V festival 2012: festival preview

Heading to Weston or Hyland Park this year? Here's our guide to one of the UK's more maligned festivals

V festival is a two-site event that sends lucky bands shuttling between Essex and Staffordshire every August. Famous for its unashamedly chart-friendly lineups, the festival ditches the environmentally friendly guise of more wimpy festivals for a full, lucrative embrace of commerciality.

The festival returns for its 17th year with a lineup ranging from Nicki Minaj to the Stone Roses. Remember to pack your straw hat and designer wellies.

Below are a few of our picks from this year's bill, along with links to our coverage, exclusive videos, playlists and various other bits and pieces to read, watch and listen to.

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The Stone Roses

If you missed out on their well-received Heaton Park gigs, this is your last chance to catch the Madchester group's resurrection tour in England. Keep an eye out for gold-medal Olympians and airborne pints of urine.

Nicki Minaj

Her live show might be as mixed as her latest album, but self-confessed large testicle owner Nicki Minaj's larger-than-life attitude will go down well at V. Just as long as she plays Starships and not hardcore curios such as Come on a Cone.

Noel Gallagher

The quieter, more philosophical of Gallagher brother, Noel is unlikely to get as big a crowd as Oasis did in 2005. Read Kitty Empire on his solo debut, and hope he's not adverse to his Oasis material.

Keane

Read William Boyd on why he loves Keane's literary kicks, and check out Maddy Costa on why they might be getting back to their anthemic, festival-bothering best.

Wretch 32

Watch the London rapper talk about the songs that mean most to him in our Six Songs of Me feature, and read Alex Macpherson on his breakout sophomore release.

Emeli Sandé

In between storming Lovebox and writing material for the Sugababes, Sandé turned up at two little-known events called the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. Read about her love of Tracy Chapman and Regina Spektor.

Rizzle Kicks

Read Alexis Petridis on why the hip-pop duo are part of a promising class of British rap, and check out Ian Gittins on the Brit School alumni's live show.

Tom Jones

Fresh from judging on The Voice, the Welsh singer's reinvention as a "devil-weary preacher" should add some weight to his live show. Read Michael Hann on his latest album of "gravitas rock".

LMFAO

Between Paul Lester's confession that "really we have no idea what to make of them", and a one-star review, V and LMFAO seem like a match made in heaven.

Joseph Richards

The GuardianTramp

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