The long awaited V festival weekender finally arrived on our summer calendar, and we were hit by the rain and wind. Luckily, this slowly subsided over the course of the three days and many of us even left sun burnt. Compared to other weekend-long camping festivals that I’ve been to, it certainly won for camping space and vibes, less rubbish, ease of arrival, fare rides and portaloo’s. However, it was let down severely by the horrendous queues, in particular the drinks bars, and getting searched before entering the main music arena. I also did not rate the quality of food. Make sure you stick to the burger stands and the noodle bars. Come to think of it, there was no Indian stall…?
The dance tent never disappoints for sure and there was plenty of festival life style attire to browse through and buy for a decent price to get you even more in the spirt. In terms of general public attitudes, there was a lack of peace and love throughout. Everyone one for themselves, but maybe that just comes with the pop / mainstream and commercialised nature of V.
Some Acts that we experienced:
Big up to the rapper Stormzy; he replaced Halsey, which was a real birthday surprise for the crowd. He did not disappoint and has been considered as one of the most thrilling performances of the weekend, in terms of crowd enjoyment. Also to add to everyone’s buzz, he filmed the view of the crowd for his debut track ‘Cold’. We hold our hands up to him.
Sia performed before Justin Bieber’s set. We didn’t Sia, as usual. Her set was perfectly crafted by her dancers on stage and screen, but she failed to engage with the audience and so the whole experience was left rather flat.
Unfortunately, Bieber’s “hungover” state did hinder some elements of his performance as he headlined on the Saturday night. If he wanted to successfully mime, he should have kept his mic held up at the right points, the silly young man. Many fans have reported being disappointed overall at his set. Nevertheless, we still had a heck of a time as it was a delight to see him perform his ‘Purpose’ album hits of the moment – What a lad.
Years & Years was an entertaining performance. Alexander gave his all in a funky matching red top and skirt. He may have looked a little like the dancing flamenco emoji, but we let this slide.
Rihanna arrived on the main stage 30 minutes late. As the crowd waited in the drizzle it did become a little bit rowdy due to bodies aiming for closer positions and pushing through those who had patiently waited. The wait did not impress, particularly since she was the last act of the weekend. Needless to say, everyone was knackered and we also didn’t quite understand why she needed to break off stage for a few minutes between songs. It was mesmerising to see her on stage. We were a little star struck and her outfit was wickedly wacky. Such a cool chick and an amazing voice to behold. One to tick off the bucket list.
All in all we did have an awesome time over the weekend of the Virgin Media Festival, despite particular downfalls. You just have to embrace the experiences; rain, shine, queue or quality and good friends make for great company. It is good to explore different festivals, don’t just stick to one. Try them all, they all have individual aspects to offer, and not just in music taste. Glad to say we have accomplished V, where the pop is on point.