Stone Roses carry the desperate and enthralled into the night at V Festival

V Festival (Staffordshire) 2012 review

published: Tue 21st Aug 2012

The Stone Roses

Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th August 2012
Weston Park, Staffordshire, TF11 8LE, England MAP
£175 w/e with camping
daily capacity: 90000
last updated: Wed 2nd Jan 2013

Oh and how the heavens opened. After a minor storm, Sunday got underway quickly with the acts again beginning at midday and after a tea break and some breakfast, I was once again running from stage to stage to see all the acts that V festival had to offer.

Hailing from Barbados, Cover Drive, with their hit singles 'Twilight' and 'Sparks', Cover Drive attracted a rather large audience. Whether this was due to the rain or the fact they were on, I wasn't quite sure. That was however, until the rain stopped and the audience stayed. It was a fun set yet I found myself feeling a little bit tedious and my mind began to wander elsewhere. Nothing against the performance but it didn't seem to really progress or go anywhere. Just stayed rather neutral.

Emeli Sande
After her involvement in both the opening and closing ceremonies, Emeli Sande is in huge demand. On the Virgin Media main stage, Sande bellowed out a fantastic cover of Coldplay's 'Every Tear is a Waterfall' and her own 'Next To Me', 'Daddy' and opened with 'Heaven'. Family favourite James Morrison was enchanting and charming once again on the main stage while Labrinth took on the 4 Music stage effortlessly. Performing new single 'Treatment' as well as 'Let The Sunshine' and 'Express Yourself', Labrinth got the audience kicked off incredibly.

Newton Faulkner
Newton Faulkner is without question one of my all time favourites to see live and I was so glad to see that the Arena Stage was completely packed out for him. What a wonderful performer and human being who gets all the credit that he deserves. Rizzle Kicks were fantastic early Sunday evening. Seeing thousands and thousands of people doing the "hump" was actually amazing. Rizzle Kicks appear to give the same performance and energy whether the audience be tens of thousands or a crowd of 100.

Having missed seeing Ben Howard at Leicester's Summer Sundae last year, there was no chance that I would miss him again. I was happy to sit at the back of the audience but I felt the need to get to the front. Ben Howard is a beautiful musician. His songs are beautiful created and his voice is hypnotising. While his music is definitely meant to be heard and respected, the crowd seemed more concerned with screaming the lyrics back to him (be they the wrong or right lyrics.. mostly wrong) which drowned out his voice slightly. Regardless of this, Howard is without question one of the highlights of the weekend and one of the greatest artists to come out of the UK this year.

The Stone Roses were back in the public eye after 20 years away. Opening with 'I Wanna Be the Adored' the V Festival crowd went crazy. A set which included 'Fools Gold' which continued for 10 minutes, 'Mersey Paradise' and 'Made of Stone' which was introduced by Ian Brown with "a lot of you weren't born when we wrote these songs. They are the sound of the unemployed!" The 17 song set list carried the desperate and enthralled V Festival audience into the night and one that many had been waiting for all night.

Ed Sheeran rounded off V Festival for me in the Arena Tent. Mind was blown. Sheeran is so young yet to have such extraordinary talent is breath-taking. Since arriving on site on Friday evening I had been looking forward to watching Sheeran. For me, V Festival was finally done and what a bloody amazing way to finish it!

The issue with V Festival is that it doesn't feel friendly. It creates an uncomfortable feeling where I genuinely didn't feel happy. I thought it may have just been me thinking this but as I sat waiting for Snow Patrol, I got talking to a couple who had been coming to V Festival for years yet would not be coming back because in her own words: "I don't feel comfortable being here anymore. It's not about the music anymore" She felt so strongly about this and living locally she even offered me a place to stay during the duration of the festival! Where the line-up is amazing, the atmosphere while walking around is not pleasant. The festival itself cannot be blamed for this - its just how these things go. To find the right balance is tricky and it seems one thing has to suffer and unfortunately it was the atmosphere of V. Many may, and will, disagree with me and that is completely fair enough, but for me, I didn't feel safe or at ease at any point during the weekend. I think perhaps, for me, one big festival experience is enough and I will stick to my small festivals in future.
review by: Hayley Edwards

photos by: Hayley Edwards

Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th August 2012
Weston Park, Staffordshire, TF11 8LE, England MAP
£175 w/e with camping
daily capacity: 90000
last updated: Wed 2nd Jan 2013


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