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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Festival fans condemn 'greedy' V
V festival crowd
Fans had to pay 10 to find out who was playing where
V Festival organisers have been branded "greedy" by fans who were charged 10 for programmes to find out what time their favourite bands were playing.

Festival-goers said they were also angry at queues and alleged overcrowding at the Staffordshire and Essex venues.

One said fans queued for nearly four hours at onsite cashpoints after being caught unawares by high prices.

V Festival organisers said they were "sorry" to hear of the complaints.

A spokesperson added: " We will of course bear in mind [these] comments as we continue our planning for next year's festival.

"However, judging by the fact that phone lines have been inundated since tickets for V Festival 2007 went on sale this morning, it seems that the vast majority of the 150,000 attendees had a thoroughly good time."

A number of fans contacted the BBC News website to complain about the high charges at the event, which took place on Saturday and Sunday and was headlined by Radiohead and Morrissey.

One festival-goer, Chris Ralph, from Exeter, told the BBC News website that buying a 10 programme was the only way to find out which bands were playing where and when.

"How do they get away with treating people like this?" he said.

'No line-up online'

Other major UK festivals, such as Reading, Leeds, and the Isle of Wight festivals, publish their running orders on their websites in advance of the festival.

"I looked online, but there was no line-up there," the 41-year-old, who attended the festival at Weston Park, Staffordshire, told the BBC News website.

The V spokesperson said the charge was for a programme, laminate, and plastic rucksack.

"Previously, programmes and laminates were sold separately, at a greater price," she added.

YOUR FESTIVAL REVIEWS
V take note - give your clientele some respect... you make enough money from the tickets, the parking, the stall licencees - how about you give something back to the people that make your festival what it is
David Watson, Manchester

Another music fan, Chris Collins, from Highgate, north London, who was also at Weston Park, added: "There were no boards next to the arenas to tell you who was on where."

The 32-year-old added: "There were too many people in a small area.

"For example, if you weren't in the Strongbow arena from the beginning of the day, then you weren't going to get in. You had to pick who you were going to see at the end of the day and stay in that area," he said.

Queues for tokens to buy beer were two hours long after festival-goers' own supplies were confiscated by security staff, said Mr Collins.

"Perhaps that's why there were a lot of people just getting drunk - because they couldn't move around the festival," he added.

'Water confiscated'

Fans also reported having their own supplies of water being confiscated at the festival. They say they were charged 2 for bottles inside the site.

"The organisers should be a little less greedy," he said.

However, the V festival spokesperson said: "The only drinks security confiscate at the entrance to the arena is alcohol and tampered plastic bottles."

She added that water was available free of charge from standpipes and that people were encouraged to bring plastic bottles with them to refill.

Morrissey
Morrissey was one of the festival's headline acts
Mike Banister, from Clapham, south London, said the festival's Essex site, at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, felt less crowded, but he said there were "enormous queues" as the the facilities could not cope with the numbers of people.

"A lot of people were queueing at cash machines for three or four hours at a time," the 31-year-old continued, adding that the event was charging 7 for burgers.

"That's half a day wasted - because there were only two working cash machines for many thousands of people.

"The organisers must know people would find themselves short of money.

"It's the the fifth time I've been to V, and it'll probably be my last."

The V spokesperson said: "We apologise to the small number of people who encountered problems with the cash machines this year, which was due to technical difficulties which we hope to address for next year."


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