V Nears Miracle Hat-Trick

If it weren’t for Amy Winehouse pulling out with about 24 hours to go, the organizers of the August 18-19 V Festivals weekend would have pulled off the highly improbable hat-trick of getting her, Pete Doherty and Lily Allen to play the same event.

Rather than regret that they weren’t blessed with pulling off the unlikely feat, it’s more likely that promoters Denis Desmond, Metropolis Music and SJM Concerts were just thankful that so many clouds produced such little rain.

On the Saturday evening Metropolis Music MD Bob Angus was looking skyward above the Hylands Park site at Chelmsford and hoping the wind would keep blowing the clouds over before the bad weather could set in. Apart from a few downpours at each festival, that’s largely what happened.

The Foo Fighters and The Killers, which headlined the two-day shows, were both caught in the rain at Chelmsford as it began falling very steadily toward the end of each day.

At Stafford, which is organized by SJM, there was light rain early on Saturday evening and some more on Sunday morning, but nothing like the deluge that was predicted in the days leading up to the twinned events.

A review in the Daily Telegraph warned Winehouse that she’s in real trouble when Doherty manages to fulfill more bookings than she does, but Allen – the daughter of stand-up comic-turned-actor Keith Allen – seemed to put her troubles aside; her slot had the audience proverbially eating out of her hand.

Armed with her trademark lack of respect for authority, she punctuated her songs by targeting U.S. President George W. Bush with some feisty verbal tirades.

She’s reportedly being kept out of America because she was arrested – but not charged – for allegedly attacking a paparazzi photographer.

She’s since said that just because she hates Bush it doesn’t mean she hates America, which she described as "a great place." She said she was sad her visa problems mean she can’t fulfil her short-term commitment to tour there.

She’s also posted a piece on MySpace to clarify the situation.

Apart from Allen’s controversial comments, this year’s Vs – or at least the Chelmsford version – were accurately summed up by the Telegraph headline describing it as "Essex, no drugs, and rock & roll," further perpetuating its image as being one of the U.K.’s most user-friendly and civilised festivals.

The two sites sold out 160,000 tickets between them and the 2008 event was scheduled to go on sale August 21st.

The other main crowd-pleasers included Snow Patrol, The Fratellis, Paolo Nutini, KT Tunstall, Kasabian, Pink, Kanye West, Iggy and The Stooges, Damien Rice, Babyshambles, Editors, Mika, James Morrison and The Fray.