This may have been a different site from the one I'm used to, but unlike the twin location thing the Carling Weekend has going on where Leeds and Reading have a good deal of unique elements to them, V Staffordshire is virtually a mirror image of the Essex leg. You are less likely to fall over a former 'Big Brother' contestant in the Midlands, and most of the national media coverage seems to focus on the one that's a quick car journey from London, but Staffordshire is just as corporate, and has exactly the same line up only in reverse.

There are plenty that mouth off at V for its use of sponsorship at every corner, and its somewhat mainstream list of artists. On the latter point there were a number of bands here who'd played at either T or Glastonbury as well (James Morrison, Lily Allen, Paolo Nutini, Mika, Goo Goo Dolls, James and The Killers) so if anything the critical finger should be pointing at festivals in general. V does take the pop thing to a new level however, in my opinion Mcfly's inclusion is pushing it, although they were safely tucked away in the JJB Tent where it would be easy to ignore them if you wanted to.

On the plus point, and the thing that still made V a worth while event to be at, was the new fifth stage, where smaller and emerging acts were given the chance to play at one of the UK's major events.

Saturday had a headline set from the Killers, but with the band still only having two albums to pick from, unless you're a massive fan of both, this would prove to be a bit of a lightweight bill topper. Especially when you consider one of America's finest rock acts Foo Fighters were playing a blinder the following night, ploughing through classics from as far back as 1995, and only briefly touching on their new material which was clearly to be left for their return later this year. The Foo's set did include my moment of the weekend, a quite brilliant cover of Arcade Fire's track 'Keep The Car Running' which they'd debuted on Jo Whiley's Radio 1 show the previous week.

Kasabian (Saturday) for me are beginning to fall into the same trap as the Killers, major stage positions but not quite enough strength in depth with their material. They do have the art of working a crowd totally mastered, and seem to rise to the occasion more the bigger the event. I'm looking forward to album number 3 being the final piece in the jigsaw to make them a great headline band.

Snow Patrol (Sunday) on the other hand are already there, as those who saw them at the Isle of Wight can confirm. Although also drawing their setlist from only two albums (despite having four behind them), their mix of rock and ballads and Gary Lightbody's showmanship made them one of the bands of the weekend. This was their final English date for a year and they went out with a bang, dedicating 'Chasing Cars' to Dave Grohl which prompted a stage invasion from the Foo Fighters man, and saw him return the favour later with 'Everlong'.

Elsewhere the Manics and James rolled back the years on the Saturday. James Dean Bradfield and co turned in a mighty greatest hits set that had something for everyone, James don't seem to have impressed the reviewers I've read but the turn out and crowd reaction showed their comeback is a welcome one, and 'Come Home', 'Tomorrow', 'Getting Away With It' and 'Sometimes' simply show that those who aren't prepared to look past 'Sit Down' are just being lazy.

The tabloids and gossip hunters will always find plenty to keep them amused at V. Already they were fueled by the unsurprising withdrawal of Amy Winehouse as she continues to recover from what looks like a drugs overdose. The irony was that the Happy Mondays took her place, who are a band who've been around the block so many times with the rock n' roll lifestyle that they make Ms Winehouse's situation look like a child eating too much at a birthday party.

Pete Doherty got people all excited again by Babyshambles not appearing for their Channel 4 Stage slot. This time though it was nothing more than pesky traffic to blame, and Babyshambles played a headline set in one of the smaller tents instead.

The Virgin Mobile Union Stage and its new extension the Sessions Tent had plenty to interest the more adventurous music fan. Mumm-ra in the Union Tent were one of the best bands of the weekend, meanwhile Emma Pollock (ex Delgados) played to a much smaller crowd than she deserved in the Sessions Tent. Those who did bother to have a look were definitely well rewarded.

Unklejam, Switches and Ting Ting impressed across the weekend, and new acoustic pop hero Newton Faulkner did his best Arctic Monkeys at Reading 2005 impression, packing the smallest tent on the site with eager fans lined several deep outside every entrance.

The bad weather has been a running theme this year, and V didn't escape the rain either. By Sunday Weston Park was a mud bath, although still nothing compared to how Glastonbury ended up in June. For those interested in such things, the bogs were as stomach churningly rank as I've seen anywhere.

It's an obvious line to bring out, to look at V from the point of view of not being like Reading or Glastonbury, but it's always been a different animal. If you're happy to take it for what it is and just enjoy what was actually a very diverse line up, with rock, indie, pop, folk, hip-hop, dance and R n' B spread across five stages and even more dance tents, then you'll have a good time. Like every festival, if you stick to the main stages you'll miss things you'll regret later. This year's V wasn't brilliant, the weather may have had an effect on this, and if I was scoring it in the traditional Room Thirteen way it would get a ten out of thirteen at best, but the plus points out weigh the negatives to mean it was a decent weekend.