V Festival is sponsored by the Virgin Group - hence the V of the name. However, it is not a product of the Virgin imagination! In 1996 Jarvis Cocker (front man of Pulp) was thinking about how he would love to play two outdoor venues in two days. He got together with Pulp's promoters and came up with the idea of putting on a concert in Warrington, and another in Chelmsford - one in the north, another in the south so that fans at both ends of the country would be able to attend. They soon decided that since they were going to so much effort, perhaps they could add more bands to the bill, perhaps add in a second stage, allow people to camp for the weekend. The festival is billed as the Summer's biggest house party, and although it has been criticised for its commercial nature, it's definitely a fantastic weekend and hugely popular with regular attendees.
At that first festival, the Warrington venue had one day of artists, and Chelmsford two days. The following year, the V97 festival saw the northern venue moved to Leeds to allow more room for what had turned out to be a popular event. This second festival saw each venue sporting three stages and camping. In 1999 the northern venue moved again, this time to Staffordshire where it has remained. In 2003 the festival changed to be known simply as V Festival.
The format of the festival has remained almost the same, with the idea being that the first day line ups swap venues completely for the second day of the event. Unlike many other festivals, this one has remained popular year on year, with great organisation and low queueing times meaning many festival regulars flock back year on year.
This year's V Festival has an amazing line-up including Calvin Harris and Kasabian to celebrate its 20th anniversary - but more importantly, this is one of those festivals that's really made by the crowd. As well as the music, there is a comedy tent with some big name acts performing, and of course there is the fancy dress aspect. We are firm believers that a festival is not a festival without fancy dress and we love to see the photos in the music press after V Festival each year. Extra points if it's raining and muddy, and you're still to be found prancing about in a fairy costume with your wellies!