Friday 19th August 2011 saw thousands of festival goers heading to Weston Park, Staffordshire and Hylands Park, Chelmsford for a weekend full of pop, rock, R'n'B and Hip Hop.
For the 16th year running, the Virgin Media Group produced a stellar line up for music lovers of all ages ranging from UK favourites, Olly Murs and Jessie J to worldwide phenomenon Rihanna and Eminem. And for those more into their club music, the Strongbow Tent, housed the likes of DJ Fresh among others.
Despite ever-changing British weather throughout Saturday, thousands of people donned their wellies, trilby hats and fancy dress to head into the arena to catch some of the biggest names in music. Hylands saw the likes of Brit sensations; Chipmunk, Professor Green and Katy B hit the Arena Stage playing some their biggest hits before Drum and Bass favourites, Chase & Status headlined.
Only a few metres away we hit the 4 Music stage. Newcomers to the festival included Aloe Blacc with his mega hit 'I Need A Dollar' and despite broken legs and X Factor duties Essex born artists Olly Murs and Jessie J came out to wow their home crowd with brilliant performances. V fest veteran Dizzee Rascal headlined the 4 Music stage to finish off a fantastic day of truly British talent.
After a walk through the many food stalls and phone charging points you could reach the Virgin Media Stage. This year it had the pleasure of hosting performances from KT Tunstall, Ziggy Marley and LostProphets. But the highlight was the set from singer/songwriter Bruno Mars, whose songs such as 'Billionaire' and 'The Lazy Song' bought out the sun for the crowd.
Headliners Arctic Monkeys, failed to impress audiences at both parks with lack-lustre performances, which lead the crowd elsewhere.
Sunday was the day everyone had been waiting for. Why? Eminem. Having not played a live show here in the UK for years, his performance was one not to be missed. The crowd had hours to wait but had many other artists to get them through the day, including, N-Dubz, Dionne Bromfield, The Wanted, Eliza Doolittle, You Me at Six and The Wombats!
Come 6pm vast amounts of people headed towards the V Stage, where they were performed to by Irish rockers The Script, who seemed quite emotional when the crowd sang back to them. They were followed by Bajan beauty Rihanna who performed a fantastic set of songs, new and old, including 'Only Girl' and 'Umbrella'.
Suddenly, the stage went black, a single light came on and elevating from beneath the stage; Eminem. Mathers played a fantastic set which included favourites 'Stan', 'Like Toy Soldiers' and 'Not Afraid'. He was also joined on stage by Rihanna and Skylar Grey to perform 'Love the Way You Lie' and 'I Need a Doctor' which were instant crowd favourites.
Upon leaving the stage to chants of 'we want more' and 'Em-in-em' echoing around Hylands Park, he returned to perform one of his most critically acclaimed songs…'Lose Yourself'.
And that was it. V Fest was over for another year, but how will V top Rihanna and Eminem in 2012?