Pop and rock preview: V Festival, Chelmsford, Shifnal

Hylands Park, Chelmsford & Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard, Sat 16 & Sun 17

Traditionally the most heavily branded among all the festivals, V has been incrementally working towards defining its own particular market. An important word here would have to be "pleasant". It's in nice leafy locations and boasts a lineup that's successful and none too likely to outrage; in fact, if the event was a band, it would be Snow Patrol. In their absence this year, there are, however, plenty of commercially successful acts that help the event form the bridge between Later With Jools Holland and the Tesco shelves: the Kooks, the Hoosiers, Gabriella Cilmi and Scouting For Girls are on there, while the more credible likes of the Verve and Amy Winehouse threaten to add a frisson of unpredictability to things. The presence of Girls Aloud, meanwhile, could prove an impressive pop antidote to the decaffeinated corporate rock that predominates.

· Hylands Park, Chelmsford & Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard, Sat 16 & Sun 17


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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