Festival season is always a fantastic experience, and nothing else can quite compare with seeing your favourite bands perform live
While I waited patiently to get into one of the UK’s largest festivals, I looked around and saw thousands of people all here for the same reason. The atmosphere was overwhelming, with the sheer excitement and faint sound from artists already performing to crowds of thousands of people. Here I was at the V Festival, 2010.
After waiting for about an hour to get in, we were finally let through the gates, to catch a glimpse of our favourite artists and bands and watch them perform live. This was my first experience of a music festival, and one that I knew I’d remember for a long time. The festival was located in Hylands Park in Chelmsford and has been since 1996. The park was bigger than I imagined, stretching over 500 acres – perfect for a festival!
I had arranged to meet up with friends once I was inside the festival, and when I had finally found them, we waited for our favourite bands to perform. There were endless things to do in-between watching our favourite acts live. There were plenty of tents spread out throughout the park, with different activities going on inside, so that everyone could enjoy themselves. The Louder Lounge was fantastic, a place where people could listen to acoustic sets of their favourite bands at V Festival. Refreshment tents lined the park, each with a longer queue than the one before. This was going to be breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next two days, so I thought I may as well get used to it.
The V Festival experience was definitely the most memorable experience of my life so far. I managed to see numerous live acts and they were all unforgettable. Among the best acts in my opinion were Kings of Leon, Florence & the Machine, Kasabian, White Lies, Calvin Harris, Paolo Nutini and Prodigy. The atmosphere was absolutely amazing, with thousands of people cheering, screaming and singing along throughout the performances. I have never experienced anything like it!
Other than the V Festival in Hylands Park, there are plenty more things to do over the weekend in Chelmsford. Hylands House is situated in the park and it is perfect for days out in Chelmsford. Restoration work began on the house, which was completed in 2007 and different parts of the house have now been transformed into visitor attractions. For example, Hylands House now has a new visitor centre, craft studios, a gift shop and a café; all of which are open to the public throughout the week and over the weekend. Furthermore, there are approximately eight country parks for the public to visit in Chelmsford, such as Lingwood Common, Blake’s Wood and Galleywood Common.
There are plenty of shopping centres and markets to visit in Chelmsford. For example, the Meadow Shopping Centre, located in the heart of Chelmsford, is easily accessible by car, bus or train, so almost anyone is able to travel there. Similarly, High Chelmer Shopping Centre on Exchange Way in Chelmsford is easily accessible by all modes of transport. Both shopping centres are great for those who want to do some shopping on a Sunday afternoon, and they both have many restaurants too. I recommend Moshi Sushi, a Japanese restaurant serving authentic cuisine to eat in or takeaway. Or, The Corner Lounge is particularly good if you love Italian food. Furthermore, Chelmsford Market is a great place for shopping, with over 100 stalls and kiosks. It is also fairly close to High Chelmer Shopping Centre and the rest of the town centre, which is very convenient. The shopping centres are great for people who are in Chelmsford for the day and even if they are staying there for the weekend.
For those that are planning on staying in Chelmsford for the weekend, either for a weekend away or if they have purchased a day ticket for the V Festival, there are many quality assured hotels and guest houses in which they can stay. The County Hotel in Rainsford Road, Pontlands Park Country Hotel in West Hanningfield Road and Ivy Hill Hotel in Writtle Road are all highly recommended. With many transport links, they are easily accessible to the public and are all located fairly close to the shopping centres.
Chelmsford has brilliant rail links with London, and the rest of the East of England. Up to six trains an hour connect Chelmsford with London Liverpool Street so people are able to travel from Chelmsford to London within 35 minutes and vice versa. Therefore, the Festival and Chelmsford in general are easy to access and people can travel there fairly quickly. I got the train to Chelmsford and it took less than 30 minutes.
For me, the festival was a great experience and one that I will not forget. So great in fact, I’m returning this year!