V Festival 2014: Hylands Park

I’ve always said that if there were one festival I’d make the effort to go to, it’d be V Festival.

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Set over a period of three days across two different parks, the festival draws in crowds from across the country (and internationally) to watch commercial chart toppers do their thing across four arena stages.

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This year drew in a killer line-up: Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Jason Derulo, Ella Eyre, Lily Allen and the Kaiser Chiefs to name but a few.

Being invited to go as Press was an opportunity I wasn’t going to turn down (especially since I adore JT and had never seen him live).

So on Friday the 15th August 2014 I found myself in a park in Chelmsford, Essex surrounded by colleagues donning raincoats, wellies and flower wreaths, in preparation for a weekend of ‘working hard, and playing hard’.

The walk to the site was enough to tire us all out, and upon arriving at the Virgin Media Louder Lounge the first thing my boss said was ‘Let’s get a bloody drink!’

Numerous trays of alcoholic beverages were passed around, and so began the weekend of freebies.

Sipping on my vodka and lemonade I observed the large Lounge that housed the festival ‘VIPs’. There was a: library bar/restaurant tent that resembled a first class lounge at the airport, an ominous ‘beard bar’ that held the entrance to a secret bar that you entered through a Narnia-esque wardrobe, a variant of eccentric food vans, a stage, the media pen and a pool filled with plastic balls.

However the most bizarre structure dominated the centre of the outdoor lounge.

It was a fake ‘pool’ surrounded by sun loungers and blow up animals that looked more like it belonged in Marbella rather than in a cold field in Essex.

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Nevertheless the mighty team and I decided on our plan for the weekend and jumped straight into interviews on the Saturday afternoon.

We sped through our interviews with: Amelia Lily, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Dionne Bromfield, Foxes and Professor Green.

These flew by, and once it got to 6pm we had free reign of the grounds.

Myself and another colleague decided to treat ourselves to some (free) VIP pampering. We had our nails done by Elegant Touch (I chose a neon pink colour to match the festival vibe), we then got our eyebrows shaped and false eyelashes fitted by megabrand Eyelure whom were all incredibly hospitable.

Saturday night came swiftly and the crowds were buzzing for Justin to dominate the main stage.

Our team started the night making the most of the VM Lounge scene (and free drinks), before scooting over the elite pop-up Mahiki Lounge Bar backstage.

As a fan of exotic and fruity cocktails, I can honestly say the drinks in this bar were phenomenal. It was like heaven in a glass!

Mahiki Coconut Rum was flowing; I even managed to try a Pina-Colada ice-lolly (it was delicious).

We were joined in the bar by plenty of PR members, incognito celebrity guests and other media journos.

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Practically the whole world knows that Justin Timberlake is a legend.

He’s one heck of an amazing performer, he’s super trendy, an epic dancer, and genuinely seems like a nice guy. Sure enough, the whole crowd were in awe and the atmosphere was electric as he performed numerous classics and his new singles off the 20/20 album.

It’s worth noting though that short people don’t do well in mass crowds. But despite my restricted view, I was singing at the top of my lungs to ‘Senorita’ and ‘Cry me a River’ alongside my colleagues.

On Sunday we woke up groggy, some were hung-over, but most were knackered after a long night of partying.

But we headed to the festival site in high spirits, as our schedule was chock-a-block with interviewees.

The backstage area, aptly named the ‘Media Garden’ housed our set for the day. As we pulled up in the buggy we admired the mass grey clouds that were due to burst with rain several times in the day, and began setting-up ready for Rudimental (our first guests).

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I’ve always wanted to meet Rudimental, I’d seen them perform at the Isle of Wight Festival 2014, and they were sensational.

I was eager to meet the energetic geniuses behind the many songs my friends and I have danced to at university.

Needless to say, they were great and some really down to earth chaps who endeavour to search out new talented artists and bring them to light.

We barely had time in between each guest and they just kept coming and going one after another. Katy B, Rizzle Kicks, Sam Smith, Jason Derulo – the list goes on!

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I certainly left V with my fair share of memories and souvenirs, including a nice ol’ cold, which isn’t helping my festival blues.

While it was a great experience and one that I was lucky to have, I am grateful to be back in the warmth of my cosy bedroom. After a weekend in the Chelmsford mud and rain, I’m relieved I have some feeling back in my toes!

However the weekend wasn’t without its stress, I had over 16 celebrity interviews to edit and upload by Monday at 9am.

Relying on poor Internet connection at the site was horrendous, let alone trying to edit content when Train are performing in the Louder Lounge!

It was a weekend with challenges: new equipment I had to familiarise myself with, sound problems, microphone issues and detrimental weather!

I learnt a lot in the short amount of time I spent working there, and know the experience has helped me learn more form this industry!

So thank you V – until next time.

nloggg

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