V Festival review: 20th birthday brings chart topping sing-a-longs at event for all ages

13:17 24 August 2015

The crowd watching Ella Eyre performing on the MTV Stage, during the V Festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.

The crowd watching Ella Eyre performing on the MTV Stage, during the V Festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

V Festival celebrated its 20th birthday with a host of chart toppers and a few old classics performing across four stages in its two locations.

Ella Henderson performs on the Virgin Media stage during day two of the V Festival, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.Ella Henderson performs on the Virgin Media stage during day two of the V Festival, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.

Hylands Park in Chelmsford was a weekend of two halves.

The sun-baked crowd of Saturday danced and sang along to the likes of Olly Murs, Kasabian and Sam Smith at the festival known for hosting some of the more commercially popular artists.

Jess Glynne wowed a “seemingly endless” crowd at the MTV stage on Saturday afternoon in her first major performance back since surgery on her vocal chords.

The red-headed songstress became emotional during her set after her latest single, Don’t be so Hard on Yourself, was catapulted to number one on Friday, making her the joint record holder as the only female British artist to have five number one records, alongside Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

Tom Jones performs on the MTV stage during day one of the V Festival, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.Tom Jones performs on the MTV stage during day one of the V Festival, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.

The screaming crowd were treated to a particularly special moment as Labrinth followed her on stage as the Earthquake singer proposed to his long-term girlfriend in front of thousands of cheering fans.Following his recent shock departure from BBC One’s The Voice, Welsh legend, Sir Tom Jones belted out a few of his well known numbers and mid-set plugged his upcoming book.

He cryptically added: “There are a few more names I can add, I won’t say any more than that, but somebody has got to pay.”

After the hottest day in weeks, Sunday brought the rain and a markedly subdued atmosphere but that didn’t deter the crowds from coming.

Some 55,000 people showed up to dance in the mud to Ella Henderson, Ellie Goulding and George Ezra perform their hits on the Virgin Media Stage.

Jess Glynne performs on the MTV stage during day one of the V Festival, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.Jess Glynne performs on the MTV stage during day one of the V Festival, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex.

The day kicked off with a pleasing performance from The Proclaimers which saw parent dragging bemused children through the crowd before the show ended in a rousing rendition of 500 Miles.

The night belonged to Calvin Harris but earlier in the day the festival-goers could be seen packed into the Sure tent to shelter from the rain and watch Conor Maynard’s energetic performance followed by Wretch 32, Lunchmoney Lewis and Paloma Faith.

The fiercely organised event was perhaps one of the cleanest. Those walking through the doors on Sunday morning would be surprised to hear the event had already been happening for a full day beforehand.

A fun fair, PS4 Guitar Hero centre and more food carts than you could count offered guests more variety during the festival, although a trip to the female urinals was one step too far (after an optimistic attempt we joined the very long Portaloo queue instead).

Tickets for next year’s event, which is also held concurrently in Weston Park, Staffordshire, will have a special 21-day sale period starting on August 28 which will include special discounts to celebrate their 21st year.

V Festival Director Bob Angus added: “V Festival has been a landmark on the British summer calendar for two decades and year on year fans keep coming back for more.

“We’ve built a reputation of offering the best of the global music scene, with both established and emerging acts and we’re planning to pull out all the stops for our 21st birthday next year.”

For more information on next year’s V Festival visit vfestival.com

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