Stars and stripes come out at V Festival
15:51 21 August 2014
A small part of Essex will forever belong to America as superstars from the other side of the Atlantic stole the show at this year’s V Festival in Chelmsford.
There was no need for Justin Timberlake to Take back the Night as his headline performance on Saturday at Hylands Park will live long in the memory. JT looked every inch the superstar as he confidently belted out his full repertoire of hits, starting with Like I Love You and taking in Sexy Back, What Goes Around Comes Around, Suit & Tie and Mirrors among others.
He oozed delightful arrogance as he brought out his trademark dance moves to glide across the stage, while the Tennessee talent also picked up a guitar and played piano.
The only reason to Cry Me a River was when a spectacular 90 minutes came to an end.
Despite The Killers closing a fantastic weekend on Sunday night, which saw 180,000 revellers enjoying the Chelmsford leg of the dual-site festival, fans were looking on the Mr Brightside.
Of All These Things That I’ve Done at V, seeing the Las Vegas rockers is always a highlight and their fourth appearance in Chelmsford was no different. You wouldn’t be Human, if you didn’t love every minute of Brandon Flowers and his gang running through their infectious blockbuster hits and orchestrating the crowd in one huge sing-along party.
Firm favourites Somebody Told Me and Smile Like You Mean It got a great response, as did newer tracks Runaways and Battle Born. All were accompanied by flashing lights, fireworks and explosions, bringing the brashness of Las Vegas to Essex.
There were plenty of British acts who also did themselves proud over the weekend.
Ed Sheeran was in dazzling form on Saturday night and appears to have a superstar fan in JT, who called him “my brother from a red-headed mother”.
It’s a huge stage for one man and his guitar to fill, but Sheeran managed it superbly as he delivered a high-energy performance showcasing his immense talent without the need for any production tricks.
He had the audience hanging on his every word and the crowd were certainly doing what he asked when he sang Give Me Love, rattling through his wide-range of songs including Lego House, A-Team, You Need Me, I Don’t Need You and Sing.
Earlier on the first day, Ricky Wilson showed his role as a judge on The Voice has not dampened his enthusiasm with the Kaiser Chiefs as he and his band delivered a particularly energetic set.
I Predict a Riot sang Ricky, but despite being a little upset as other bands tuned up backstage a little too loudly for his liking, there was no need for an Angry Mob.
If Everything Is Average Nowadays, the Kaisers are certainly not and hits including Never Miss a Beat, Everyday I Love You Less and Less and Ruby were screamed back at them by excited fans.
Wilson buried himself in the crowd to take the acclaim on several occasions, and Oh My God did he enjoy himself.
Starsailor, Bastille, The Rifles, Pixie Lott and Blondie were among the other varied acts entertaining the crowd in Saturday’s sunshine.
On Sunday afternoon Lilly Allen helped put a Smile on the faces of a large crowd with a powerful set. She knows how to work an audience and blasted out hits including It’s Not Me, It’s You and Christmas tune Somewhere Only We Know.
M People, Newton Faulkner, Tinie Tempah and Paolo Nutini were also among the acts to delight revellers on the final day.
Meanwhile, over in the Virgin Media Louder Lounge, celebrities and lucky media folk were able to experience the ultimate in festival hospitality. Stars including Millie Mackintosh and rapper husband Professor Green, X Factor’s Alexandra Burke and Olly Murs and comedian Jack Whitehall were among the guests enjoying special sets from the likes of Neon Jungle and Train. There was even a spa with guests able to have their hair, make-up and eyelashes done!
Tickets for next year’s festival are already on sale online at www.vfestival.com.