One of the most controversial musical moments of 2014 happened last Friday when the most commercial of the major UK festivals, V, failed to hold its reputation as an instant sell out event following a record breaking 2013 with headliners Beyoncé and Kings of Leon. Apart from the star power of Queen Bey, the remaining line up was particularly weak, seeing Voice coaches Jessie J and The Script being billed as major performers whilst the exhausting and dreary Emili Sandé dominated the main stage along with everyone’s Dad’s favourite band, Stereophonics.
Having attended Sunday last year, I was incredibly unimpressed by the crowd the line up had pulled as most were more concerned about getting in line at the bar than seeing talented artists such as Jessie Ware and Paloma Faith. So why no sell out this year? In the headline slots you once again have an American icon and a legendary US rock outfit. Here are 10 reasons why you should buy a ticket.
1. All Saints
Can we please acknowledge the fact sensational 90s R & B group All Saints are playing and that they are on the very bottom line of the line up poster? WHO MAKES THESE DECISIONS AND WHY HAVEN’T THEY BEEN EXECUTED GAME OF THRONES STYLE? They haven’t played V Festival for 14 years and they are sure to bring the show with ‘Pure Shores’ and ‘I Know Where It’s At’ in tow.
2. Lily Allen
The outspoken songstress releases her third album this May and is likely to land a sub-headline slot due to the reception. Allen is an incredibly volatile performer so anything could happen, expect gratuitous gesturing, course lyrics and perhaps an appearance from those prolific ‘Hard Out Here’ balloons.
3. Here Come The Girls
Further down the line up, V Festival has booked some of the most celebrated and exciting female performers working at the moment. American soul musician Janelle Monae will be performing at both sites, along with electro darling Katy B who is likely to pack out a tent with hits such as ‘Lights On’. Also attending are Birdy, Foxes, Ella Eyre and Nina Nesbitt.
4. But Also The Boys
Sick of girl power? No worries, V has also booked erratic dancing warbler John Newman who will wow with his soulful crooning. Brits’ Critic’s Choice Sam Smith will also be performing when his debut album inevitably hits the top of the charts. Want more guitars and sensitive vocals? There’s more than you can stomach this year, the man who is proven to be allergic to smart dress, Ed Sheeran will be there to make 16 year old girls weak at the knees with a sappy rendition of ‘A Team’. If you prefer you’re folk with more weight than a stripped feather, George Ezra and Newton Faulker are also billed.
5 . Justin Timberlake
The smoothest man in all existence has an incredibly impressive discography including ‘Sexy Back’ and timeless tune ‘Cry Me A River’ which could easily build a festival set list to keep the 90,000 strong crowd happily into the evening.
I personally feel it’s a modern tragedy to bill rock icons Blondie under the likes of Paolo Nuitini and Sub Focus, but still, Debbie Harrie and co are going to fucking Shifnal! The chance to see hits such as ‘Call Me’ and ‘Heart of Glass’ in the sunshine is too good an opportunity to pass up.
7. Two Days of Music Instead of Three
If you’re a festival newbie, it’s quite appropriate to experience your first time at Virgin Festival. Like a considerate lover, the dual sited event eases you in slowly to the endless mud and refugee style toilet situation which you only have to endure for three days as opposed to four or five with its more experienced friends Latitude, Bestival and the daddy Glasto.
8. Good Taster Festival
Aptly so, V Fest took my v plates many moons ago and transformed me into the festival addict I am today. It’s a great starter festival as the site isn’t too large, the food is all pretty standard, you’re likely to know as least one song from each artist and no one tries to set you or your belongings on fire on the final evening (Looking at you Reading) which is nice.
One of V’s more bizarre bookings this summer but one I am thrilled about, billed as extremely special guests. Nile Rodgers and co are assured to bring the retro vibes of party wherever they play and they may even get the meat heads who have come solely for Example to move away from the bar and maybe even tap their feet, maybe.
10. Tom Odell Still Isn’t a Thing
Despite scoring a number one and gaining nominations at this year’s Brits, Odell has hardly moved up the line up from last year. Proving my theory that he is an irrelevant piano playing, hair flipping ball of nothing.
So with a line up that sees celebrated and iconic performers sitting alongside the likes of Bastille and Rudimental, could 2014 see V Festival putting a greater emphasis on the music this year and less on charging scouse girls £4 to get smashed on tiny bottles of Echo Falls? I thoroughly hope so.