Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 31 January 2015

Deja vu as Branson marks V gig date

Paul Weller performing during the V Festival at Hylands Park.
Paul Weller performing during the V Festival at Hylands Park.
Kelly Jones of The Stereophonics performing on the V Stage

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson celebrated the V Festival reaching its 15th year as revellers prepared for the second day of the event.

Sir Richard was at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex, where Stereophonics and Paul Weller both played - two acts which performed at the first V Festival in 1996.

He said: "I couldn't quite believe it when I heard it was 15 years. It's been a tremendous 15 years. I introduced Stereophonics 15 years ago, and Paul Weller, and it's great to be able to come back 15 years later and introduce them again."

The Virgin Media V Festival is split across two sites, with acts playing a set at one location - either Hylands Park or Weston Park in Staffordshire - then travelling to the other to perform the following day.

Headliners Kings of Leon closed the first day in Chelmsford and had the crowd dancing and singing along to Sex On Fire. Leicester indie band Kasabian closed the show on Saturday in Staffordshire and will play in Chelmsford on Sunday night.

Director and founder of the V Festival, Bob Angus said: "I'm pleased to say that it's been a fantastic first day of music here at Chelmsford. Having Paul Weller play our 15th festival is a special moment and the crowd loved him as much today as they did for the very first V."

Other artists on the bill are Florence and the Machine, Madness, Shed Seven, Ellie Goulding, Air, Pet Shop Boys, Faithless and Chase and Status.

Celebrities spotted so far in the Virgin Media louder lounge VIP area, where St Tropez spray tans, hair styling and makeovers were on offer, included Drew Barrymore and her boyfriend Justin Long, Simon Pegg, Billie Piper and husband Laurence Fox, Rupert Grint, Danny Dyer and Coleen Rooney.

Tickets for the festival sold out within 90 minutes of going on sale, meaning 155,000 music lovers are gathered across the two sites.

(V Festival)

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