As an avid V Festival goer from 2001 this was my first visit since 2013 when Beyonce last headlined. When speaking to friends it seemed many had chosen to no longer go to V Festival instead choosing to go to Rewind or other festivals citing V Festival as being for the young’uns or they didn’t really want to see Justin Bieber, and I get that however when you look below those headliners of Bieber and Rihanna the line up was actually interesting and varied.
First act of the day was Bebe Rexha an American singer who managed to get the small main stage early riser dancing about, my first act of the day though was 90s all girl group All Saints, who it has to be said looked might fine for their years and Pure Shores and Black Coffee being the highlight of a retro classic set. A quick walk to the other stage now sponsored by MTV and I had forgotten just how small the V site was and we where soon there for Asda inspired X Factor contestant Fleur East, who came out to the stage in one of the brightest outfits of the weekend and the bluest greenest hair, I’ve been told it’s called rainbow style, that’s me getting down with the kids.
Back to the main stage where the nineties retro acts continued with those indie favourites Travis with Fran Healy now looking decidedly grey, but their set was excellent and it didn’t even rain during why does it always rain on me, staying at the main stage and Example got the very young crowd effing bouncing.
The X Factor themed V sets continued with an extravagant dance heavy Little Mix who choreographed their way through their set like their lives depended on it and they were pleased to tell us they have now been around for five years, where does that time go to huh?
A quick look at Katy B and we decided it was time to eat before making are way to Lukas Graham whose bible bashing stories made me think he was the son of American reverend Billy Graham yeehaw. Back to the main stage for Years And Years who are beginning to look like the Timberlake pretenders and then we were off to see some fine musicianship in Laura Mvula who I never get bored of watching in the small V Street stage.
Wanting a good slot for the Kaiser Chiefs we put up with the mardy bum Jake Bugg jeez is that guy miserable and so serious I am sure he is Paul Weller’s grandchild. Finally the MTV stage headliners Kaiser Chiefs arrive to a fairly small crowd who all seem to have gone to watch Rihanna and why not she is better on the eye than Rinky Wilson who seems rather angry tonight and shouting at the people of V to enjoy themselves, well it all seemed to much for us and we called it a night.
Day 2 and the weather has promised dryness until 5pm and the day is off to a fairly sunny start so we decided to watch some Cake By The Ocean and watch DNCE who we seemed to think stood for DUNCE but we then realised it must have meant DANCE anyhow Joe Jonas was enthusiastic about it all and worked his way down the extended ramp which had been built for the extravagant Justin Bieber appearance later on that evening. Seemed Halsey couldn’t be bothered to come to V so Stormzy replaced her on the Main Stage and stole the show and drew a massive bouncing crowd. We decided to watch a bit of comedy and go see Adam Hills of the Last Leg fame who was as always excellent and his conversation with a guy in a wheelchair who decided to ignore the disabled platform was fantastic.
Foxes on the MTV Stage seemed hard work so we headed back to Main stage for Bastille who were a little predictable and seem to be at very festival over the last two years but the crowd liked them in the rain which carried on through a workman like performance by Jess Glynne who seems to have far too many hits for an as yet still fairly new career, talking of new careers a huge crowd have gathered for 80s throwback Rick Astley who was absolutely fantastic and thoroughly enjoying himself as well as the fans, staying at the MTV Stage for Zara Larsson, was the right decision with her summer light hits.
Best act of the day after Rick Astley has to go to Sia who has recently courted controversy with her total lack of interaction with her fans at recent gigs and this continued with her V Festival performance choosing to remain at the back of the stage dressed in white with hair covering her face and not moving for the entire performance. Apart from her three dancers who where a joy to watch and SIA holding an excellent voice it was not long however until the crowd started to dissipate and made their way to the MTV stage as we did to for our headliners we chose to watch a little Faithless before heading home and beating the traffic where the M6 was closed due to a tragic accident earlier in the day with the A5 queuing in either direction we knew we made the right choice.
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