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Monday, September 07, 2009

Belated V-Festival Blog Post

So we left at about 2pm on Friday afternoon. Me and Maz already had Kev and Jo's tent. A quick swing by Tesco for food and beer and we're off. My POS phone has gps and googleMaps dor direction but a shitty battery life (mainly due to my incessant twittering) but its old too. So having dropped back past my house for the car charger we're actually off about 3pm. Still, no fucking traffic, anywhere. We literally drove straight to the parking space (Y2, row 16) without stopping, even for a roundabout, trafic light, queues of thousands of people arriving, car crash. nope nothing, can you tell I'm amazed by that? We arrived about 4.30, set up camp, opened a beer and had a wander about.

The actual campsite area is a bit weird there is either Yellow or Red camping, and thats it. You can't go in the Red camp if your a yellow and you cant go in the yellow camp if your Red. Weird huh? (Apparently the 2 campsites are operated by diferent companies and therefore some complex legal stuff says no cross over...basically the red campsite is the main campsite provided by the v festival. the yellow campsite is a campsite next to the festival on privately owned land.) We were in Yellow.

Anyway, through the evening Kev and Jo turned up, camps set up, bought program, planned bands to see and times etc. The layout of the times on the lanyard is shit, more adverts than times and in a really frustrating format so you have to flick through 10 pages of info to see whether Alphabeat and Lady Ga Ga clash. We planned and wrote out the stuff we HAD to see in advance, which pretty much comprised of Biffy Clyro and ... well, just Biffy Clyro really.

About the place were the usual food stalls, camping supplies and the like, lots of the portaloo toilets. Kev said "I prefer a long-drop to a portaloo", I think I'm with him on that one.

Having been ro Reading festival loads of time, VF seems a little, family orientated or tame, whichever you fancy. Its less unhinged, less rowdy, less intereting. But still cool and relaxed. Depends what you want from a festival. I want drunkardness, fires and gas bombs, trolley! trolley!, "dude i've lost my phone" and "you, yes you...." (memories...). After looking at the line-up to Reading this year, to be honest I'd have much prefered to be there.

Here is a list of things you can't do at a VF campsite:
GLASS. No glass will be permitted in the campsite or the arena.
PETS. They are not permitted on site, except guide dogs for the blind and deaf.
CANDLES. They are not permitted, for your safety. Bring a torch and a good supply of batteries.
AIR HORNS. They are NOT permitted, for the sanity of those around you.
FIREWORKS. They are illegal. Any fireworks found on entry search and thereafter will be confiscated.
DO NOT bring anything that could be interpreted as an offensive weapon, i.e. a multi purpose style tool that contains a knife, mallet, etc, as they will be confiscated and held at Festival Welfare.
DO NOT light fires, as they could prove fatal due to the close proximity of the tents. All fires will be extinguished.

See what I mean? All that stuff is Fun, and absolutely fine at Reading Festival.

Also, Highlights from the 'Important Information' section.
TELEPHONES Those smashing people at Virgin Mobile will once again supply Virgin Mobiles for you to use for a small donation to charity. They will also supply free mobile charging points regardless of your usual network.

Read - 'Theres a pole somewhere with about 100 mobile chargers sellotaped to it. Don't steal them, just sit and wait for your phone to charge.'

RUBBISH - There are plenty of bins provided which are emptied each night.

Read - 'There is a bin somewhere, see if you can find it. First one to tip it over wins a can of Strongbow. GO!'

After having a wander about the areana, which was half open friday night from about 8pm, but with nothing to do, just look at the shops and stuff. There was loads of black material on the floor. Why? Dunno, odd. There was 2 big outdoor stages and 4 tent stages (2 more than Reading), LOADS of food stalls, and plenty or Bars. The bar idea was odd too. You had to queue for ages to buy beer tokens. Which were a reasonable £3.50, then once you've got them, you have to queue again for drinks, hassle. We skipped the initial token queue buy buying them at the furthest token place so there was no one there. Right, then, get this. When we finally managed to get to the bar the girl Id'd me, and apologises so profusely as I was 25 that she forgot to take the bloody tokens. Pointless system, £7 saved. Also, there were also cash bars. With big signs saying 'Cash BAR' so, tokenless saturday afternoon, I ordered 2 (180ml) bottles of wine to be told I needed tokens for wine, but cash for spirits. Ridiculous system.

Festivals are about music and thats why we went so lets get to that. Firstly our firends Underline The Sky, who won the Road to V compettion, Played well opening the E4 (2nd outdoor stage) and i've seen them a bunch of times and they are always good, but having McFly open the Main stage (I bloody love Mc Fly) at the same time was a killer as loads of peopl watched UTS while walking to McFly. I saw most of the McFly set to, they are good those boys. Catchy, sunshine pop, Beach Boys for the Naughties.

I honestly can't remember the bands so i'm consulting the VF website to remind me...is that bad? NO. Also I was gonna write it like a story, but it would take FOREVER, so below is the line-up and my comments...if there is no comment below i didn't see them.

Main Stage Saturday
* The Killers
* Razorlight
* The Specials
* Lily Allen
* The Script
* Taylor Swift
* Starsailor
* Mcfly - see above, excellent. 8/10

Main Stage Sunday
* Oasis - pulled out as last minute. bastards 0/10
* Snow Patrol - stepped up to headline. knew evey song, mix of slow and up beat. brilliant! 9/10
* Elbow
* James
* Biffy Clyro - The Mighty Biff. I love them and I'm heavily biased, but not the best show ever...8/10
* James Morrison
* Ocean Colour Scene
* Bjorn Again

E4 Stage Saturday
* Fatboy Slim
* Pendulum - Maz really liked them, i thought they played one 45 min prodigy cover. 5/10
* The Ting Tings - Lots of Backing track, squeaky vocals, nothing like the CD. (better then Pendulum) 5.5/10
* The Wombats - missed them as i was asleep.
* Dizzee Rascal
* Jet
* The Noisettes - Actually pretty catchy, seen them on Jools Holland before(better then Pendulum). 6/10
* Red Light Company
* Mr Hudson
* Underline The Sky - Good, didn't really get good sound, frustrating(better then Pendulum). 7/10

E4 Stage Sunday
* Keane
* The Enemy
* Paolo Nutini
* Katy Perry - Actually really good. Nice stage setup, good songs, plus i think she is hot. 7.5/10
* Athlete
* Alesha Dixon
* The Proclaimers - I knew more than i thought i would, ha ha, they're pretty good for two ginger, scottish music geeks (better then Pendulum). 6.5/10
* Lightning Seeds - Really boring versions of catchy pop songs, plus a few boring new ones. shame (better then Pendulum). 6/10
* The King Blues - These were pretty catchy, raggae-pop, politics and stuff. bit preachy (better then Pendulum). 6.5/10
* The Last Republic

The ARENA Saturday
* 2 Many DJs
* Calvin Harris
* Happy Mondays
* The Saturdays
* Will Young
* Asher Roth
* Tinchy Stryder
* Pixie Lott
* Carolina Liar
* Matt Trakker

The ARENS Sunday
* MGMT - didn't get to see them, but glad i watched Snow Patrol instead. 0/10
* Lady Gaga - Fuck, so busy. could barely move. Didn't manage to get inside the tent and listened to 1 song before walking of frustrated. (still...better then Pendulum) 0/10
* The Streets - missed them as i was asleep.
* The Human League - head them from camp site "dont you WANT ME BAAAAABBBYYYYYYY!!! WHHHAAAAAOOOO!!!
* Ladyhawke
* Lemar
* Natalie Imbruglia
* Daniel Merriweather
* Sneaky Sound System
* Bens Brother
* The Blizzards

Virgin Media Union
Hylands Saturday/Weston Sunday

* Peter Doherty - Ok, I knew the press, but apparently he's good at doing music. wanted to see what all the fuss was about. better than expected. 8/10.
* Alphabeat - yay! saw these lot. Catchy Danish Pop. HappyBeat, CatchyBeat, Alphabeat. 7.5/10
* The Sunshine Underground
* Howling Bells
* Pete Murray
* Goldie Lookin Chain
* V V Brown
* Kid British
* Ray Gun
* Wallis Bird - looked her up before hand and she wasn't as good live. (better than pendulum) 5.5/10
* Zarif
* Exit Calm - missed them, bugger.

Weston Saturday/Hylands Sunday

* 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

I've probably missed a bunch of stuff, and I'll post what few pictures I took too.


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