As we gear up for V Fest 2012, we’ve collected the greatest ever moments from all the festivals to date. The first ever V festival was put on in Chelmsford’s Hylands Park, and also Warrington’s Victoria Park, in 1996. It featured sets from Pulp, Paul Weller, Elastica, The Charlatans and Cast among others.
Blur’s 1997 set was a chaotic two hours of pure genius. Sparks from some onstage fireworks flew into Graham Coxon’s eye at one point, but it didn’t stop the band pulling off a stunning festival set.
The Godfather Of Soul back in 1998. James Brown, rest his soul, stunning UK festival audiences during his last decade alive. While this V show didn’t quite match his Glasto slot a few years later it remains a classic.
The Verve brought their magnificent live show to V in 1998. It was the year after they released their classic single ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, and the iconic video was played on the big screens all weekend that year.
Manic Street Preachers headlined the Main Stage in 1999, and competed with James Brown, who topped the NME Stage. All Saints, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Gomez also played.
Travis played the festival back in 2000. The band infamously used the set to unveil their cover of Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’.
Red Hot Chili Peppers played in 2001, alongside loads of now-defunct acts including JJ72, Shed Seven and Toploader.
Coldplay headlined the 2003 event, watched by Chris Martin’s wife Gwyneth Paltrow, and an estimated 250,000 people headed to both sites over the weekend.
2004 saw one of the best line-ups at V. Muse, Kings Of Leon, The Strokes, Pixies, Massive Attack and loads more played over the two days. For full coverage of the festival, including rolling news, pictures and video interviews head over to the V page at NME.COM/festivals.
Kings Of Leon headlined the NME Stage at the 2004 festival after a weekend of sets from the likes of Elbow, Starsailor and Embrace.
The Strokes opened their 2004 set with ‘Reptilia’ and just got better from there, treating the crowds to cherry-picked hits from their first couple of albums.
Oasis back in the happier days of 2005. The highlight of the band’s set was their cover of The Who’s ‘My Generation’.
A white-suited Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist fronts The Hives during their 2005 show.
Radiohead at the 11th V Festival in 2006. Other acts performing included Faithless, Morrissey and Paul Weller again. Winners of that year’s Road To V included Bombay Bicycle Club and Keith.
Morrissey’s 2006 set was bookended by ‘Panic’ and ‘How Soon Is Now?’, and saw him berate radio stations for not playing his single ‘In The Future When All’s Well’.
We Are Scientists in 2006. For full coverage of the weekend as it happens head over to the V section of NME.COM/festivals.
Supergrass have played V numerous times. Here they are way back in 2006.
Kanye West hides behind our Brandon Flowers tache at V Festival in 2007.
2007 saw not only a sterling set from Foo Fighters, but also a lot of acts replacing other cancelled acts. Happy Mondays stepped in for Amy Winehouse, and Robyn replaced The Bravery.
The Killers’ 2007 was an epic affair, beginning with ‘Sam’s Town’ and packing in hit after hit, including ‘My Brightside’, ‘When You Were Young’ and ‘Somebody Told Me’. For all the news as it happens at this weekend’s festival – plus exclusive pictures and video interviews – head over to NME.COM/festivals now.
Amy Winehouse almost didn’t make it in time for her set at the Chelmsford leg of 2008’s festival; she arrived 20 minutes late due to the site’s helicopter holding her up. For the full story check out our news report from the show.
Dave Grohl, aka The Nicest Guy In Rock, backstage at the Chelmsford site in 2007.
The Prodigy played V 2008, months before they were to unleash their comeback record ‘Invaders Must Die’ on the world. As viscerally stunning as their appearance way back in 1997.
When Oasis played the Staffordshire site 2009 it didn’t seem that monumentous an occasion. However, it was the last show they ever played. Chelmsford didn’t get the pleasure.
Lad rockers Kasabian were one of the 2010 highlights, alongside Kings Of Leon and Seasick Steve. Check out our festivals section for all the latest on this summer’s weekenders.
Alex Turner and his impressive quiff headlined in 2011, including a rare performance of ‘Mardy Bum’, and a guest slot from mate Miles Kane.
Eminem 2011’s set featured a cameo by Rihanna for ‘Love The Way You Lie’.
Dizzee Rascal pulled the rug from beneath headliners Arctic Monkeys in 2011, with a rap over the Prodigy’s ‘Warrior’s Dance’ sealing the deal.
In 2010, the Prodigy didn’t let the weather affect their set. As singer Maxim shouted from the stage, “no rain is gonna hold us down”.
Kings of Leon treated fans to lesser-known tracks during their 2010 set, before going in for the kill with classics ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’.