst some campsites do have showers - don't expect to have one! The queues are normally really long and the water can be really cold! I find the best way to deal with not washing my hair all weekend is to take some dry shampoo. You basically spray it in and rub - I was surprised how good this was!

                The campsites also have wardens on 24 hours - this is reassuring if you have to go to the toilet on your own in the middle of the night!

                You do have quite a long walk from the car park to some of the campsites though, so be wary of what you pack.

                Food and Drink

                Although we did take our own food last year, with the good intention of saving some money and cooking it at the campsite - we didn't turn the camping stove on once! There really isn't any need.

                There was a breakfast stall in our campsite offering bacon and egg baps - a great start to the morning as well as an ideal way of lining your stomach for any afternoon drinking that you may have planned.

                There are plenty of food stalls in the main arena and there is plenty to choose from to suit all tastes. From typical burgers, hotdogs and pizza places - to more healthy alternatives offering jacket potatoes. Prices vary from between £5 - £10 - so you have to remember to budget for that. The benefit of paying for food is that you also don't have to cart it from the car on the long walk to the campsite.

                There is alcohol available to buy - however they do have a strict ID policy. So even if you are old enough and you look old enough - you may still be asked - so it is worth taking some proof of age.

                Toilets

                These tend to get cleaned through the night or first thing in the morning so are a pleasanter to use then. I would recommend taking some hand sanitizer which you can buy in small bottles and keep in your bag. It doesn't require water and does leave you feeling clean!

                I would also recommend you always have a torch with you - they don't have lights in the toilet at night (though sometimes it is better not to see what's actually in there!!)

                Weather

                Unfortunately last year there was a massive downpour of rain quite early on turning the place into a massive mud bath - although this didn't manage to dampen my spirits!

                I had learnt my lesson at a previous festival after I had a leaky tent which left me with no dry clothes and a soggy sleeping bag. Now, I always take some black bin bags with me and cover my stuff up in my tent before I go out for the day. These are also great for sitting on wet grass with as they can be thrown away.

                If it does rain the best thing to do is accept it. You are going to get muddy but you are having one of the best musical experiences of your life so don't let it get you down!

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                  18.02.2009 21:00
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                  Ooh, here's another tip - pack all your stuff in a wheelie trolley so you can pull it not carry

                  So, tickets for this year's V Festival go on sale in just over two weeks time (on the 6th March). I will be on the phones getting my tickets, as after losing my festival virginity to V last year I really want to go again! Just incase you are undecided yet whether to book or not, I hope my review will sway you!

                  Getting there:
                  We booked our tickets late, so ended up on the coach to Stafford. Waiting at Birmingham coach station with a huge line of other

                  Camping:
                  Ah, we really should have got here earlier. We trudged up what felt like miles of campsite past rows and rows of happily camped tents, only finding a spot because out teeny tiny pop up tent fitted in the space between already parked tents. Our second mistake involved setting up our tent facing the space that the other tents faced - our neighbours turned out to be group of banterous boys who liked nothing better than heckling us (two females) whatever we did. They also shacked up with some of the neighbouring teenage girls one the second night, which led to us overhearing some, um, interesting noises at night...

                  My biggest mistake, though, was neglecting to pack an airbed and forgetting to bring my boyfriend's big hoodie for the night. I was FREEZING, until I bought a blanket off the Oxfam store, and my back hurt so much from only having a mat between me and the cold ground, I was in pain for abut two weeks after!

                  The Food:
                  Expensive, and bad hotdogs! Unfortunately our camping stove ran out of gas so we were at the mercy of the stalls, but in retrospect we should have just budgeted for buying food there and not carried quite so many tins, saving space and our backs! The Chinese food was good, and my friend had a fish and chips that cost about £8, and apparently it was amazing. Good job too... The cheapest thing to drink was cider or wine, but to be honest I avoided drinking too much after the first night, as I didn't want to have to get up to pee again in the middle of the night!

                  The Music:
                  Was AMAZING. We saw a huge mix of acts on both the smaller and large stage, including Maximo Park, Reverend and the Makers, Stereophonics, The Verve and many more. The atmosphere was fantastic, and seeing Muse perform on the last night was actually the best thing ever - they were actually better outdoors than when I'd seen them in a covered venue, and with the incredible light show and buzz from the crowd it gives me little tingles just remembering it!

                  The Rain:
                  Made everything a mud bath, and I'd have been absolutely lost without my anorak AND my plastic poncho - definitely a must pack!

                  The Toilets:
                  Grim, and with massive queues, bur actually not quite as bad as I'd thought, given the dire warnings!

                  Other notes:
                  You will have to fork out c.£10 for the back containing the information telling you who is playing where. It's actually quite a useful size for carrying things around during the day though, mind. There are also lots of stalls, something I didn't expect, and I spent quite a bit of money at the vintage clothing stalls and some of the jewellery stands. So if you like a bit of retail therapy, bring cash, you'll need much more than you think you will...

                  Conclusion:
                  Fantastic, easy and fun - book tickets now but bring a big tent and get there early!

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                    05.09.2008 23:06
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                    To say it was my first ever Festival it is one that i will never ever forget.

                    Well where do i begin on this review.I embarked on for me i hoped would be a lifechanging and memorable experience and happily i was not let down as it was my very first festival also so festival Virgin even.From Friday 15th August 2008 until Sunday 17th August 2008 i went to V Festival 2008 at Weston Park, Blymsvill, Staffordshire and i live in North Yorkshire and it was about 2 and a half hours drive from where i live and the journey begins on Friday 15th August 2008 in the afternoon..........

                    Friday 15th August 2008 :-

                    As it sat and waited for my friend to come and pick me up i sat frustratingly in my front room and watched some television.Then i hear a car pull up on my drive and it is my friend Mike and he is with his girlfriend Amanda and there is another friend with us called Alex.Mike is driving and Amanda is sat alongside him and i am sat alongside Alex and after Mike has helped me get my belongings in the boot we set off on our journey to the V Fest.

                    As the journey started the radio was turned on Radio 1 to be precise and we all listened to see what the presenters and people had to say who would be good at the Festival and the main bands that got mentioned were Stereophonics and Muse and quite rightly as they are top artists.As Radio 1 went onto something else the CD player was put on and The Courteeners album "St. Jude" was played much to everyones pleasure and everyone was having a good time.

                    Just over an hour into the journey and we decided to make a stop at some services for a toilet break and to get some food and drink and then we were back on our way.Sadly not long after this we hit some traffic and we were stop start stop start and it was quite frustrating at first but then after a bit things got a bit better and we were soon on track again and before you knew it we had arrived ar Weston Park in Staffordshire our destination.

                    As we made our way round up to where we had to pay and got told that in 2007 it was £2 but shockingly it was £10 per car but we paid the amount and then parked up.We had got there about
                    4:30 pm so there was plenty of car park spaces and then we all unloaded our belongings from the car and made our way to the
                    entrance.

                    We had all brought some beer, lager or alcopops to drink and sadly these were only aloud in cans but not in bottle form so
                    they had a stand where you could pay £1 per bottle and put it into a plastic small white container and some of the people
                    i was with did this but i was not prepared to pay this so had to sadly leave my bottles of lager behind which i was annoyed about but not a lot i could do.

                    We transferred all the drink and then made our way through the entrance and showed our tickets to security and then started to look for a place to pitch our tents.It was not long before we found some space in the Red Camp and there were other different colored Camps also and i got told that we would have to walk a fair bit to where the Main Arena was to watch the artists but at the time i was fine with this.

                    Me and Alex got our tents set up not too far from eachother his was a 2 Man Tent from Asda for £8 and looked much better than my 3 Man Tent for £20 from Tesco but as long as i was protected i was fine and Mike and Amanda pitched there tent a little bit away from us but not too far.Once we got the hang of it we had soon pitched the tents and we all moved our various belongings into our tent.

                    Once we had done this Mike went to the car to fetch the remainder of his gear and me and Alex got to work on setting up the instant BBQ that we had brought along and that was soon on the go and it was a nice day and just right for the burgers, sausages, chicken and kebabs we had brought to have for our tea and Alex kindly offered me some Carling Lager which i gratefully accepted and we sat down in some camping chairs Mike and Amanda had bought and then we chilled out for a bit.

                    Once Mike had returned he placed the gear in the tent and then came to help with the BBQ and serving up and we all had a fair share of the food and then once we had our tea we decided to venture down to where the Main Arena was so we could exchange our Festival Tickets for a Festival Wristband that we had to wear at all times to get into all places around the grounds.The Festival Tickets cost £150 and the hire of the car for my part was £50 but i thought £200 was a reasonable price of the experience i was having.

                    I could not believe how many stalls there was and you could buy hats and clothes and V Festival Merchandise and there was plenty of Food Stands so we would not go hungry or thirsty.I was looking for a Official Festival Pack and not long after getting our wristbands we found a stand that was selling them and they cost £10 and you got a V Festival Bag, An Official Programme for V Fest and An Official V Fest Laminate that showed you what time that the bands and artists were playing.

                    Amanda bought one also so we had two people with the information i needed.I had an idea of the people i wanted to see but as i looked at the Laminate it dawned on me that some artists i liked clashed with other artists and i was going to have to make some very tough decisions.After we had looked at some more
                    of the stalls marvelled at the fair which was expensive at £20
                    a ride and £40 for a Bungee Jump we all decided against it and went and took some pictures of the fair and the main stage and then made our way back to the tent.

                    I would say it takes about 20 to 25 minutes when you are on normal ground to get to The Main Arena and the back to your tent which was not too bad apart from going past some of the Portaloos which even smelt so bad even now and so did the
                    container machines that were filled up with with the contents from the Portaloos it makes me sick just thinking about it.

                    We got back to the tents about 10:00 pm and had another drink and then decided to call it a night so we could be well prepared for the next days festivities.There was many a different size tent we saw and different colors and shapes it was quite crazy really and the people we were pitched near to were very noisy even when it was late and seemed to live on pure adrenalin and sounded like all they really wanted to see was The Prodigy and they are a good band but i wanted to see a lot more artists and bands too.

                    Saturday 16th August 2008 :-

                    Sadly i nor any of my friends got very much sleep as i think mixed with the excitement and the noise of music playing and inconsiderate people who were next to us but it was about 9:00
                    am when we all eventually woke up and we got about making some breakfast and used one of the other BBQ`s that we had brought and had some bacon sandwiches that set us all up nicely for the day ahead.The day was nice at this point but then as we were to the Main Arena just after midday the heavens started to open and we got our first rain of the festival and sadly not the last as there had been rain over the last few days and it would not take much for the normal ground to become just a quagmire of mud.

                    The first artist we all went to to see was Taio Cruz in The JJB
                    Champion Arena at 12:55 pm and it was basically just like a big dome and held quite a number of people i would say over 2000 and he sang such hits as "Come On Girl" and "She`s Like A Star" and to say i had not really listened to his music before he was quite good and wowed the crowd with a 25 minute performance of R & B mixed
                    with a bit of Hip-Hop.

                    We then all headed over to The Virgin Mobile Festival Main Stage at about 1:30 pm and it is quite a big stage being the main one and you just stood in front of the stage and watched the bands and artists perform and Squeeze were belting out some of their hits and they have been going for about 30 years and still sounded good withsuch classic songs as "Cool For Cats" and "Hourglass" and they were on for 40 minutes in total and we saw 20 minutes of their performance and Glenn Tilbrook and the rest of the band still showed they have plenty to offer in music after all these years.

                    The next band we saw was Girls Aloud and this was at 2:15 pm at the same stage that Squeeze were on and it was because Alex really fancies Cheryl Cole but i think there was other reasons behind this and we saw them for about 10 - 15 minutes and saw them perform such songs as "Something Kinda Ooh" and "Sexy, No, No, No" but we soon left the girls performance behind to go see another artist.

                    Now as i had mentioned before as we headed to V Festival in the car we listened to The Courteeners Album "St. Jude" and
                    this was the next band we all went to see at The 4 Music Stage at 2:30 pm and was not too much smaller than the V Stage and you
                    stood on the grass in front of the stage just like with the V
                    Stage.The band led by frontman Liam Fray performed such memorable songs as "What Took You So Long?", "No You Didn`t,
                    No You Don`t" and "Not Nineteen Forever" and halfway through
                    their 30 minute performance the big screen pans to a man in a dress in the crowd and it was none other than lead singer of Scouting For Girls who is Roy Stride and he saw the funny
                    side but the lead singer of The Courteeners Liam did not and proceeded in a foulmouth outburst that you should not buy Scouting For Girls album because it is s**t and this got a big cheer and Liam showed his fiery side but gave the crowd a laugh and my Team Leader at work was singing their songs so much he got their songs in my head but i am so pleased he did as they put in a quality performance.

                    We then went and got some beer tokens from a booth that we had to queue in for about 10 minutes and proceeded to go to the bar and got ourselves a drink and some food before heading back over the one of the stages to see another performance.

                    This ironically was Scouting For Girls and they played at the same stage as The Courteeners which was The 4 Music Stage and this was at 4:30 pm and during their 45 minute performance i did not see Liam Fray from The Courteeners so he did not want revenge on them and did not think much of the band.They did a decent performance and Roy Stride the Lead Singer for SFG warbled out such hits as "She`s So Lovely", "Heartbeat" and "Elvis Ain`t Dead" with Roy performing both standing and sitting on a piano and was a good performance in my opinion.

                    We then went to go for a pitstop at one of the Portaloos and i went to then charge my phone up which took a while at one of The Virgin Mobile Recharge Points and then we all went to a stall to get some more food and then went over to the bar and got some more drinks in.

                    We all then headed back to the Main Virgin Stage and was late for a performance from the much talked about Amy Winehouse that was supposed to start at 6:05 but half an hour later she was a no-show and then eventually someone else presented her and she started to warble in a crazy manner and started singing Reggae Music and dancing about like Bruce Grobbelaar did in the Penalty Shoot Out in the Final of the European Cup vs A.S. Roma in 1984 and it was so very bizarre and she did sing the odd hit but for me in the 30 odd minutes she performed it was nothing memorable at all and was a shame as she used to be quite a talented artist.

                    We then stayed in the same spot at the same stage for the performance at 7:35 pm by Kings Of Leon and by this stage of the day the evening had brought a deluge of rain and the ground beneath was becoming a little unsteady.This did not deter KOL and as my family and work colleagues had raved about them they put in a decent performance and belted out such songs as "The Bucket" and "Four Kicks" and the 75 performance was a good one.

                    After this we again ventured to get more drinks from the bar and our final meal of the day but along the way the ground beneath us was getting more and more muddy from the rain and i being
                    a first timer brought unsuitable footwear and so nearly lost my footing a couple of times but was fine in the end and also went to the toilet again before heading to The V Stage for the final performance of the night.

                    This was from a band who hail from Wigan and were formed in 1989 and had 2 albums before their third album "Urban Hymns"
                    that was released in September 1997 made a lot of people sit up and take notice of the band we went to see called The Verve and lead by their instrumental frontman Richard Ashcroft who has tasted solo success but it is with his band he got the accolades.

                    The performance started at 9:20 pm and lasted for 90 minutes in the pouring rain and for me personally the best of my life musically.Richard and the band performed such classic hits as "Sonnet", "The Drugs Don`t Work", "Lucky Man" and i thought they had finished with the classic song "Bitter Sweet Symphony" but went one better with a finish song of "Love Is Noise" which is from their fourth album and is called "Forth" and to say i had not heard the song previously i was totally blown away and Richard Ashcroft was dancing about like a loony but also a legend and shouting "Oh-O, Oh-O" and stating that "Love Is Noise" and it was such a fantastic end to a brilliant day of music performances.

                    We all headed back to the tents but instead of taking the usual 20-25 minutes it took double that as the rain that had fallen had left the ground extremely muddy and as thousands of people headed back to their tents it was a struggle to get back but we got there and then Mike and Amanda went straight to bed in their tents and me and Alex had a few cans of lager and reflected on what had been a great day of music and then ventured to our tents for some sleep as we were exhausted.

                    Sunday 17th August 2008 :-

                    We got up quite late about 12:00 pm as we were a bit tired and it had been raining quite a bit through the night and there was a bit of noise but no decent performances were to be seen in our opinion and we did not actually set off to The Main Arena until about 1:00 pm and along the way we got some lunch and got a drink also and because the rain had caused lots and lots of mud underneath our feet and i stupidly had my Nike Trainers which were promptly placed in the rubbish bin at the end of the day.

                    The first performance of the day was from wild rock Canadian female singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette and this started at 2:15 pm at The V Stage and even though it was muddy it did not deter the people and the fans and we watched Alanis perform such songs as "One Hand In My Pocket" and "Ironic" and i thought it was a strange but good performance where she swung her head around with her hair and also span around for about 10 minutes until she was nearly sick.The performance lasted for 45 minutes and shows she is still an energetic and enthusiastic singer and performer.

                    We stayed in the same area for the next performance by The Lostprophets and Mike and Alex went for a toilet break and drinks and me and Amanda waited for them to come on the stage and i am a big fan of the band but was left dissapointed with the performance as they were due to start at 3:30pm and 15 minutes late started a band member light and Ian Watkins who looked like a poor mans Russell Brand started waffling on sang only about 3 songs and then went off and it was a low point of The V Fest for me but i still like the band.

                    Again we stayed in the same place for the next performance by
                    Maximo Park and this started at 4:45 pm and lasted for 45 minutes and it was a good performance by them and they performed such hits as "Apply Some Pressure" and "Our Velocity" and it was an enjoyable set to watch.

                    The next band I was really looking forward to seeing again and we again stayed at the same stage but moved a bit further forward to see The Kooks performance which started at 6:00 pm but The Script played a few songs and were good in my opinion and then The Kooks came out and performed some memorable songs such as "She Moves In Her Own Way", "Ooh La", "Always Where I Need To Be" and "Shine On" and for their 55 minute performance showed what a top band they are.

                    Some more drinks were brought to us by Mike and Alex and we moved even further forward at The V Stage for the performance of The Stereophonics and this started at 7:25 pm and in the 70 minutes that Lead Singer Kelly Jones and the rest of the band were on the stage they were truly brilliant in their quality songs they performed such as "Dakota", "The Bartender And The Thief",
                    "Mr. Writer" and "Maybe Tomorrow" and showed what a top quality band they are and how good they are live.

                    The final performance of the night was by Muse and this was more for Alex than anyone as he is a big fan and this was again at The V Stage and we were nearly at the front and the performance started at 9:15 pm and lasted for 95 minutes and was another great musical end to the day and even though i was being jumped into and pushed i still saw such great songs performed by Lead Singer Matthew Bellamy and they included "Plug In Baby", "Time Is Running Out" and "Supermassive Black Hole" and even though i am not a massive fan of the band this was a fantastic performance and a fitting end to the music me and my friends had witnessed.

                    It took us nearly an hour to get back to our tent and i nearly slipped in the mud about 20 times but i did not and as we got back the the tents we dismantled them and then got the rest of our belongings and made a trek back to the car made a bit of a change into cleaner clothes and then after an initial hold up while trying to get out of Weston Park i eventually arrived safely home at about just after 5:00 am on Monday 18th August 2008.

                    Highlights :-
                    The Courteeners
                    The Verve
                    The Kooks
                    Sterephonics
                    Muse
                    The Food and Drink
                    Being With My Friends

                    Lowlights :-
                    The Mud
                    The Portaloos
                    Having To Throw Away My Nike Trainers
                    The Rain
                    Getting Wet

                    Essentials For Next Year :-

                    Wellington Boots
                    Waterproofs
                    Some Sun

                    I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at V Festival 2008 and will be going again in 2009 i hope this review is encouraging enough for you to go if it is your type of thing.

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                    • More +
                      05.09.2008 22:17
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                      A fun-packed weekend with a great soundtrack!

                      I've been to V Festival in Chelmsford for the last two years, and would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy festival which is quite user-friendly! It's held across two sites in mid-August each year, Chelmsford & Stafford. The acts that play in Chelmsford on one day then play Stafford the next, and vice versa, so there are no tricky decisions to be made on which site to attend to make sure you see your favourite performers!

                      The festival itself does attract all of the really big names in music; headlining this year were Muse & The Verve, along with performances by Stereophonics, Amy Winehouse, Kings of Leon and The Prodigy to name but a few. This festival also has quite a few more mainstream pop acts performing, such as Sugababes, Estelle & Girls Aloud this year, across a variety of stages. As well as the Virgin Main Stage, the Channel 4 stage & the JJB Arena, there are some smaller stages & Bacardi & Strongbow tents, which feature sets from lots of big-name DJs.

                      You can attend V in a number of ways - either by a weekend camping ticket, or via day tickets for one, other or both days. If you camp, the campsites open at 12 noon on the Friday & close at 12 noon on the Monday. The campsites are well equipped with lots of portaloos & stalls selling camping gear for any forgotten essentials, as well as food stalls, a much more vast selection of which can be found inside the main arena - you will never find yourself hungry! Drinks inside the arena have to be purchased via a token system, so make sure you have bought plenty of these before you queue for your drink!

                      On the positive side, the line up is always amazing, and the organisation is always brilliant. On the negative side, the lineup can often make it really difficult to decide who you are going to watch at any given time, as there is quite a lot of clashing in the schedule as often there are two or three really good bands / artists on at the same time on different stages.

                      The queues for the toilets aren't too horrendous, although sometimes the state of the toilets is! The queues for the bars nearer the more popular stages can also be very long when the more popular artists are performing.

                      I would advise trying to go with the flow as much as possible - considering the amount of people who attend this sort of event, there may be the odd occasion where some of your fellow festival-goers will try your patience - usually at around 3am when you really want to try & get a couple of hours sleep before the next day's fun & games, or when the band you've waited all day to see come on stage & some lightweight with 10 too many beers inside him & a chip on his shoulder is in your vicinity, but on the whole the crowd is a good one!

                      Enjoy!

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