2 festivals already done  (Glastonbury and Somersault), I was more than ready to ‘Bring The Vibe’ at the famous V Festival last weekend. Unlike its predecessors this summer, there was quite a large group of friends, both old and new, heading down with me. As much as I’m a self-proclaimed Glasto girl, my old housemate, fellow camper, and partner-in-crime Parris is a V Festival Fanatic, and we’d spend a lot of nights at university avoiding work to swap mud-filled, crazy stories of our adventures. I had high hopes as I drove to Chelmsford in my overly packed car (see photo evidence below, I’m still unsure how we managed it!)

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Me, Hayley, Jess and Nick (who looks less than convinced at the state of my vehicle

The Site

Manageable in size, and for the most part, really well laid out, you can get around easily, not only between the campsite and arena, but also between stages – very handy when the times between the acts were short. However, possibly as a result of the compact nature of the site, V Festival offers little else aside from the music to entertain the huge crowds it attracts. There are a few fairground rides on offer, as well as a splattering of typical ‘vintage’ style shops, but if you decided to risk waiting in the HUGE line for these, you would probably miss what you really paid for, the music.

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I found that I was spending a large proportion of my day at the campsite, which meant I met and got to know a lot of lovely people while also saving some money on drink and food, but felt disappointing, seeing that the ticket price was double that of Somersault Festival, which unquestionably had way more to offer it’s guests. 

The Music

There were a lot of rumbles that this year’s line up wasn’t the best V had ever offered (though they might be saving some of the big names for their 20th anniversary in 2015), however, there was still more than enough to please me. 

I was wowed by Foxes at Glastonbury, and she was just as good the second time around, charming the crowd with catchy tunes you’re left humming all day long.

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Singing loudly to Sam Smith, on the MTV stage, while the sun shone above us was the epitome of bliss paired with a couple of cans of cider.

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Kaiser Chiefs and Bastille provided a moment for the crowd to embrace their inner indie kid with their much loved tracks “I Predict A Riot” and “Flaws” (personal highlights).

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As the night drew in, Sub Focus’ hard-hitting beats stirred up a sweaty frenzy inside the crazed Arena tent. And then there was Justin Timberlake, who simply silenced the critics, matching his smooth moves with his most successful and loved songs. When the first few bars of ‘Señorita’ began, my heart simply soared (can you tell I’m a fan?).

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Once the main acts ended, me and my beloved tent-mate Hayley hit up the incredible (and hilarious) Silent Disco. It was probably one of the my main highlights of the whole weekend, and provided the entertainment the day-time missed. 

A crazy loon (AKA Hayley)
A crazy loon (AKA Hayley)

It is a mystery as to why they decided to not do it on the final evening, when it seemed to be the most popular nighttime activity (there was little to no other choice). We exhausted our vocal chords and our limbs, dancing with strangers to classic hits. Needless to say, it was amazing.

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And The Rest…

For all it’s hype, I have a few minor issues with V. It’s no secret that it’s one of the more corporate festivals on offer nowadays, and that’s very evident on site. Even though this didn’t bother me, it evidently impacted on the prices. I was shocked to find that the prices for food and drink were on average around 50% more expensive that Glastonbury, with a small bottle of cider at the bars inside the Arena costing a ridiculous £4.80 each. 

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The programme they offered (and the only way to find out the weekend timings on site) was £10, and difficult to decipher, with each stage having a separate page as opposed to them all being on a handy 2 page spread (or similar.)

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More serious issues we found were that the sound on the main stage was terrible if you were any further back than the middle of the crowd, and seriously affected by weather conditions. Also, there were not enough toilets compared to the amount of people that were there, and this resulted in a lot of people peeing wherever and whenever the feeling took hold. 

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Now The Soppy Bit… 

Let me start by saying, if you haven’t read the lovely Lea’s post ‘How My Best Friend And A Festival Saved My Life‘, you really need too. Brace yourself for a cringe-filled ending paragraph along similar lines now…

When I read that article, I was reminded of my 3 wonderful, crazy, lovely housemates. Before last weekend, we hadn’t been altogether for 11 months, and I can only speak for myself here, but I found it incredibly hard to be without them. Let me explain.

University life, on the whole, was a blast. However, there were a lot of real personal lows, times when only strong friendship would do, and these 3 girls provided that in abundance to me. For 3 years, their love and laughter was a constant aide to me, something I fell back on, and I didn’t realise how much I missed it until we were reunited again. 

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If there had been no music, nothing but an empty field and us 4, it would’ve been a perfect weekend for me.

So saying that, my top tip (my must have at a festival) is go with friends that make your heart glad, so even if the weather’s crappy, the food over-expensive and the music lacklustre, you’ll still have the best time, and remember it for years to come. 

 

Thank you for reading my festival reviews over the last few weeks! Looks like I’ll be spending a lot of money doing it all again next year… Oh boy. But for now, pass me the Lemsip.

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