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My Festival Experiences 2016: Glastonbury vs. V Festival

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. This is going to be a slightly different post, in which I will be comparing my experiences at Glastonbury and V Festival this year. As you may or may not know, I’m very keen on the idea of becoming a music journalist, and I thought this post would be a good starting point to showcase my writing about music on my blog. Disclaimer: I worked at both of these festivals, meaning I could only go in on the evenings. Here goes…



I worked with a traffic management company at Glastonbury this year, and was there for a total of 12 days. I entered the festival site each evening and we were also permitted one event day off work. But I’m not going to go into any detail about the work here, I’m just here to talk about my experiences inside of the festival.



The site

The Glastonbury site is absolutely massive. I’d heard that it was big, but I can’t even begin to put into words just how huge the site is. I’d never seen anything like it! It can take hours to walk from one side of site to the other, and it’s definitely impossible to move from stage to stage to watch multiple acts who are performing at the same time. And as you’ve probably already heard, the mud was atrocious this year. At some points, the mud was up to the top of my wellies!

Despite being absolutely huge, the site is just amazing. There’s so much to do! From the Pyramid Stage to Shangri-La, the Other Stage to The Park, the John Peel stage to Arcadia; you’ll never be short of anything to do. There was so much I didn’t get to experience which I’m pretty gutted about – I’ll definitely have to go again.



The atmosphere

The atmosphere at Glastonbury festival was unlike any other atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a festival or concert. Everybody is always absolutely buzzing, and the crowds are always incredible. If the act was good (i.e. Muse), then the crowd went wild. Everybody danced and sang their hearts out, and there was never any trouble.

The brilliant thing about Glastonbury is that people of all ages come to experience the festival. There were young children and teenagers, adults and the elderly. Some had been going to the festival every single year since it started! The people made the festival a lot more enjoyable for me personally.



The music

The line-up at Glastonbury is always phenomenal. Headlining this year were Muse (which was definitely the highlight for me), Adele and Coldplay. They all put on a fantastic show and their performances were all memorable in their own ways. I feel proud to say I’ve seen all of these acts playing at Glastonbury, and I’ll never forget those nights!

And of course there were some amazing smaller acts too. From ZZ Top to Madness, Ellie Goulding to Disclosure, Bring Me The Horizon to Lady Leshurr, there was definitely something to suit everybody. There are so many stages showcasing such a variety of acts that you’re guaranteed to never be disappointed.



Overall thoughts

Glastonbury was absolutely amazing and I loved every second of my time there. I did a lot and saw quite a lot of music, but there was so much I never got the chance to experience. The atmosphere, the line-up, the stages, the people, the food, the themes, the party venues…everything was just phenomenal. I loved it so much that I’m 100% planning on going next year. I’d ideally like to go there every single year!



V Festival

Again, I worked at V Festival and was only able to experience the festival in the evenings. There are two V Festivals – North and South – and I attended the South festival in Chelmsford. This was supposedly the bigger of the two festivals and I had high expectations.



The site

The site was very small in comparison to Glastonbury. Maybe it is unfair to compare the size to Glastonbury, which is the UK’s biggest music festival, but I still expected more from the V Festival site. There were only about 3 stages/areas within the site, and you could definitely have walked around the whole site in 45 minutes maximum.

Overall, I felt that there was very little to do in comparison with Glastonbury. There were some rides, food stalls, bars and stages. But that was it. The music ceased at 11pm every night, meaning after that time there was absolutely nothing to do; whereas at Glastonbury, you could party at Shangri-La until 3/4am every morning.



The atmosphere

I was very disappointed with the atmosphere at V Festival. The site is basically just full of teenagers. There were hardly any adults in sight, and nobody over 35 would ever set foot there! I found that the crowds were mostly made up of drunken teenagers causing trouble, rather than being there to enjoy the music and sing and dance.

The atmosphere at the performances was nothing compared to Glastonbury. Most people were just there to have a laugh and get drunk, and I never really found myself getting excited by the crowd and those around me. Very disappointing.



The music

It’s definitely fair to say that none of the music over the weekend really blew me away. The two headliners (V Festival is only a two day festival) were Justin Bieber and Rihanna, and I had high expectations for these massive acts. Justin Bieber was extremely poor, and we basically just listened to his CD whilst he lip-synced. The sound quality was also very low, and was for the entirety of the Saturday night – something had definitely gone wrong with the sound system on the Main Stage.

Rihanna was better and I did have a good time watching her set, but she didn’t blow me away like any of the acts at Glastonbury did. She’s a good performer and she did get the crowd going though. There was a small amount of variety in terms of the acts playing, such as Kaiser Chiefs, Jake Bugg, Bastille and Rick Astley gracing the bill, but most of the acts were pretty samey.



Overall thoughts

V Festival was a big disappointment for me. Nothing particularly stood out for me, I didn’t like the people and I felt that the atmosphere was very poor in comparison to Glastonbury. So if you’re looking to spend your money on a festival next summer but you’re not sure where to go, I would definitely recommend Glastonbury. You won’t be disappointed!




Happy reading 🙂


6 thoughts on “My Festival Experiences 2016: Glastonbury vs. V Festival

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