7:21pm Saturday 21st August 2010
HEADLINERS KINGS of Leon helped set Chelmsford's V Festival alight as tens of thousands of music fans descended on the musical extravaganza in Hylands Park.
But day one of the two-day event arguably failed to live up to the high standard set in previous years.
Crowds packed out the venue, split over two main stages and several other tents, and festival newcomers would have left still singing their favourite hits.
However murmurs could be heard from experienced festival goers that the line up was lacking the number of star attractions seen previously.
Those who had camped overnight or arrived at the start were treated to a promising set by Feeder, an alternative rock band whose biggest hits came in the late 90s, who performed on the V / Main stage.
Another of the early performers to get the crowds onto their feet and dancing along were The Coral with hits "In the Morning" and "Dreaming of You" getting the biggest cheers.
The Magic Numbers, Divine Comedy and Paloma Faith were among the daytime highlights on the 4 Music stage with Gabrielle Cilmi, Shaun Ryder, Robyn and Tinie Tempah all in the alternative arenas.
By late afternoon the crowd was showing its appreciation for the set by the Editors but it wasn't until Scouting for Girls and Paul Weller were competing for listeners that the festival showed its split personalities.
On one stage the piano pop group had fans who knew all the words bouncing up and down and singing along in massive numbers to "She's So Lovely" and Elvis Ain't Dead".
On the other a more chilled performance by Paul Weller was being enjoyed by the more relaxed and older audience.
In the evening festival favourites the Stereophonics and relative newcomers Florence and the Machine helped set up the main stages for Kings of Leon and David Guetta.
And it was Kings of Leon which stole the show for many of the visitors.
The internationally acclaimed hits "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody" may be the best known of the Tennessee band's hits but they kept the crowds adulation for the whole of the 90 minute set.
Away from the music the bars and food stalls were kept busy by some of the 180,000 expected to attend over the two days.
And while this may have only been an average day for a festival, rather than an unforgettable experience, the enthusiastic crowd still enjoyed almost every minute of it.
Mark Chamberlain, of Dale Close, Colchester, who was at his fifth festival, summed it up best. He said: "It is quality. Not as good as previous years and the Saturday line up is not as good as Sunday but there is still lots of different music and a great atmosphere."
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