|V Festival (Chelmsford) 2011|
19th - 20th Aug 2011
Hylands Park, Writtle, Essex, CM2 8WQ, United Kingdom
Although both days of the V Festival were sold out it was evident that the crowd on Sunday was much larger showing the pulling power of Eminem & Rihanna
The day got underway with the legendary D12, they came on stage one by one before thrashing through a set of their hits and asking the crowd who smoked weed, who drinks alcohol and who did both. Finishing with Purple Pills and My Band (unfortunately neither featured Eminem) to an ecstatic crowd.
Next up was Ellie Goulding on the Virgin Media Stage playing to packed audience with everyone singing along to songs off of her hit album 'Lights' and performing her cover of Your Song written by as she put it "the greatest song writer of all time” to a happy audience. Throughout the set she danced and hit her drum placed next to her mike keeping everyone mesmerised.
On the Virgin Media Stage Undercover Stage were The Mummers, an 8 piece band with a large ensemble of instruments, keyboards, saxophone, violin, oboe, trumpet etc. The lead singer wore a wedding dress and some of the band was sporting headdresses with flowers and feathers. The Mummers have a distinctive sound which is a joyful combination of Bjork, Eels and Moloko, their set was refreshingly different and entertained a good size crowd. Well worth trying to see if they are performing in your area.
Next up was special guests Hard-Fi, it seems their fan base has remained faithful the despite some time out of the limelight. Richard Archer did a great job in whipping the crowd up which resulted in cups and drinks being thrown around plus some crowd surfing. The band treated the audience to some new songs off their new album Killer Sounds released this week and some classics including Hard to Beat and Living for the Weekend.
Meanwhile on the Virgin Media Stage, The Manic Street Preachers were delivering a greatest hits set, there didn’t seem to be the passion of some of their previous V performances, but they still delivered an enjoyable set.
Bellowhead performed an energetic set to a small but enthusiastic crowd and by the time they got to their last track London Town the crowd had grown significantly the vast majority of which were fully engaged in the performance. If you need your spirit lifting go check them out when they tour later this year, you’ll not be disappointed
Pendulum were the headliners on the 4 Music Stage, but to avoid clashing with Eminem they played the penultimate set, however they obviously hadn’t realised the pulling power of Rihanna. As they hit the stage the crowd was only two thirds of capacity but was almost fall by the end of the set. Their stage was elevated allegedly to give a 3D affect, their performance was as high octane as ever with Ben Verse whipping the crowd into frenzy their set list included Propane Nightmares, Crush, and Watercolour.
They announced that they were taking a year out to write a new album and come back in 2013 before the finale of Blood Sugar.
The last act on the 4 Music Stage were Primal Scream performed their iconic Screamadelica album to a disappointingly small crowd. They’re performance was excellent from the opening bars of Movin on Up to the close of Shine Like the Stars the use of lights and sounds at times made you feel that it was a ‘happening’.
There were two bonus tracks at the end of Screamadelica Country Girl and Rocks
Over on the Virgin media Stage the excitement for Eminem was obvious from looking around the crowd and overhearing bits of conversations with people saying what they wanted to hear him play. The roar when he appeared on stage was a very apparent sign of his fans admiration, as he began his relentless 90 minute set with appearances from D12 to perform Purple Pills (to the excitement of those hoping he would have joined them earlier on the day).
Skylar Grey, Rihanna joined him on stage and got the crowd dancing and singing along (some even rapped along) performing a large chunk of songs from his latest album 'Recovery' as well as mixes of his earlier songs finishing with the hit Not Afraid and Loose Yourself , Rihanna joined him on stage for Love the Way You Lie.
This was truly a performance that will be talked about for a long time and well worth the rumoured £2M he was paid to perform at V.
This year’s festival was better than previous years, the organisers have clearly taken customer feedback on board, the new layout created more space, the route between the 4 Music Stage and The Arena stage had been widened which allowed people to move freely and reduce tension with security. Plus they implemented queue management at the bars which meant getting served quickly. Finding our way around was also helped by downloading the free V Festival app.
The line up was just right for the audience whether you wanted to see chart bands, rock icons or a mixture, or just staying in the VIP bar having a drink with friends and watching performances on the big screen. So yes it’s all about the music but also about mixing with people and having a great time.
Article By Iain, Linda & Mick Game
Photography by Tracy Morter