On a scorching weekend in late August, some of the worlds most established bands and the latest finds gathered together to wow the 70,000+ audience at the 10th annual V Festival. I was at the Weston Park, Stafford venue to witness the bands, booze and the casual chaos that surrounds the festival vibe. With 4 main stages, an endless supply of alcohol, countless kooky shops and some unusual food, not to mention the hygiene heaven that is the Portaloo, the V Festival has all the ingredients for an amazing weekend. The sun shone on the festival this year and it’s fair to say the atmosphere was sizzling as people of all ages and from all over Britain joined together for a weekend to remember (although temporary memory loss may occur after consuming copious amounts of alcohol).
This years V stage saw the likes of Embrace, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Athlete, GLC, Maroon 5, The Streets, The Zutons and the legendary Oasis. The festival turned out in force for Oasis, singing in unison (if slightly off-key) to some of Oasis’ timeless classics. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Oasis, songs such as Wonderwall are now a part of Brit Pop history, but I couldn’t help feeling their performance was a bit bland, lacking the cocky energy that defines Oasis. Perhaps they’re going soft with old age, but surely they could have done better than that.
One band that seem to have boundless energy are from my home town of Newport. After unexpectedly playing on the NME stage last year, GLC returned this year to rock (and shock) the main stage with cheekily entitled songs such as ‘Your mother’s got a penis’ and ‘Guns don’t kill people, rappers do’, (which stayed at No1 in Belgium for near on 9 months). The GLC clan stormed the stage and engraved such sayings as ‘You knows it’ into the audiences brain, safe as f**k! Classic!
C4 stage this year presented many up and coming bands, as well as one or two bands already firmly established in the alternative music world. With Saturday seeing The Ordinary Boys, The Music, The Hives and the amazing Prodigy, it is fair to say there was plenty to offer to all tastes. Sunday saw some bands that seem to have shot to success, the edgy indie vibe that seems to influence many of today’s music was seen predominantly in bands such as The Bravery and The Kaiser Chiefs. Both bands playing an enjoyable but not amazing set, yet it fitted the ambience of excited calm amongst everyone and helped to build the audience for the later performances.
Festivals exist for the night; the day is simply a warm up. It’s hard to put into words the amazing thrill you get from standing amongst 70, 000 people, outside on a warm summers night, listening to some truly amazing music, it sends shivers down your spine. The ultimate performance for me had to be the Prodigy; Keith Flint made the stage come alive. I have never felt such energy and excitement from any other band. The atmosphere was indescribable, everyone went mad, dancing non-stop as the base line coursed through everyone’s blood, sending everyone into a kind of frenzy. Whilst I bopped wildly I actually got goose bumps, feeling quite emotional as I was blown away by the talent before me. This talent can only come from experience, which is what many bands lack, but the Prodigy just seem to get better and better. Unbelievable!
There are probably a few pieces of advice I could offer you in order to make the most of your time at a festival:
- Get a programme at the beginning of the day and mark off which bands you want to see. If the times clash remember you’re at a festival, the beauty of this is you can catch half of 1 set and half of another, be prepared to be flexible.
- Carry tissue or wet wipes with u and waterless soap comes in very handy.
- Take drinks and snacks with you, (alcohol cannot be taken into the venue and glass bottles are not allowed). Festival food can be overpriced and queues can get ridiculous. You will appreciate a snack to tide you over until the queues die down, or until you can be bothered to move.
- It’s usually best to get money out before entering the festival grounds, there is an ATM machine but the queues stretch for what seems like miles and you will be charged for using it.
- Dress fairly sensibly (not in 4inch heels) and be prepared for all weathers.
Most importantly make sure you take some up for it mates, a fair bit of cash, a camera to capture the fun and be prepared to get pretty wasted, see the charming site of 6 men lined up 4 a pee, explore some uh, unusual shops, taste a Welsh Oggy (must be tried by all and so far unfound back in Wales!), meet some amazing people, listen to some awesome bands and generally have one of the best weekends of your life.
Festivals are there to make you happy – Use them!
V Festival Tickets are on Sale now for 2006 you can book these tickets at :-
Article Written by Faline Shears
Photographs By Jenny Potter.
We would like to also credit V Festival for giving us an opportunity to cover this amazing event.