V Festival is only six weeks away, and as we all become excited, it seems a good time to pick out some of the stars who are set to grace the main stage this year. So what surprises can we expect to have in store?
Currently in the middle of a nationwide tour, Jess Glynne is well known for captivating the crowd during both energetic pop numbers (such as ‘Hold My Hand’), and more balladry ones (including ‘Take Me Home’). At her previous festival appearances, she has been praised for her ability to engage with the audience and sustain a heightened level of energy throughout her set. With a catalogue of hits and her fun-fuelled yet stripped back personality, her set is bound to be one of the stand out moments of this year’s show.
Ok. When I heard Pink was headlining I gasped. You gasped. The whole nation gasped! Having taken a massive musical gap – apart from her appearance on the soundtrack of 2016’s Alice Through the Looking Glass – thousands of fans are beyond excited that she will be making her musical return live on the V Fest stage. It is not clear yet if we are expecting new music during the set, but the timing seems perfect for her to launch a new single live, just as Gaga did with ‘The Cure’. What makes Pink’s headline slot so exciting is how visually spectacular she is as an artist. Her use of props and artistry is critically recognised as world leading – she brings a real sense of fantasy to the stage. All I can say is I can’t wait.
Southampton’s own comeback king is set to take to the V Fest stage this year, and with his reputation – following an incredible performance at 2016’s Common People festival – we can only expect bigger and better. His 2016 album, Following My Intuition, produced a string of commercially and critically successful hits which will create the perfect atmosphere, with his UK-garage style working perfectly with the festival vibe. At the same time, though, his set will have variety, as he can provide an R&B-style, and has some more traditional pop in ‘All We Needed’. His is sure to be a dance-fuelled and full-on set, encapsulating what we all imagine festivals to be like.
Much like Pink, the second headliner was a shock, as Jay-Z makes his musical return after a substantial break. And, if you were not excited enough, V Fest is set to be his only 2017 European performance of his brand new album 4:44, which was released last week and features guest stars Frank Ocean and Beyoncé. This also means we can expect a very different live experience from Jay-Z – the new album shows a matured artist, and expresses “one long, tearful, soul-ripped-open apology”, linked to Beyoncé’s accusations of adultery in Lemonade. This is going to be one set you will never forget.
While the rest of the artists I’ve mentioned are known for energetic and traditional festival style music, Emeli Sande is a little different. Her set is composed simply of herself with a few backing singers. No dancers. No pyrotechnics. Instead, she will bring her unique soul which allows an expression of raw emotion and feeling, either in the soft moments of ‘Breathing Underwater’ or when her 5-star rated single ‘Hurts’ asks the audience to create the song’s beat by clapping along. While festivals are about dancing, they are also about experiencing the power and force of music, and Sande’s set will show that off more than any other. Sometimes we all just need a bit of soul! I’m just hoping she retains the power of her music, and resists the pitfalls that led to her recent Glastonbury set being not so well received.
So there we have it. I can’t wait for all these artists – alongside a whole host of others including James Arthur, Clean Bandit and Ellie Goulding – to make this year’s V Festival the best one yet. You can book your tickets now, here.