With both Frank Ocean and Nicki Minaj pulling their V Festival appearances at the last minute, you might have expected an air of disappointment to be hanging around Chelmsford's Hylands park over the weekend. Yet, the loss of two of arguably the line-up's biggest current stars did little to dampen the spirits of the scorched Essex crowd.
Instead, revellers lapped up nostalgia-laden sets by a series of reformed stars from the past. Indeed, compare Cher Lloyd being pelted with urine on Sunday evening to the to the unexpected joy earlier in the afternoon that greeted Brit-pop also-rans Shed Seven, and you get a sense that perhaps the absence of Ocean and Minaj wasn't such a let down after all.
Still, despite lacking the crowd pleasing hits of others on the line-up, Rodrigo Y Gabriella's bright, virtuoso guitar playing made a perfect start to the weekend's action on the main stage. Backed by brass and drums, their live sound has become a lot meatier over the last few years, but the audience's attempts at fancy footwork showed this hasn't compromised on the danceability of their Latin rhythms.
Later in the afternoon, James Morrison thought he'd hit the nail on the head after hearing his hit with Nelly Furtado, 'Broken Strings', sung back to him in a higher pitch than he could himself reach: "I know some of you guys are only here because your missus likes me," he joked. But the sheepish enjoyment of the other half of the crowd gradually opened up to join the higher-pitched half, suggesting his appeal may be far more broad than he realises.
Keane, too, went down well, albeit with a few more stutters along the way than during Morrison's set. But the Hastings' band have far more hits than you might remember (who knew they'd released more than 20 singles?), 'This is the Last Time' and 'Somewhere Only We Know' from their debut album rescuing the mood after a woeful rendition of the '80s Bowie-aping 2008 single 'Spiralling'.
Madness, though, seem to have become the one of surprise hits of the summer, with shows at the Olympics closing ceremony and atop the roof of Buckingham Palace proving their enduring popularity. Filling one of the coveted late afternoon/early evening festival slots on the Sunday, Suggs and his troupe know exactly how to please the sun-baked crowd. The rapturously received 'Our House' is one of the highlights of the weekend, and not even the appearance of Olly Murs on stage to sing the second verse can spoil the unashamed enjoyment of 'It Must Be Love'.
Tom Jones' heartfelt rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Tower of Song' may not have got the crowd jumping and bellowing the words back at him, but knowing that he still had 'It's Not Unusual' and 'Delilah' to come gave the hit-hungry crowd the patience to indulge the Welshman - the reception his final bow to the main stage audience received suggesting their patience had been rewarded handsomely.
But most of the V punters were undoubtedly in Essex to witness one of the biggest surprise reformations of recent years, The Stone Roses, close proceedings on the Saturday night. "You like me jacket?" asks a cocksure Ian Brown, arriving in a hooded coat styled on the artwork to the band's first album, before launching into 'I Wanna Be Adored'. Never really renowned for their live shows in the early 90s, the Roses mark II are arguably be an improvement on their first incarnation. Brown's voice, too, often known for a fairly unreliable way with a tune on stage, holds up pretty well. For all the bravado and sweaty male's singing along arm in arm, the most impressive thing about tonight's show is their musicianship - extended jams are surprisingly far from tiresome live, and they even pull off a remarkable rendition of 'Don't Stop' - a song that on record is simply 'Waterfall' played backwards.
The Manchester band's Saturday high-points of 'Made of Stone' and 'I Am the Resurrection', seemed to sum up V Festival's nostalgic spirit. But while the line-up may have mopped up what was left over from UK's past music stars who didn't score a spot at one of the Olympics' ceremonies, the lack of the new and cutting edge was joyfully ignored by the thousands revelling in crowd-pleasing final songs and sweaty sing-alongs.