V Festival, Hylands Park

Last weekend Gary and I packed our bags and headed off to Essex for V Festival. It was my 3rd V Fest, Gary’s 5th. It was also his first festival in 11 years and my first in 4 years. Things have changed a bit in a decade, mainly the acceptable festival fashions. I think I need to clean my eye balls for the amount of teeny tiny denim shorts on people who should know better. And everyone looks soooo young…… Also, at risk of sounding super old, fashions have come full circle since apparently everyone is wearing 90s clothing again…. and most of the people wearing it are too young to remember it the first time. Round sunglasses and dungarees anyone? Before you know it everyone will be wearing scrunchies (and yes, bum bags are back already!)


Anyway, I’m getting off subject. We arrived, parked and headed into the festival. As we’re old now we’d booked a hotel for the overnight stay instead of camping. I like my luxuries! It was very windy and a bit sunny but warm. I loved the fun fair rides dotted around the park and we had fun looking at the market stalls. We headed to the Arena Stage (actually a tent) because I wanted to see All Saints. I loved them the first time around and since then they’ve had two, not very successful come backs. I love their set. They danced the original dance moves and looked amazing, so cool and they all have amazing hair!



We then headed off to the MTV Stage and watched George Ezra before heading back to the Arena Stage. We caught the end of Keisza who was performing her hit ‘Hideaway’. She was singing an incredibly difficult vocal AND dancing hard. Very impressive! We’d come to this stage to watch Foxes. I enjoyed her set but she does seem to love herself quite a lot – a compelling artist to watch though and she has very good stage presence – and an amazing voice!


Back to the MTV stage we watched the end of John Newman’s set and then got onto our feet to watch The Wailers. This stage was running late so we weren’t able to see the whole of their set before having to head off to the Arena Stage to watch The Human League. Their performance was great and had the whole tent singing at the top of their lungs.

We went off to grab some food at the main stage whilst Example was playing. He’s not my cup of tea so I didn’t pay a huge amount of attention before Ed Sheeran came on. That boy can sing! He played a solo acoustic set with a loop pedal and it was technically and musically brilliant. I must buy some more of his music.

The headliner that night was Justin Timberlake. The sun had gone down and we were all very cold but waited for JT to come out. Unfortunately his set was very jazzy and cabaret – he seemed to linger on less known songs broken down ad nauseam and skip through the popular songs. We headed out before the end of his set to miss traffic and I don’t think we missed much.

Off to the hotel for a shower and bed. And what a comfy bed it was. I was out like a light before my head hit the pillow and woke with a start to Gary’s alarm. We had a leisurely breakfast. I never get used to festivals where the main area is closed until 11/12 and you can’t just roam around where you like.

Back at the festival and to the Arena Stage where we caught the end of Neon Jungle. We were there to watch Jess Glynn and while we were waiting the heavens opened up. I thanked my stars we were under a tent! Jess Glynn was great and had everyone singing and dancing, and by the time we left the tent the rain had stopped and the sun was coming out. We headed to the MTV stage, grabbed some noodles and took a seat in the shade to watch Aloe Blacc and then Sam Smith. During Sam Smith’s set he brought Nile Rogers out to play on one of the songs.

And then for the main event – we’d been waiting over a year for the chance to see Chic somewhere. Our efforts had been fruitless but when we heard they were playing V we knew we had to go. We got 10 rows from the front of the main stage and sang and danced through the whole set. It was baking in the sun but we didn’t care.


After Chic we went back to the MTV Stage to watch Katy B who sang and danced with loads of energy. She was great to watch. Rizzle Kicks followed and continued the energetic momentum. Then we went back to the main stage where the rest of the people we wanted to see were playing. We grabbed some dinner and watched Lily Allen – I love her!



She was great, tongue in cheek, and sang wonderfully to her strange and absurd songs. Great fun and truly herself on stage. She was followed by Paolo Nutini. He has such an amazing voice and his songs are full of soul. He really seemed to enjoy himself.


By this point we were both knackered and starting to get cold again. We’d already decided we wouldn’t stay for Sunday’s headliners, The Killers. Having been stuck in the car park out of the festival for 5 hours (no lie) before we didn’t want that to happen again so we headed out and were home by 10:30 – time for a warm bath and clean clothes and ready. Yes, I sound old but I like to do a festival my way 🙂

It was an amazing weekend, and we definitely want to go back. I’m gagging to go back to Glastonbury one year but until then V will do just fine.

3 thoughts on “V Festival, Hylands Park

  1. I’m happy you had such a good time! I would have loved to have seen Chic, Human League, Paolo Nutini, Ed Sheeran (I love Sing). They do say if you have seen a fashion come around again you are too old to wear it!

  2. I used to love going to festivals but I think my last one was Leeds 2008. Its been too long! I’ve seen The Killers a couple of times now and they’re amazing! But I know exactly what you mean about leaving to miss the traffic. I missed most of Foo Fighters when they headlined at V 2007 and had to listen to them with the windows down in the car whilst queuing to get out!

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