Record V crowd enjoys stellar festival

SOME of music's top names thrilled a record crowd at the V festival in Chelmsford at the weekend.

Russell Claydon

SOME of music's top names thrilled a record crowd at the V festival in Chelmsford at the weekend.

Headliners Muse stole the show at the two-day event, held in the picturesque grounds of Hylands Park, with a spectacular laser lightshow accompanying their hard-hitting anthems on Saturday night.

Troubled singer Amy Winehouse, who pulled out of the festival last year citing "health issues", didn't fail to disappoint this time around, making headlines for all the right reasons.

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Organisers of the festival said the event had been a resounding success, with a record crowd of 170,000 festival-goers coming through the gates.

Essex Police said the 13th V showcase, which alternates line-ups with another venue in Staffordshire, saw less arrests made in the Chelmsford grounds than the previous year.

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Last night, Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs rocked the 4Music Stage while The Verve treated a packed crowd to classic hits and material from their latest album.

Highlights of the first day of the event included a return to Essex for dance-rock band The Prodigy and a feisty set from Canadian singer Alanis Morissette.

The Stereophonics and The Kooks had crowds belting back their catchy choruses, while breakthrough artist Duffy offered something different from a largely guitar-dominated line-up. Girls Aloud also added a touch of glamour to Sunday's schedule.

Celebrities spotted soaking up the fine weather in Hylands Park included Kelly Osbourne, supermodel Jodie Kidd, TV presenter Denise Van Outen and Dancing on Ice presenter Holly Willoughby.

Police said last night that crime at the festival was down on last year and that all appeared to be going well.

Superintendent Steven Johnson said: “The festival has been very safe and the revellers are enjoying themselves in a good-natured way.

“We have a highly visible police presence and have not had to intervene on many occasions.”

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