1. ITV Report

V Festival: Virgin to end sponsorship of Chelmsford event

Crowds enjoy last summer's festival in Chelmsford. Credit: PA

'Virgin' founder Richard Branson has announced the company will no longer be sponsoring V Festival in Chelmsford.

Mr Branson confirmed the news on his Twitter account on Monday afternoon - bringing to an end a 22-year association with the event.

It's not thought that the future of the festival is in doubt though, with a new sponsor expected to be revealed next month.

P!nk headlined this year's festival. Credit: PA

V Festival, which is held annually at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in Staffordshire, has continually attracted some of the biggest acts in music, with the likes of Jay Z, Justin Bieber, P!nk and Rihanna all having headlined in recent years.

The new festival will take place on the same weekend in 2018, but will be rebranded under a new name.

In a statement, Mr Branson said working on V Festival had been a "brilliant journey".

Sir Richard Branson introduces Paul Weller at the 2010 V Festival in Chelmsford. Credit: PA

"Being part of V Festival has been an honour and there are some amazing moments that will stay with me forever – including introducing Paul Weller and welcoming V2 Records’ first signing 'The Stereophonics' to a massive audience," he said.

"Working on V Festival has been a brilliant journey filled with great people, fun times and exceptional music. I have so many memories to cherish – from the mind-blowing performances to spending quality time at the festival with both Holly and Sam, who it’s no surprise are both music lovers after spending so much time dancing at V.

"Looking back on the wonderful history of V Festival has reminded me just how far Virgin has come. Who would have thought that an idea to sell cut-price mail-order records would grow into a record label, let alone a unique music festival – and so much else besides? We wish Live Nation every success with their future plans. We would like to thank them for a brilliant partnership over recent years."