V Festival 2010 Staffs: Rated!
Weston Park, Staffordshire - 21-22 August
Leanne Kelsall - 23 August 2010
Overall - 8/10
For many, rural Staffordshire is thought of as just a service station on the motorway however, this theory is substantially destroyed when V Festival comes to town. It’s hard to believe such an abundance of huge names are in one place, in just one weekend.
Where else can you start your morning with thousands of chirpy festival goers sexually swaying to ‘Mysterious Girl’ with Peter Andre, followed by an afternoon spent jigging around to Seasick Steve as he metaphorically makes love to his banjo? Where else can you spend an evening joining in on a fiery rave with Faithless as they play ‘We Come One’ under a golden sun set, followed by a set from The Prodigy who single-handedly destroy the boundaries of what’s classed as an unforgettable performance? All of this (and more) on your average August weekend makes this festival worth the money and a memorable experience for anyone attending.
Getting There and Back - 7/10
Ticket holders can get a return bus journey for an affordable £8 which runs frequently throughout Friday and Monday. If you fancy braving the traffic into Weston Park there’s a car park on site, as well as a drop off point. Expect the usual tedious festival queuing before getting into the camp site; open a beer to ease the pain.
There’s no doubt that V Festival puts Staffordshire, a county which previously remained unknown to the majority of man kind, on the map. Unfortunately, its founders didn’t design Stafford, nor its quaint surroundings whilst considering an onslaught of 90,000 festival-goers. This results in inevitable queues for buses and traffic jams into Weston Park. V organisers do their best to deal with this, as traffic wardens and queue security are sufficiently dotted around.
The Site - 7/10
The Main Stage and 4 Music Stage boasts plentiful crowd space, so there’s room for dancing and drinking even near the front, where you’d usually be packed like sardines. The Virgin Union Tent has increased in size, as has the Nissan Juke Tent which offers a unique escape from the outdoor commotion at V and of course, the rain. Since many favour the huge names performing at Nissan Juke, organisers should install some screens outside the area so no one misses out on the action.
The Strongbow Tent creates a friendly pub experience with a beer garden and an intimate performance area and it’s just £1.90 for half a pint.
Elsewhere, red lighting illuminates the Bacardi Tent which features performances from DJs such as Kissy Sell Out and Krafty Kuts. Mojitos anyone?
The site has a diverse variety of eateries and the V Healthy area accommodates for those with healthier dietary requirements. Shops and stalls turn the festival into a late night market after the music finishes, with no end of spectacular bits and bobs that drunken festival-goers are happy to splash their cash on.
Atmosphere - 7/10
Each year V Festival has increased in capacity but organisers don’t seem to have increased staff numbers to cope with this change, so endless queuing for just about everything puts a downer on the experience. Come 11pm at the festival and there’s a sudden stop in all music, so campers make their own entertainment or face paying the £5 minimum charge for each fair ground ride. Nevertheless, the atmosphere created by the musicians is unique and the excitement from some astounding performances each night lasts until the early hours, before staring up the next day as the arena opens.
Music - 9/10
The event unites all genres with the mighty Kings Of Leon and Brit rockers Kasabian performing on the main stage as well The Prodigy and DJ David Guetta headlining the 4 Music Stage. The Pet Shop Boys and Feeder are thrown into the mix, not forgetting the lovely Florence and The Machine plus loads more (Paolo Nutini, Calvin Harris, Scouting For Girls etc) making this the perfect recipe for a successful northern slice of V.
The Prodigy - 10/10
The empowering faces of the band members fill the screens in red and black throughout the set, whilst the sky is doused with smoke and red lighting floods through the crowd who are unaltered by the torrential rain. Maxim describes the audience as his warriors as he single-handedly lowers them to the ground before breaking into a compelling version of ‘Warriors Dance’. The show is outstanding, each song is performed better than any fancy studio tuning could produce and energy is flowing throughout every second during the 90 minute set. This is by far the highlight of the festival, perfectly thrilling from start to finish.
Madness - 9/10
The fun loving ska band are greeted by immense amounts of appreciation from the crowd as they perform songs that everyone knows including ‘Our House’ and ‘Baggy Trousers’. The afternoon sing along is a big hit with its jazzy trumpet lines and catchy lyrics, which is enough to forgive the band for calling Calvin Harris a prick during their set.
Florence and The Machine - 9/10
With flowers, a harp player, backing singers and such passionate stage presence, Florence puts on a spectacular live performance. Her voice is stunning throughout every song as she encourages the crowd to join in and of course, they do so, making her version of ‘You Got The Love’ an emotional moment at the festival.
Feeder - 8/10
What better way to spend an afternoon than dancing with friends to the songs you grew up listening to in your bedroom? The sun has finally made an appearance and the band are creating a fun atmosphere with their quirky, rock induced hits. The performance of ‘All By Myself’ is an unforgettable experience, no one is standing still and the crowd go crazy for Grants sweaty towel as the throws it before leaving the stage, nice.
Example - 8/10
The DJ opens with ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’ which dramatically raises the mood of festival-goers whilst the rain is pouring down outside the tent. Example has been given one of the earliest sets of the weekend but he’s uses his time perfectly, being vocal with his fans and treating them to some afternoon dubstep.
Mark Lanegan – 1/10
When up against Florence and The Machine and Stereophonics, you’ll need to pull something spectacular out of the bag to get an audience. Mark fails at this resulting in an audience capacity of zero, poor lad.
Like many of us, Robyn knows bananas are a brilliant source of energy and the pop queen decides to eat one during an elaborate on stage work out; all hail five-a-day.
Campers are repetitively shouting “Alan” and “Steve” during the early hours, either a large percentage of campers are actually looking for the infamous duo or this is the latest trend to emerge from the population of the festival camping culture.