Organisers of this year’s V Festival have commended the work of all agencies involved in supporting what was another successful year for the Staffordshire leg of the event. Agencies including the Police, Ambulance, Fire and Weston Park Management joined organisers in declaring the event’s 21st anniversary weekend a resounding success.
Despite the occasional rain and an incident on theM6 causing slight delays in traffic on Sunday evening, all agencies and services involved worked together seamlessly to deliver an enjoyable and safe environment for all who attended the event.
Chief Executive of The Weston Park Foundation, Colin Sweeney commented:
“It’s a fantastic anniversary year; we celebrate V Festival’s 21st Anniversary birthday and the 30th birthday of The Weston Park Foundation, the charity whose key aim is not only to preserve this beautiful estate but see generations enjoy every aspect. This weekend we have welcomed a new generation to Weston who have had a truly great festival experience.”
Councillor Roger Lees, Deputy Leader of South Staffordshire Council joined Weston Park’s Chief Executive in praising the weekend:
“Following another successful V Festival I would like to praise the strong working of the partnership which helps all the agencies to deal effectively with challenges that arise. I also want to recognise the importance of the work that V does to minimise the impact on local residents and businesses.”
Over the weekend Staffordshire Police worked closely with organisers and their security to ensure the safety of individuals working during the weekend. Supt. Elliott Sharrard-Williams, commander of the V Festival policing operation said, “I am very pleased with how the weekend has gone, despite the weather the festival goers were in high spirits and well behaved. The well founded reputation of V Festival for being a low crime safe event looks set to be strengthened with early indications of less crime compared to last year.”
“Our operation is very much about visible policing, supporting festival goers and helping them enjoy their weekend. V is a town in a field in Staffordshire, and like any town we have some challenges for the police, but it’s pleasing that the vast majority of people come to V festival to enjoy themselves and it was great to be part of it. Police officers that came to the festival have contributed to the great atmosphere and have enjoyed talking to the crowds and being part of the festival.
The Superintendent added: “As part of the preparation for the event, we work with partners to plan for things that could happen; this includes significant road closures affecting the festival. When we heard about the tragic incident on the M6, which resulted in a significant road closure and diversion we used the detailed plans to help the festival goers who may be delayed. As a result of this great teamwork the issues were significantly reduced and whilst there were some delays leaving the site, overall the operation work very well.
“The planning for next year has already started and we are looking forward to next year’s festival.”
Mark Logan, Head of Showsec added:
“Security at mass gatherings is ever evolving. This year our focus has been to ensure the secure integrity of the site while not losing the customer enjoyment factor. As always this duty has been delivered across our 1800 strong staff base onsite, alongside our close working ties with The Staffordshire Police.”
After a weekend of varying weather conditions, Steve Wheaton, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer from West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “With tens of thousands of people all in one place, we’re always prepared for the unexpected as it’s inevitable that people will fall ill and require our help. The team of staff and volunteers have worked extremely hard to ensure every patient received the very best care. A special thank you to the day staff that remained onsite after their shift had ended last night to lend an extra pair of hands during a particularly busy period in the medical centre.
“As a Trust, we’ve provided medical cover at V Festival for several years now and are proud when months of planning culminate into a smooth and successful operation. Thank you to St. John Ambulance and all of our staff for their hard work throughout the weekend which ensured it was another safe festival. We’ll remain on site all day today, until the last of the campers have left.”
Despite the M6 closure, a strategic approach to traffic in and around Weston Park reduced congestion in the local area. Alex Brunel, North of England Traffic Manager said: “Given the weather conditions, the traffic systems worked well and stood up to the test. The new pick up and drop off area was a success and we kept the roads moving throughout the duration of the festival and had little or no impact on the strategic road network.”
Festival organisers work closely with Brewood Rotary Club to sort through the camping equipment left onsite to ensure it does not go to waste. Mike Hampson of The Rotary Club said:“The Monday following the V Festival is always a date in the diary for me and my fellow Rotarians as we arrive to collect as many tents as we can for International Aid. Every year we collect over 3,000 tents that are washed, packaged up and sent to overseas. It’s great to be able to work with the V Festival promoters to give something back to help and support those less fortunate in disaster zones around the world.”
Festival organiser Andy Redhead shared a final thought on what was a successful weekend for involved: “It’s been a hugely successful event for us once again, with outstanding performances from all the artists and an amazing audience; even the weather couldn’t spoil out 21st birthday. A big thank you to the whole V family for another great year and I look forward to working with them on plans for the next.”
V Festival fans can already start making their plans for 2017 as presale tickets for next year’s festival will be available for a limited time matching last year’s presale price with £42 discount off the full price weekend ticket. For further information, please visit www.vfestival.com