I say this confident in the knowledge that Absolute Radio will be ensuring they use all the cleverest technology available to them to engage listeners with their coverage of the Virgin Media ‘V Festival’ taking place this weekend in the UK. They’ll no doubt be uploading videos, stack of photos, interviews and doing a who load of live shows from the festival, plus I hear they’re bringing the full Oasis and Snow Patrol sets live on the radio too. Pretty good stuff I'd say.
The festival line-up is impressive. The aforementioned Oasis and Snow Patrol, plus Razorlight, Lily Allen, Keane, Katy Perry, Fatboy Slim... the list goes on and on. Take your pick. It also features a return from the great band Ocean Colour Scene, who I was reminded played the first festival that the station really covered live (back when it was called Virgin Radio)... V2000.
Having attended the event the year previously (in 1999), I realised that there was a whole load of great bands and fantastic potential on-air content and we weren’t really doing anything live from the event. So the then S&P Director (Rob Ramsey) and I (Head of Music for Virgin Radio at the time) decided that if he could get the coverage of the event sponsored, I would work on putting together a massive Outside Broadcast from V2000.
He stuck to his side of the bargain and duly got Sky Sports to sponsor it, so I headed the team that put together the music and programming side of things. 12 months later, and cue... one big tent, one mobile radio studio and production facility, lines to all the main stages, mobile trucks to do broadcast mixes of live sets, an acoustic stage, and furious negotiations with record companies to get all the appropriate rights.
Sure enough, that year the radio stations coverage of the V Festival was born, and I’m delighted to say, 9 years later it still continues, allbeit under the stations new name of Absolute Radio . Ocean Colour Scene came to play for us on our acoustic stage that year, and I sure hope they’ll be making a return visit to the Absolute Radio area this weekend.
Back in 2000, we were joined by quite a new band that I thought were pretty good and deserved some exposure. They were called Coldplay.