Diary of a Festival Goer – V Festival 2012 – Chelmsford site – what to expect!
This is a blog/diary experience of the V Festival 2012 at the Chelmsford site. Words by Holly Braine, follow her on twitter or ask her any festival related questions here - https://twitter.com/hollieeemary
Swap a comfy bed for a tiny 3-man tent, a hot shower for a cold spray of beer and mum’s roast dinner for a £1.79 disposable BBQ, and you pretty much have the basics of my weekend at V Festival!
Squashing all three of us into the worlds tiniest three-man tent was the first dilemma we came across, the size didn’t really cause a problem when we’d been out and seen acts but waking up at 8am the ‘closeness’ of the tent became quite apparent! Somehow it all seemed better at 4 in the morning rather in the cold cruel daylight!
Our neighbours were not the most cheerful bunch; they threw beer into our tent when they didn’t like our singing post-midnight (although I must admit it was a fantastic shot, almost like a boomerang from behind our tent that ended up hitting all of our sleeping bags). This was unfortunately on night one so we were stuck with those sleeping bags for the rest of the weekend!
We emerged bright and early on Saturday very excited to see some music, I was a little upset I’d missed a screening of ‘The Lion King‘ at 2am in the communal arena area but the thought of singing 500 Miles with The Proclaimers and the 90,000 people let into the site each day. We caught their one iconic song and it was a great experience to start the festival with.
After this the beautiful Emeli Sande graced the stage, and I was truly in awe of her flawless vocals and stunning performance. Although she wasn’t one for the hardcore raver or rocker, she was certainly not one to miss, and meant that I got to warm up my own vocals whilst belting her songs out and ruining the majority of the videos I took of her!
Then we headed to the comedy tent and saw Doc Brown, not known to many but to me the most hilarious man on the planet. This guy is an ex-rapper, but uses comedy to keep his rapping career alive, and had me and my friend in tears – we didn’t even care that we could barely breathe in the crowded tent. He definitely comes in my top three favourite men ever, I love him!
After a quick drink and sprint to the 4music stage, I got to see the trio I’d been waiting for. Starting with Labrinth and his guitar, I got such a buzz from watching the crowd all jumping around in unison to his hits. He’s also as sexy in the flesh as he is on TV, and he put on a really fun show. As the crowd dispersed to go and see Example (who I would also have ran to see had I not seen him about five times before!) I took my chance and darted to the front of the crowd for my favourite cheeky chappies Rizzle Kicks. I cannot express in words how much fun I had watching these lads perform, my body did it’s own thing when Mama Do The Hump came on – luckily everyone was watching the stage so I got away with that one. We were in for a mega treat as well as Ed Sheeran made an appearance to sing with Harley and Jordan, and it was so good to see him jumping around the stage and breaking out of his ‘one-man-and-his-guitar’ image.
One final surge forwards and we were at the barrier, waiting for the quiet young man that is Ben Howard. All of my friends are obsessed with him, and I must admit I wasn’t too bothered about catching him over the weekend because I thought he’d be boring. I was eating my words by the end though – he had managed to put me into some kind of trance through his gorgeous renditions and was the most passionate musician I had seen all weekend.
Unfortunately, I then had to follow my friends to see Noel Gallagher. I wasn’t impressed; I really dislike the guy and didn’t really think much of his performance. But I’m glad I made it over there in the end, as we decided to become Essex’ own Oasis and scream Wonderwall out to the crowd – an easy way of making temporary friends who joined in!
The night ended on a quiet one with Ed Sheeran in the arena, back to his ‘one-man-and-his-guitar’, but this time not in a bad way. He was as cute as you imagine, and his classics got the whole crowd singing along. It was a performance that left you smiling afterwards – although completely different to the other stage where David Guetta was letting off fireworks!
The next memories I have of the weekend consist of portaloos and chaise lounges, which I suppose needs some explanation! After a few drinks and a merry time had by all, we decided to go on a wander through the campsite. This was when we realised our little tent really was pathetic; there were 18-man tepee’s and women stretched out on their chaise-longue’s, champagne in hand. Not really what I call camping (I truly do turn into some form of tramp for the weekend) but whatever floats your boat I suppose.
The portaloo story really isn’t one to listen to if you’re eating – let’s just say one man who entered the portaloo quite innocently ended up being spun around like a washing machine and left the portaloo with the contents of it all over him. Now, if it was me, I’d probably have cried and gone home. But as it wasn’t me, I’m ashamed to say it was the most hilarious scene I’d witnessed all weekend!
Having spent the night making random friends and rolling around on the walkways, waking up at 8am after a 4am sleep wasn’t easy. We even chickened out of being a tramp and nipped home for a quick shower – there’s only so much of the stench you can take!
It wasn’t long before we were ready for our last day, a little hungover and very tired, but knowing that Stooshe were first up definitely woke me up! The London-based lasses were on top form, not only with perfect vocals but with their fun personalities to get me right in the mood for a festival!
Skipping through a quick glance at The Feeling and seeing Olly Murs perform in Essex for the umpteenth time, I was eagerly awaiting my favourite band of all time: Madness! I didn’t care much for the acts leading up to them but luckily Suggs and co did not disappoint at all. Having been left by myself, I was surrounded by a group of naked guys covered in body paint and elderly Madness fans from back in the day, and I took my opportunity of being surrounded by strangers to completely and utterly embarrass myself – I even got the classic Baggy Trousers dance routine in and trust me, that doesn’t come out to play very often! My vocal chords were then destroyed for the rest of the day, but it was so worth it, the Nutty Boys were fantastic!
The baton was then passed on to old crooner Tom Jones (who still has still got it, whatever ‘it’ is). The only criticism everyone seemed to have was the fact he didn’t respond to our chant of ‘Sex Bomb! Sex Bomb! Sex Bomb!’ by singing the classic, but he definitely saved everyone from fainting in the heat with a rendition of ‘Delilah’.
I then managed to get myself an audience of middle-aged women as I tried my best to be the next Tinie Tempah – if I wasn’t so far back I’m sure Tinie would have employed me to be his wingman. The opening notes of Pass Out literally make the hairs on my arms stand up and a grin spread across my face, I would say it is the ultimate song for a gig. Tinie always manages to put on such a good show, albeit it sweaty and full of bass, and when he asked us all to get down low and shoot up on his command I swear I have never flown through the air so high in my life!
The reality-show geek came out in me after going crazy at Tinie, as I got to see my favourite ‘The Voice’ contestant Bo Bruce in the Undercover tent. With only a handful of fans, I got to see her front row and became immersed in the dream-like state she creates when she sings. Then she sang the infamous cover of Coldplay’s Charlie Brown and I was reminded of why I loved her so much when Danny was her mentor!
Earlier in the day, my eagerness to get at the front of the crowd for Madness meant I’d missed DJ Fresh, but some sort of fate was on my side as Nicki Minaj had pulled out and he was allowed back on the 4music stage. I completely let myself go for him, and was at the back of the crowd so we had our very own homemade dancefloor. My friend let me up on her shoulders and I was quite literally on cloud nine, it was the best way to round off the weekend!
The headliners didn’t really appeal to me much this year, and I only saw The Killers because I had nowhere else to go. Now, I don’t know if it was my friend’s obsession with Brandon Flowers (yum, by the way) or the insane atmosphere during Mr Brightside, but I actually really enjoyed myself. Okay, I didn’t go as crazy as I did for Tinie, Madness or DJ Fresh, but they’re good at what they do.
I then made my way home hungry, frizzy-haired and smelling of some kind of beer and urine cocktail, ready to book my ticket for Red Camping 2013…..
Did you enjoy any festivals this year? What is your ultimate tip for surviving festivals? Mine would be dry shampoo and toothpaste!
Words by - https://twitter.com/hollieeemary