This year was my first time at V Festival. The long running music filled weekend in Chelmsford and Staffordshire has been something that thousands of people have been looking forward to and this year I was lucky enough to join the crowds in Chelmsford. The star-studded weekend still hasn’t sunk in as V Festival exceeded all of my expectations.
The first band I watched were The Fratellis; a band that brought back many happy teen memories. Tracks such as ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and ‘Whistle For The Choir’ went down a storm with the midday crowd on the Virgin Media Main Stage, they sounded great, yet the lesser known tracks didn’t seem to rouse much of a reaction. Perhaps it was the time slot that let them down and the crowd would have been more enthused later on. I however loved their set and am glad that I have now seen them live.
The Pigeon Detectives were the next act I managed to see over on the 4 Music Stage. They finished their energetic set with ‘I’m Not Sorry’ while frontman, Matt Bowman, dived down from the stage and sprayed multiple water bottles on the doting crowd.
Following them on the 4 Music Stage was Conor Maynard. He opened with hit single ‘Animal’ then played a stunning set of tracks from debut album Contrast including ‘Glass Girl’, a song he wrote with Pharrell Williams. One particular highlight of his set was his cover of Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ leading into Daft Punk’s summer smash hit ‘Get Lucky’. He humbly referenced his YouTube beginnings which show that he is still very much grounded despite the soaring fame. Having seen Maynard grow into a talented performer, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride seeing the thousands of fans that had come to watch him.
Paloma Faith performed on the Virgin Media Main Stage and to be honest I was more excited about witnessing what crazy attire she had chosen to wear. She strut onto the stage in a beautiful golden dress with matching headdress and skyscraper platforms. Her vocal ability cannot be questioned, she performed impeccably well and entertained the crowd with her lovable humour.
Two Door Cinema Club performed after Paloma Faith. They performed to the brilliant standard we all expect from the three piece now they are veterans of the festival circuit. However, a very exciting V Festival exclusive, they performed their new single ‘Changing Of The Seasons’ for the first time live and it sounded great. The Madeon produced track is a sign of great things to come in terms of new music from TDCC.
Over on the 4 Music Stage I watched Labrinth (with Conor Maynard dancing alongside me as we stood side of stage, a very surreal moment). Nothing new or exciting, he just played tracks from his album Electronic Earth, which in itself is a great debut but I’m awaiting new material from Labrinth.
Over on the Virgin Media Main Stage Jessie J performed. She’s an artist that has slowly lost my interest over the past two years. At first she was an exciting up and coming female talent, yet now I see the Jessie J that is a public persona rather than the confident teen on YouTube. She played her new single ‘It’s My Party’ for the first time live and it didn’t fill me with excitement, just another mediocre single from a sellout performer.
My first experience of the Arena Stage came in the form of the hugely respected actor Idris Elba. He did a DJ set as 7 Wallace (his DJ name) and it was so surreal. Seeing the guy that plays Luther dropping the likes of ‘Niggas in Paris’ into the mix and keeping a crowd thoroughly entertainment for almost an hour was something I’m so glad I got to witness.
Onto the main event, Saturday’s headliner, Beyonce. She was 30 minutes late on stage which made the already vulgar V Festival crowd restless, with some people even booing her. She performed a set comprised of her greatest hits and it was what appeared to be a shortened version of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.
However, not everything was perfect with her set. For one, she didn’t complete a single track from start to finish apart from the finale ‘Halo’. Fans around me were getting restless with the remixes and mash-up of their favourite Beyonce tracks while she would change outfit (just shy of 10 outfit changes in total). Having said this, the whole performance was spectacular; no one can argue that Beyonce isn’t one of the world’s greatest performers, because seeing her live is undeniable proof of this. I for one was reduced to tears by her, and this is the second time that woman has had this affect on me (the first being her famous Glastonbury headline slot). Overall, a more than worthy headliner for V Festival.
Check out The Edge’s Sunday review of V Festival coming soon.