Amy Shows, Oasis Doesn’t

The cancellation of Oasis’ headline slot on the second night wasn’t enough to dampen the spirit of the record-breaking 85,000 sellout crowd at the Chelmsford leg of V Festival, which also got a surprise visit from Amy Winehouse.

Winehouse joined The Specials midway through the group’s set on the first day Aug. 21. Early the next day, national media were reporting Oasis wouldn’t make its closing slot that night. Only a couple of dozen fans asked for a refund.

Oasis played its headline slot at the twinned V Festival at Weston Park, Staffordshire, which was also an 85,000 sellout, but lead singer Liam Gallagher’s doctor reportedly said a throat infection meant he wasn’t fit to perform at the Essex event on the following day. Snow Patrol moved up the bill to take the headline slot.

A section of the crowd, apparently believing newspaper stories that Liam and his brother Noel were at loggerheads again, was less than happy.

The Times reported that some hastily produced T-shirts claiming “Oasis Are Cunts” were soon snapped up.

Paul Hutton of Metropolis Music told Pollstar he quickly produced forms for fans to apply for refunds, but the take-up was very low. Metropolis produces the Chelmsford leg of V Festival in cahoots with Irish promoter Denis Desmond.

Only 28 people holding one-day tickets for the second day wanted their money back, plus two people who’d bought weekend days. Hutton was politely unsympathetic with the latter.

“Isn’t it bit like going to a restaurant and eating the whole meal, and then asking for your money back?” he asked. He was prepared to refund anyone who bought a ticket for the second day and registered a complaint before 6 p.m., even though news of the Oasis no-show was spreading long before the doors opened.

In the U.K. and throughout Europe, most multi-act festival tickets make it clear that there will be no refunds if one act doesn’t show.

“We made an exception because Oasis was a headliner, but we can hardly be expected to refund people who’ve been at the festival for the whole two days and still want their money back at the end of it,” he explained.

He was also less than pleased with reports in London’s Evening Standard and The Times, which both said the V bill was dull compared with previous years.

“We had some of the most talked about acts of the year, such as Killers, Dizzee Rascall, MGMT, Lady Gaga and Elbow,” he said.

Although the festival was once again hit by fraudsters producing fake tickets and wristbands, it was nowhere near as bad as in previous years. Hutton said the wristband was one of the best fakes he’d ever seen and it would have caused the festival a far bigger problem if the barcode on it had worked.

The other acts who made it to the V Festivals Aug. 21-22 included Pete Doherty, Keane, Pendulum, Lily Allen, Taylor Swift, The Enemy, Paolo Nutini, Katy Perry and Jet.