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For the North American or Australian spin-offs, see Virgin Festival or V Festival respectively.


The V Festival is an annual music festival held in Englandmarker during the penultimate weekend in August. Organised by SJM Concerts, the event is held at two parks simultaneously which share the same bill; artists perform at one location on Saturday and then swap on Sunday. The sites are located at Hylands Parkmarker in Chelmsford, Essexmarker and Weston Parkmarker in South Staffordshiremarker. Although predominantly a rock music festival, a wide range of musicial genres are accepted; in recent years pop acts have become ever more common.

The "V" represents the Virgin Group, with the event being sponsored by Virgin Media and televised on Channel 4 and 4 Music.

History

The idea for V came in 1996 when Pulp's front man Jarvis Cocker announced he would love to play two outdoor venues in two days. Pulp's promoters got together and came up with the idea of putting the gig into Victoria Park Warringtonmarker and Hylands Parkmarker Chelmsfordmarker giving fans in both the North and South a chance to see the band. Then came the idea of adding more bands to the bill, putting on a second stage and letting people camp for the weekend. In the end Victoria Park was just too small for two stages and camping. So in August 1996 there was one day of artists in Victoria Park and two days at Hylands Park with camping. The northern leg of V97 was switched to Temple Newsammarker, Leedsmarker to provide room for camping and three stages. In 1999 the Northern leg of the festival was moved to Weston Parkmarker in Staffordshire and has remained there since.

Previously it had been held at Temple Newsammarker in Leedsmarker, before being replaced by Carling's Leeds Festival. Originally, the festival took the name of the current year, with the first festival being named "V96". Since 2003 it has been known as simply the V Festival. Its weekend format, low queuing times and professional organisation have given it a loyal audience. The festival sold out in record time in 2006.

Mel C, Dido, and N.E.R.D. have all performed at the festival, and both Razorlight and Faithless performed in 2006. V showcases a mix of Britishmarker and international musicians, from up-and-coming bands such as Coldplay in 2000 and the Kaiser Chiefs in 2003 and 2008, and glam rockers El Presidente in 2005, to veteran crooner Tony Christie. Girls Aloud also performed at the 2006 show, and received rave reviews for their performance. McFly performed at the festival in 2007 and received a huge turnout and great reviews that were not expected.

Festivals and line-ups by year

V96

The first V festival took place on Saturday August 17 and Sunday August 18, 1996, and had two stages and one tent.

V stage: Pulp, Paul Weller, Supergrass, The Charlatans, Cast, Lightning Seeds, Gary Numan, Shed Seven, Stereolab, Incognito, Jonathan Richman, The Mike Flowers Pops, Longpigs, Edge Park

2nd Stage: Elastica, Sleeper, Heavy Stereo, Menswear, Fluffy, The Cardigans, Super Furry Animals, The Wannadies, Denim, Kula Shaker, Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, Space, Tiger, Pusherman, Orbital

Dance Arena: Tricky, The Aloof, Morcheeba, Lamb, Mad Professor

V97

This year introduced the NME stage.

V Stage: Blur, The Prodigy, Kula Shaker, Beck, Dodgy, Foo Fighters, Reef, Placebo, Pavement, Fluke, Teenage Fanclub, Apollo 440, The Supernaturals, Echobelly

NME Stage: Ash, The Bluetones, Mansun, Gene, The Divine Comedy, Longpigs, Monaco, Echo & the Bunnymen, Symposium, Geneva, Silver Sun, Veruca Salt, Embrace, Hurricane #1, ac acoustics, Stereophonics, Linoleum, The Driven, Radish

Virgin High Energy Tent: The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Dreadzone, Propellerheads, Death in Vegas, Sneaker Pimps, Gus Gus, Lionrock, Jimi Tenor, Olive, Finley Quaye, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Carl Cox

V98

V Stage: The Verve, The Charlatans, The Seahorses, Texas, Green Day, Robbie Williams, Lightning Seeds, Space, Iggy Pop, James, Chumbawumba, Stereophonics, Marion, Feeder, Whale, Rialto, Young Offenders, Headswim

NME Stage: Underworld, Fun Lovin Criminals, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ian Brown, Catatonia, PJ Harvey, Saint Etienne, Morcheeba, Lo Fidelity Allstars, Republica, Gomez, Dandy Warhols, Montrose Avenue, theaudience, Midget, One Lady Owner, Superstar, The Smiles

Dance Tent: James Brown, All Saints, Roni Size, K-Gee, Bjorn Again, Cornershop, Roachford, 67y, Karen Ramirez, Faithless, Regular Fries, DJ Norman Jay, Tin Star, Lionrock, Dean Thatcher, Moloko, Boom Boom Satellites, Disque Blu, Cuba

V99

V Stage: Manic Street Preachers, Suede, The Beautiful South, Stereophonics, Placebo (withdrew due illness, replaced by Kula Shaker), Happy Mondays, Supergrass, Cast, The Levellers, Gomez, Faithless, The Cardigans, Eagle Eye Cherry, Afro Celt Sound System, The Saw Doctors, Melanie C

NME Stage: James Brown, Massive Attack, Super Furry Animals, Mercury Rev, Shed Seven, DJ Shadow, Travis, Gay Dad, dEUS, Red Snapper, A, Death In Vegas, Dot Allison, Eve 6, Liz Horman, YY29, Medal, One Lady Owner

Reebox Arena: Paul Oakenfold, DJ Sneak, Dave Ralph, Derek Carter, Dope Smugglaz, Justin Robertson, Aphrodite, Dave Angel, Jumpin Jack Frost, Andy Wetheral, Layo, Mr C, Matthew B

V2000

Richard Ashcroft (of The Verve) goes solo and Travis unveil their cover of Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time"

V Stage: Travis, Richard Ashcroft, Macy Gray, Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene, James, All Saints, Cypress Hill, Morcheeba, Barenaked Ladies, Semisonic, Brand New Heavies, Bootleg Beatles, Björn Again, Andreas Johnson, Toploader

MTV Stage: Supergrass, Moby, Mansun, Beth Orton, The Bloodhound Gang, Joe Strummer, Saint Etienne, Feeder, Dum Dums, Dandy Warhols, Soulwax, Coldplay, Hefner, SX 10, Big Leaves, The Webb Brothers

JJB Puma Arena: Underworld, Leftfield, Flaming Lips, Death in Vegas, Moloko, Groove Armada, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Kelis, MJ Cole, Horace Andy, Jamelia, Day One, ManCHILD, LSK, Emiliana Torrini, Hybrid, Dara

Shockwaves Club Tent: Pete Bromley, Dander Kleinenburg, Guy Ornadel, Sasha, Seb Fontaine, Hybrid, Junkie XL, Lee Burridge, Dean Wilson, Craig Richards

V2001

V Stage: Texas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Charlatans, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, David Gray, Faithless, Placebo, Embrace, Neil Finn, Nelly Furtado, Idlewild, The Spooks, Powderfinger, Jimmy Barnes, Witness

WTV Stage:, Muse, Toploader, JJ72, The Divine Comedy, Shed Seven, Doves, Wheatus, Starsailor, Ben Folds, Nina Persson, Spearhead, Webb Brothers, Phoenix, Turin Brakes, Snow Patrol, Ed Harcourt, Ben's Symphonic Orchestra, Lifehouse (Hylands Park only), Santa's Boyfriend (Weston Park only)

JJB Puma Arena: Kylie Minogue, Ian Brown, The Avalanches, Grandaddy, Mos Def, Tricky, Alabama 3, Sparklehouse, Zero 7, Rea and Christian, Atomic Kitten (Weston Park only both days), Red Snapper (Hylands Park only both days), Hooverphonic, Alfie, Big Dog, The Bush The Tree And Me, Relish

Slinky Dance Tent: Daniel Bailey, Andy Passman, Garry White, Scott Nuskool, Svetlana, Matt Cassar, Marc Vedo, Dave Lea, John Dale

V2002

V Stage: Stereophonics, Chemical Brothers Alanis Morissette, Primal Scream, Nickelback, Gomez, Supergrass, Starsailor, Elvis Costello, Counting Crows, Bluetones, Kosheen, Mull Historical Society, Beverly Knight, Ed Harcourt, Rhianna

NME Stage: Manic Street Preachers, Basement Jaxx, Ian Brown, Doves, Beta Band, Idlewild, Sigur Rós, Elbow, My Vitriol, The Coral, Halo, The Donnas, Athlete, Seafood, The Burn, Phantom Planet (Hyland Park only), The Leaves, Crescent, Longview

JJB Puma Stage: Badly Drawn Boy, Groove Armada, Turin Brakes, Soft Cell, Paul Heaton, Lamb, Stereo MCs, Royksopp, McAlmont and Butler, Sugababes, Gemma Hayes, Custom, Damien Rice, Ashton Lanemarker, Kid Galahad, Venus Hum, Montana High Rise, Rachel Mari Kimber

Strongbow Golden Dance Arena: Stanton Warriors, David Holmes, Adam Freeland, Effects, Plumb DJs, DJ Touche, Ali B, Medicine, Dean Wilson, Pete Bromley, James Camm, Sounds, The Freestylers, Tayo, Complete Communion, Dean Wilson

V2003

V Stage: Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, David Gray, Ash, Queens of the Stone Age, The Hives, PJ Harvey, The Cardigans, Morcheeba, Reel Big Fish, Inspiral Carpets, Echo & the Bunnymen, Skin, Eisley, Tom McRae

NME Stage: Feeder, Underworld, Turin Brakes, The Coral, Killing Joke, Tim Burgess, Athlete, Evan Dando, Damien Rice, Distillers, The Bees Shack, The Basement, Spearhead, Martin Grech, Haven, Futureheads, The Stands, Rachel Mari Kimber, The Zutons

JJB Puma Arena: Lemon Jelly, Kosheen, Moloko, Asian Dub Foundation, Goldfrapp, Appleton, David Holmes, Mint Royale, Misteeq, Dirty Vegas, I Am Kloot, Gus Gus, Slovo, Jamie Cullum, Uncut, Amy Winehouse, The Rainband, Just Jack, Bell X-1, Speedway, Mankatomarker

Strongbow Golden Dance Arena: Jon Carter (Hyland Park only), Jacques Lu Cont (Weston Park only), Way Out West, Junior Sanchez, Freq Nasty, West London Deep, Freestylers, Themroc, Barry Ashworth, Will White, Tayo

V2004

V Stage, Muse, The Strokes, Dido, Pixies, The Charlatans, N.E.R.D, Faithless, The Thrills, Pink, Badly Drawn Boy, Athlete, Snow Patrol, The Divine Comedy, Jamie Cullum, Big Brovaz, Kosheen

NME Stage, Kings of Leon, Massive Attack, Embrace, Starsailor, Elbow, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Keane, Scissor Sisters, Dashboard Confessional, The Zutons, All American Rejects, Fountains of Wayne, The Killers, Mull Historical Society, Hal, Goldie Lookin Chain, Thirteen Senses, Chikinki, 10,000 Things, Kasabian, Blacklight

JJB Puma Arena, Basement Jaxx, Primal Scream, Kelis, Groove Armada, Amy Winehouse, Beverly Knight, The Human League, Audio Bullys, Jamelia, Roni Size, Freestylers, Kristian Leontiou, Aqualung, Josh Ritter, Phoenix, Chicane, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Fried, Backlight, Headway

New Band Stage: The Bees, The Delays, Hope of the States, The Stands, Longview, The Concretes, Tim Booth, South, Easyworld, InMe, The Dead 60s, The Infidels, The Crimea, Thea Gilmore, Cath Davey, Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club, Kevin Mark Trail, Rooster, Polly Paulsuma, The Casuals, Colour of Fire, Magnet, Mohair, Stateless

V2005

The 10th V Festival took place from Saturday 20 August to Sunday 21 August 2005, headlining with Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, and Scissor Sisters. Performing acts included:

Chelmsford Saturday/Staffordshire Sunday:

V Stage (Main stage):Oasis, The Streets, Maroon 5, The Zutons, Jet, The La's, Goldie Lookin' Chain, The Stands

Channel 4 (Second) Stage:The Chemical Brothers, Doves, Kaiser Chiefs, The Bravery, Good Charlotte, KT Tunstall, The Magic Numbers, The Departure, Tom Vek, Road To V Winner

Chelmsford Sunday/Staffordshire Saturday:

V Stage (Main stage):

Scissor Sisters, Franz Ferdinand, Embrace, Athlete, Joss Stone, Tony Christie, Idlewild, Rooster

Channel 4 (Second) Stage:The Prodigy, The Hives, The Music, Turin Brakes, The Ordinary Boys, Thirteen Senses, I Am Kloot, The Frames, El Presidente, No Hope In New Jersey




JJB Puma Arena: Ian Brown, Sonic Youth, Texas, Robert Plant, Dizzee Rascal, Jem, The Polyphonic Spree, Goldfrapp,

Other Acts: Super Furry Animals, Nine Black Alps (replaced The 22-20s)

V2006

The 11th V Festival took place on Saturday 19 August and Sunday 20 August.

Tickets for the festival went on sale on Monday 27 February, exclusively to Virgin Mobile customers, and went on general sale on Friday 3 March.

There were complaints from festival-goers in 2006 due to the excessive price of food and merchandise, and lack of prior information about the band schedules, the only timetable available being a programme sold at the festival. Despite knowing the numbers attending, the print run of programmes was sold out.[108171]

The "Road To V" competition for 2006 was won by Bombay Bicycle Club and Keith.

V Stage: Radiohead, Morrissey, Faithless, Paul Weller, Beck, Keane, Bloc Party, Sugababes, Hard-Fi, The Magic Numbers, The Dandy Warhols, Kubb, Gavin DeGraw, The Divine Comedy, The Dead 60s, Daniel Powter

Channel 4 Stage: Razorlight, The Charlatans, Starsailor, James Dean Bradfield, Delays, The Feeling, Morning Runner, The Rifles, Dogs, Kasabian, Editors, The Ordinary Boys, We Are Scientists, The Cardigans, Orson, Kula Shaker, Biffy Clyro, The Saw Doctors

JJB/Puma Arena: Groove Armada, Rufus Wainwright, The Beautiful South, Gomez, Nerina Pallot, Imogen Heap, Richard Hawley, Bic Runga, Lily Allen, Mute Math, The Boy Least Likely To, Fatboy Slim, The Go! Team, Girls Aloud, Kano, Echo & the Bunnymen, Xavier Rudd, Matt Willis, Shack, Phoenix, Pure Reason Revolution, Rushmore

Virgin Mobile Social: The Cooper Temple Clause, The Dears, Bell X1, The Pipettes (Weston Park only), The Crimea, Oceansize, Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family, Jim Noir, Lorraine, James Morrison, Butch Walker, The Grates, The Dodgems, Love Bites, Sandi Thom, Mew, Regina Spektor, My Morning Jacket, Matisyahu (Hylands Park Only), Art Brut, The Young Knives, Captain, The Upper Room, Paolo Nutini, Seth Lakeman, Director, Milk Teeth

V2007

The line-up for V Festival 2007 was revealed on Virgin Radio on Monday February 26, 2007, and tickets went on sale on the 1st of March.

The line-up was as follows:

V Stage: The Killers, Foo Fighters, Kasabian, Snow Patrol, James, Pink, The Fratellis, Kanye West, KT Tunstall, Paolo Nutini, James Morrison, Editors, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Proclaimers and Just Jack.

Channel 4 Stage: The Kooks, Manic Street Preachers, Lily Allen, Mika, Guillemots, The Hours, Basement Jaxx, The Coral, Babyshambles, Jet, The Fray, The Cribs and Captain, as well as Road To V winners Rosalita and The Brightlights. Foo Fighters also performed an acoustic set under the name 606.

JJB/Puma Arena: Damien Rice, Corinne Bailey Rae, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Lemar, Willy Mason, Rilo Kiley, McFly, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mutya Buena, Seth Lakeman. Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, Jarvis Cocker, Ocean Colour Scene, Dizzee Rascal, Sinéad O'Connor, Beverley Knight, Martha Wainwright, Glenn Tilbrook & The Fluffers, Jesse Malin and Chungking.

Virgin Mobile Union: Graham Coxon, Robyn, Stephen Fretwell, Bedouin Soundclash, Air Traffic, The Rumble Strips, Remi Nicole, Cherry Ghost, Tiny Dancers, Unklejam, Passenger, The Dodgems, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Boy Kill Boy, Plan B, The Holloways, Mr Hudson & The Library, Mumm-Ra, Switches, The Wombats, Ghosts, The Hoosiers, Pop Levi and Rebecca.

Amy Winehouse was supposed to play but cancelled due to admittance into rehab. She was replaced by Happy Mondays. Babyshambles were four hours late for their set at Weston Park after being held up by traffic. Robyn replaced The Bravery.

V2008

Chelmsford Saturday/Staffordshire Sunday:



Chelmsford Sunday/Staffordshire Saturday:

Tickets went on general sale on March 7, 2008, at 10am, and sold out in 90 minutes.

On 26 June 2008 at 10:00, extra tickets for both venues went on sale.

V2009

Tickets for V 2009 went on general sale on 6 March 2009. A limited number of tickets went on sale at 10am on 19 August 2008, following the end of the 2008 festival. Weekend tickets were priced at £132.50 (no camping) and £152.50 (with camping) for the weekend. On 2 March 2009 NME confirmed The Killers and Oasis as headliners. However, Oasis did not perform in Chelmsford due to illness (viral laryngitis)

The event was held on 22 & 23 August 2009.

Chelmsford Saturday/Staffordshire Sunday:

V Stage: The Killers, Razorlight, The Specials, Lily Allen, The Script, Taylor Swift, Starsailor, McFly

4Music: Fatboy Slim, Pendulum, The Ting Tings, The Wombats, Dizzee Rascal, The Noisettes, Red Light Company, Jet, Mr Hudson, Underline The Sky (Road To V Winners)

The ARENA: 2ManyDJs, Calvin Harris, Happy Mondays, The Saturdays, Will Young, Ladyhawke, N-Dubz, Asher Roth, Tinchy Stryder, Pixie Lott, Carolina Liar, Matt Trakker

Virgin Media Union: Peter Doherty, Alphabeat, The Sunshine Underground, Howling Bells, Pete Murray, Goldie Looking Chain, VV Brown, Kid British, Raygun, Wallis Bird, Zarif, Exit Calm

Staffordshire Saturday/Chelmsford Sunday:

V Stage: Oasis (Staffordshire only), Snow Patrol, Elbow, James, Biffy Clyro, James Morrison, Ocean Colour Scene, Bjorn Again

4Music: Keane, The Enemy, Paolo Nutini, Katy Perry, Athlete, Alesha Dixon, The Proclaimers, The Lightning Seeds, The King Blues, The Last Republic (Road To V Winners)

The ARENA: MGMT, Lady Gaga, The Streets, The Human League, Lemar, Natalie Imbruglia, Daniel Merriweather, Sneaky Sound System, Ben's Brother, The Blizzards

Virgin Media Union: British Sea Power, The Twang, Mystery Jets, Gary Go, Seth Lakeman, Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong, Miike Snow, Vagabond, One Eskimo, Iain Archer, The Gay Blades

Criticisms and reputation

The festival has been noted for its commercial nature in comparison with other British music festivals. V Festival has received criticism for charging £10 to buy a programme - the only way festival-goers can see what time artists are performing - while others have mentioned the fact burgers cost £7 and water bottles are sometimes confiscated at the entrance, costing up to £2 once inside the grounds. Some fans have referred to the organisers of the event as 'greedy'.

Despite this, the New Statesman argues that the commercial nature has some advantages:

"Yet there are undeniable advantages to the [commercial] environment. V is a remarkably non-threatening festival, with few of the rougher edges prevalent at other large-scale gatherings."

The London Evening Standard gave the 2009 festival 3/5 stars after headliners Oasis cancelled at the very last minute due to illness. Furthermore, approximately 800 people were injured with most being down to falls causing sprains and ankle injuries.

In 2009, organisers were forced to restrict entry to Lady GaGa's performance at Chelmsford after fans became stuck trying to fight through the narrow entrance to The Arena stage.

See also



References

  1. NME-Babyshambles V Festival Stafford set delayed
  2. NME - Babyshambles finally play V Festival Stafford
  3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7283981.stm V2008 Sell Out BBC News Report
  4. http://www.nme.com/news/oasis/46855
  5. New Statesman - The most commercial of music festivals
  6. [1]
  7. Festival fans condemn 'greedy' V BBC News
  8. Fans call V Festival organisers ‘greedy’ Festival News
  9. V Festival crowd looks back in anger London Evening Standard
  10. Almost 800 festival-goers treated BBC News


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