FOLLOWING THE demise of the twin V Festivals (cap. 60,000-85,000) last year, first intimated by our sister publication Audience last October, a replacement for the Chelmsford site has been announced.
Festival Republic (FR), which ran the Vs for majority-owner Live Nation Entertainment (LNE), has announced RiZe will take place at Chelmsford’s Hylands Park from 17-18 August, featuring Liam Gallagher and The Sterophonics.
Neither FR or Chelmsford Borough Council would reveal the capacity of the event, but three-day tickets are on sale at £165, with camping.
No event is planned for Vs other site, Weston Park in Staffordshire.
The company had initially said V’s replacement would continue on both sites (see LIVE UK issue 214).
Doubts over the future of V – launched in 1997 by SJM Concerts’ Simon Moran, Metropolis Music’s Bob Angus and Irish live music entrepreneur Denis Desmond (now LNE non-executive chairman) – solidified when sponsor Virgin announced it would no longer be backing the events, which had suffered declining ticket sales in recent years.
Meanwhile, documents seen by Festival reveal how negotiations to deploy Special Police Services (SPS) at the Chelmsford site last year broke down, leading to FR finding its own alternative.
FR had argued that the £139,107 cost of SPS in 2016 should be reduced by 50-75 per cent, as the site capacity for 2017 would be approximately half the 85,000 used the previous year. By May the police had only offered a £40,000 (a 29 per cent reduction) and so FR arranged alternative cover.
Essex Live magazine reports police as denying there was a dispute and Chelmsford Borough Council confirmed it was happy with the arrangement.