RIP, V Fest
With V Festival no longer, we’ve taken a look at its line-ups over the years – from Pulp to P!nk. Don’t get too sad, though, because V’s replacement, Rize Festival, has announced some pretty big acts so far, including Liam Gallagher, Stereophonics, Years & Years, Rag’n’Bone Man, Manic Street Preachers, Bastille, and James Bay.
For V’s first year, the festival on sites in Staffordshire and Essex opened its doors with a solid line-up, including Pulp, Elastica, Supergrass, The Charlatans Super Furry Animals, and Morcheeba. The first year featured just two outdoor stages and one tent.
Year two saw the arrival of more big bands, like Blur, The Prodigy, Foo Fighters, The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk. 1997 also welcomed the arrival of the NME Stage, where acts included Ash and Echo & the Bunnymen.
In 1998, V Festival welcomed headliners The Verve and returning band The Charlatans. They played alongside other stars like Robbie Williams, James, Iggy Pop, Green Day, Feeder, and Chumbawamba. The NME Stage hosted huge names like PJ Harvey and Underworld.
Manic Street Preachers, Suede, and Placebo all headed to V in 1999. They played alongside Massive Attack and Super Furry Animals on the NME Stage, who played for their second time at the festival. 1999 also saw the return of Sterophonics and the addition of a fourth stage.
For their millennium edition, V Festival put on a whopping line-up, with headliners Richard Ashcroft of The Verve, Travis, Supergrass, Moby, and the Underworld. Other bands included The Flaming Lips, a youthful Coldplay, and Feeder, who marked their second V appearance.
Texas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse and Kylie Minogue all headed to V Festival in 2001. This year also saw the return of a Coldplay, this time higher up the pecking order, and Foo Fighters. There was also a melancholic performance from David Gray, alongside more upbeat sets from Toploader, and Atomic Kitten.
2002 saw appearances from Stereophonics, who it seems couldn’t seem to get enough of V, The Chemical Brothers, and Basement Jaxx. Manic Street Preachers replaced expected headliners Travis, whose drummer Neil Primrose had been injured in a swimming pool accident. There were sets from Primal Screen, Supergrass, Dobes, Elbow, and Groove Armada, too.
Coldplay come back as victorious headliners, playing alongside Foo Fighters, Ash, and Queens of the Stone Age. 2003 also sees shows from The Hives, Reel Big Fish, Echo & the Bunnymen, Athlete, The Coral, Damien Rice, The Zutons, Jamie Cullum. A relatively unknown Amy Winehouse took to the stage, too, following the release of her debut album ‘Frank’ in the same year.
2004 saw a cracking line-up for V Festival, featuring Muse, The Strokes, Dido, Pixies, The Charlatans, N.E.R.D, Faithless, P!nk, Snow Patrol, Athlete, and Jamie Cullum. The NME Stage hosted gigs by Kings of Leone Massive Attack, Embrace, Starsailor, and Elbow. If that wasn’t enough, there were also performances from Amy Winehouse, whose debut album was well-know by this point, Primal Scream, The Human League, and Basement Jaxx. Blimey.
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For its tenth festival, V put on a line-up including headliners Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, and Scissor Sisters, who returned for their second year in a row. Other acts included The Streets, The Zutons, Maroon 5, Goldie Lookin Chain, The Chemical Brothers Kaiser Chiefs, The Prodigy, Ian Brown, Super Furry Animals, Dizzee Rascal, and The Kooks.
2006 was a traumatic year for V Festival – festival-goers showered the event with complaints over expensive food and merchandise. They were also angry by the fact that the only band timetable available was in a programme sold at the festival, which promptly ran out.
Still, the festival was somewhat redeemed by its ace line-up, including Radiohead, Morrissey and Faithless. Also playing were Hard-Fi, Biffy Clyro, Editors , Lily Allen, Fatboy Slim, Regina Spektor, and James Morrison. Meanwhile, the emerging Bombay Bicycle Club were joint-winners of the “Road to V” competition, showcasing up-and-coming artists, alongside Manchester four-piece Keith (whose Oli Bayston went on to become Boxed In).
The Killers and Foo Fighters headlined V Festival in 2007, playing alongside the likes of Kasabian, Snow Patrol, James, P!nk, and Kanye West. Other artists included KT Tunstall, Paolo Nutini, The Goo Goo Dolls, Damien Rice, Blur’s Graham Coxon, and Corinne Bailey Rae. Amy Winehouse was also supposed to play but pulled out after checking into rehab, and was replaced by Happy Mondays. Meanwhile, Babyshambles were four hours late for their set in Weston Park, which they blamed on the traffic.
Muse and The Verve headlined V Festival in 2009. There were also sets from big names like The Prodigy, Ian Brown, Kaiser Chiefs, The Chemical Brothers, and The Guillemots. Amy Winehouse played, too, having cancelled the previous year, and there were further sets from the emerging Calvin Harris, Hot Chip, and Girls Aloud.
A dramatic year for V Festival – headliners Oasis played in Staffordshire but pulled out of their Chelmsford gig due to Liam Gallagher having laryngitis. With the band splitting up a few weeks later, amid reports of Liam and Noel constantly fighting, this made their show in Staffordshire the band’s last.
Other headliners The Killers, however, performed as scheduled and other huge acts included Fatboy Slim, Pete Doherty, Keane, MGMT, and Lady Gaga.
2010 saw headliners Kings of Leone and Kasabian take to the stage. Other artists to grace V’s stages were David Guetta, Pet Shop Boys, Mika, Goldfrapp, La Roux, Florence and the Machine, and Ellie Goulding.
Both headliners at this year’s festival were new to V – Arctic Monkeys and Eminem. The weekend also featured shows from Dizzee Rascal, Goldie Lookin’ Chain, and Chase & Status. If that wasn’t enough, there were sets from Rihanna, The Wombats, The Courteeners, Calvin Harris, and Pendulum.
For 2012 – the year Britain hosted the Olympics – V Festival brought back The Killers for a headline set, with The Stone Roses also topping the the bill on the main stage. Elsewhere, there were gigs from Ed Sheeren, David Guetta, Gossip, Noah and the Whale, Pixie Lott, and Frank Turner. Nicki Minaj cancelled her headline show on the 4Music Stage due to damage to her vocal cords, while Frank Ocean and Dappy were mysteriously removed from the line-up, being replaced The Charlatans and Wiley.
Yasssss! In 2013, Beyoncé graced the main stage of V Festival, with a spectacular headline slot. The other headliner was Kings of Leon. The weekend saw shows from Rita Ora, Basement Jaxx, Jamie Cullum, Kendrick Lamar, and Sam Smith. There were plenty of last-minute changes to the line-up, too, with 4Music Stage headliners Beady Eye pulling out over the hospitalisation of Gem Archer, being replaced by Steve Angello, meaning that Ocean Colour Scene stepped up to play Angello’s headline slot on The Arena Stage. Ocean Colour Scene’s previous slot was in turn filled by Scouting For Girls. A comedy stage was added in 2013, too, with performances from Eddie Izzard and Josh Widdicombe.
In 2014, The Killers headlined once again, alongside the one and only Justin Timberlake. This year also saw performances from Embrace, Manic Street Preachers, Blondie, Tinie Tempah, Paolo Nutini, and Lilly Allen. There was comedy from Alan Carr and Rob Beckett, too.
Kasabian and Calvin Harris headlined V Festival in 2015, with other sets from the Stereophonics, Olly Murs, Paloma Faith, and Nero. There were also shows from Churches, Annie Mac, George Ezra, Clean Bandit, and Tom Jones. Frankie Boyle and Russell Kane featured on the comedy stage, too.
For its penultimate festival, V brought in Justin Bieber and Rihanna for headline sets. The pop-star studded line-up featured shows from Jess Glynne, Little Mix, Years & Years, Katy B, and Rita Ora. Grime artist Stormzy also took to the stage.
The final V Festival. The 2017 line-up included blow-out headlining sets from P!nk and Jay-Z, who played alongside artists like Ellie Goulding, Craig David, Sean Paul, and Rudimental. On the comedy stage, there were sets from Joe Lycett and Joel Dommett. It’s been a blast, V.