opening day of V Festival is hot, sticky and sweaty

V Festival (Staffordshire) 2012 review

By Hayley Edwards | Published: Tue 21st Aug 2012

V Festival (Staffordshire) 2012 - around the festival site (1)
Photo credit: Hayley Edwards

V Festival (Staffordshire) 2012

Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th August 2012
Weston Park, Staffordshire, TF11 8LE, England MAP
£175 w/e with camping
Daily capacity: 90,000

So after dreading the M6 nightmare, the journey to Weston Park went without fault. Weston Park played host once again to the Staffordshire venue of V Festival and so thousands descended on the grounds. With a line-up which included The Killers, Snow Patrol, Stone Roses and Ed Sheeran, the crowds on Friday evening were hysterically excited and ready for the weekend.

After a few hiccups which included driving around for 40 minutes to find the correct parking after event staff didn't appear to know where I had to go, Nicki Minaj having to pull out due to health issues, a mile or so trek to find a camping spot to then finally giving up when greeted by the most horrendous neighbours - seriously where do these people come from?! My mood had dropped considerably and I found myself asking, was it really going to be worth it?

around the festival site (1)
Saturday morning came and after a night in my car (yes - I did it), the promise of a new day and the fantastic line-up urged me on. The security and event staff were extremely helpful, minus the parking situation, which was great for me as I was travelling by myself.

Lawson would be my first trip of the day. Catchy pop songs and a crowd made up of teenage girls screaming every word. They are good at what they do and that's to look extremely good and make the sort of songs that you can label as guilty pleasures.

So Tulisa stepped in as a replacement for American folk rock singer Lissie and I was so disappointed when it was announced that Lissie would not be playing and even more disappointed when Tulisa was announced. Don't me wrong, she has her dedicated fans and appeals to them, but for me I just don't get it. She was introduced to the audience with a series of audio clips about the X Factor and her solo career to then perform a medley of N-Dubz tracks…Its hard to say anything else really. The Arena stage took on Rita Ora and it was packed out.

The atmosphere was hot, sticky and sweaty but to watch her set was completely worth it. Her performance was energetic and since being signed to Roc-Nation she has only been getting bigger and bigger. Having collaborated with Tinie Tempah in R.I.P and featured on 'Hot Right Now' alongside DJ Fresh, Rita Ora's career at 21 has began with a massive bang. Her set was explosive and I am so glad that I got to see her and be so close. What a lovely addition The Feeling were on Saturday. Playing some of their best known songs including 'Love It When You Call' and 'Never Be Lonely', the band reflected back about how they were working on their 4th album and how they were "old men now but we don't care." What a fantastic attitude from a really great British band. I love when you forget about these amazing bands and when you stumble across them again you question yourself on how you could ever forget!

Beverley Knight
Beverley Knight was my highlight of Saturday. What a voice! As she spoke about her hometown of Wolverhampton (after an audience member threw a Wolves flag onto the stage), you could tell how proud Knight was about the area she was from. Knight's voice is sublime. Every note that she sings is perfect and the best thing of her set was just how humble she was. Knight celebrated Donna Summer and Whitney Houston during her set and it is clear to see where Knight's influences are from. Olly Murs' light-hearted pop was a cheerful way to continue day 1 of V Festival.

It's clear that he adores being on the stage and entertaining the crowds but also appreciates being on stage alongside some of the bigger names of the weekend. Tom Jones is a legend in the music industry and rightly so. His career has spanned many decades and he has had some incredible music. The audience at V lapped him up, encouraged him with rapturous cheers and beckoning for his biggest hits, yet the crowd automatically changed the second a song that they didn’t know was performed which I guess happens with every artist but it was a very bizarre scenario to watch being played out.

Tinie Tempah completely stormed his performance. Having seen him a few weeks previous at Global Gathering, I knew that he could deliver and do more! With Rita Ora joining him on stage for 'R.I.P', Tempah bounced around the stage to 'Frisky' and 'Pass Out' it continued the day on fantastically.

Josh Osho
Josh Osho is a new talent being uncovered which is exactly where I found him, in the Undercover tent. After hearing him on Jools Holland a few months back and buying his album, I was eager to hear him live for myself. While the audience were far and few between (which was such a shame!!) Osho was magnificent. With his band on the stage, Osho performed his first single 'Redemption Days' as well as new single 'Giants' which I fell in love with instantly. His soulful and smooth voice rang out, his fusion of folk and soul was inspiring to listen too. I just wished that his audience was larger than it was to witness such a delightful singer/songwriter. Snow Patrol were epic. There was no fuss and no dramas. They are purely about the music and that's something that we need more of. They are a credit to the British music scene. The V Festival audience stormed over towards the main stage to watch Snow Patrol perform their outstanding set. Songs included 'Run' which obviously meant the entire audience sang every word, leaving front man Gary Lightbody to just appreciate and watch. There was a slight change in the audience when their newer songs were played yet once the sing-a-longs began again, this was forgotten about.

The Killers headlined Saturday night at V and what a comeback it was. I have never really been a fan of The Killers. I listen to their music and I enjoy it so I was happy to watch them as headliners. Performing a back catalogue of some of their greatest hits including 'Mr Brightside', 'Somebody Told Me' and 'All These Things I've Done', The Killers also paid tribute to Oasis by performing 'Don't Look Back In Anger' to the disbelief and adoration of the V crowd. Brandon Flowers constantly thanked the crowd for their continued support and proved to Weston Park that the Killers are definitely back! What a headline act and one that every single person at V Festival will remember.
review by: Hayley Edwards

photos by: Hayley Edwards

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