Given the problems it’s had with touts and ticket frauds in recent years, Bob Angus of London-based Metropolis Music was relieved the Chelmsford leg of V Festival was close to tout-free.
There was no sign of the swarm of secondary sellers that in previous years would have greeted each arriving car before they came to a complete stop. There was no sign of the horde of touts that usually loiters around the gate, either.
“The police have started cracking down on it and the bar-coded wristbands we’re using have cut down forgeries,” Angus told Pollstar, after the Hylands Park site 40 miles northeast of London had sold all its 87,500 tickets.
Shifting one of the four stages opened up the site and reduced the pressure on a couple of areas that previously resulted in people jams. It also upped the capacity by 2,500.
At the Midlands leg of V Fest, 160 miles northwest in Stafford, Rob Ballantine of SJM Concerts also reported a similar situation, where crime figures were the lowest in the event’s 15-year history.
At the time the 85,000-capacity event went on sale – and shifted all its tickets within a day – the music business media was full of stories warning that organized criminal gangs would be seriously targeting the UK’s summer festivals.
Various police and festival joint initiatives appear to have ensured the outdoor market readied itself.
The Chelmsford crowd suffered some dull weather throughout the weekend, but a steady wind kept the clouds moving and there were only a couple of short showers on the Sunday afternoon.
In Stafford the showers came on the Saturday and were followed by glorious sunshine on Sunday.
“It shows what a difference a bit of sunshine can make,” Ballantine remarked as he reported that earlybird tickets for V 2011 are “flying out of the door.”
The acts entertaining the crowds in Chelmsford and Stafford at Aug. 21-22 included Kings of Leon, Faithless, Kasabian, The Prodigy, Amy Macdonald and Pet Shop Boys.