It's that time of year again when festival organisers pick up their phone and start filling their fields with fan favourites and fresh talent. You'll be watching this lot in your wellies this year...
The Headliners: The biggest bands that will be at the top of the bills…
Having famously allowed fans to choose the price on their latest album 'In Rainbows', the Oxford five-piece failed to do the same with their tour tickets, hiking prices up to £45. But don't worry because one of the finest live acts of their generation have left a sneaky Saturday free over the Glastonbury weekend and are likely to throw in another UK major festival too. It means you can grab hundreds more bands for about two and a half times their tour price.
Last festival: V Festival 2006
Might see them at: Glastonbury, T in the Park or V Festival
Awash with critical acclaim after their one-off show last December, The Zep currently have festival-organisers eating out of their hands. Rumours suggest they'll be performing this summer, but it may not be in the UK with an American festival already confirmed (Bonarroo). It could all become a bit 'too much of a good thing' so the elderly rockers will probably only show a Whole Lotta Love to one or two fields this summer. Will ol' moneybags V Festival snatch the Mothership?
Last festival: Knebworth Music Festival 1979
Might see them at: Glastonbury or V Festival
Reunions were all the rage in 2007 so this summer (like OAPs retaking their driving test) the bands will have to show they've still got it. Early reports suggest The Verve do, and with Ashcroft announcing it would be a 'travesty' if they didn't perform at Glastonbury it looks like he’s still as gobby as he's always been. He'll be expecting to headline a few, but will any organisers pick up that phone?
Last festival: V Festival 1998
Might see them at: T in the Park, Reading and Leeds or Glastonbury
When they first invented it back in the seventies, punk was about making chaotic noise using cheap gear for intimate gatherings of people in tiny venues. Now they've re-invented it, it's about making refined, tightly rehearsed noise using high budget stage production on massive outdoor stages to the masses. It'll still be brilliant, of course, because the real ethos of punk, as Johnny Rotten will tell you, is that you can do what the hell you want – as long as it's what you want to do. Where's this man's OBE?
Last festival: Pheonix Festival 1996
Might see them at: Glastonbury. (Will definitely see them at the Isle of Wight where they are confirmed to headline the Saturday night)
The soft rock janglers have quietly been putting the final touches to their 14th album, 'Accelerate', in the studio and suddenly they've announced its due in April and the kids can't find their blue Michael Stipe face paint anywhere! Consistently brilliant performers and tried and tested headliners, these Shiny Happy People will probably feature in a field somewhere this season.
Last festival: Isle Of Wight Festival 2005
Might see them at: O2 Wireless, V Festival, T In The Park or Glastonbury
Rage Against The Machine
When we asked Festival Republic's Melvin Benn about possible headliners for this year's Reading and Leeds festivals he admitted that Rage "Would be fantastic." The political punk-funk protesters proved their worth at Coachella last year and with a string of European festival dates they look set to stop off on our shores at some point.
Last festival: Reading and Leeds 2000
Might see them at: Reading and Leeds, Download or T in the Park
Two headline slots were obviously not enough for these Sheffield scamps so they put on two massive shows of their own in 2007. With that in mind, and a new album in the pipeline, 2008 may be the last chance for these prolific indie adolescents to grab a headline slot before they head to the studios. Or will they have a deserved year off?
Last festival: T In The Park 2007
Might see them at: Reading and Leeds, V Festival
With three massive UK stadium shows pencilled in this year many would argue that Dave Grohl's lot could be head-resting rather than headlining. Yet a couple of secret sets at V Festival last year alongside the top slots shows the band's quench for the festival crowds, expect them to be somewhere heavier than V this year though.
Last festival: V Festival 2007
Might see them at: Download
Like buses and Guinness: good things come to those who wait, and boy, have this lot made us wait! 14 years have passed since the delicious 'Dummy' and ten since their self-titled second offering. But ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas saw the electronic trip-hoppers hit the stage again and after being described as 'sublime' its all got a bit exciting again.
Last festival: ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas
Might see them at: The Big Chill, Glastonbury
Metallica fans were treated to their own show when the LA rockers decided to hold a massive show at Wembley stadium last year, so expect the biggest name in Thrash Metal to return to the fields in 2008. With dates confirmed at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park in Germany, Donington Park seems the most likely headline slot for the Master Of Puppets.
Last Festival: Download 2006
Might see at: Download or Reading and Leeds
The Middleweights: The barrage of bands beefing up the bills…
Dance festivals have been rotating the well-travelled Faithless -Jaxx-Armada trio for years now, waiting for a new 'saviour of dance music' (on that note Mylo is also due a return). Thank Dr Moog then for the bone-shaking awakening of Pendulum, combining the live energy of The Prodigy with infectious tunes of an electro Kasabian.
Last Festival: Liverpool Music Week 2007
Might see them at: Creamfields, T In The Park
Pete Doherty's lot are always a crowd puller at festivals and their nearly half-decent offering 'Shotter's Nation' will grab a few more revellers along. But the second album isn't good enough to grab the Shambles a headline slot a la Arctic Monkeys so expect a sober year of Kink-eque tunes rattling from this rabble this year.
Last Festival: V Festival 2007
Might see them at: Reading and Leeds, O2 Wireless, Wakestock
After a relaxing holiday swimming with sharks at Bryan Adams' gaff the singer has announced she'll be performing live at the Grammys in February and after the biggest selling album of 2007 and teems of disappointed fans, it’s time to reappoint Mrs Winehouse back on the festival throne. Michael Eavis has said he'd love to have her back.
Last Festival: Oxegen 2007
Might see her at: Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival or O2 Wireless
With an impressive nine festival appearances last year without an album out, it looks like 2008 will see the Oxford math-pop scenesters morph from Foals to stallions. With African drums, intricate guitars and fringes all the kids are after for Christmas, it should be their year.
Last Festival: Bestival 2007
Might see them at: Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury and T in the Park
British Sea Power
British Sea Power are Waving Flags as one of the most underrated indie troupes around. They are back with another outstanding album that should grab them enough festival slots to keep them busy this summer.
Last festival: End Of The Road Festival 2007
Might see them at: Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, V Festival and Latitude
The electro-poppers are returning with new album 'Made in the Dark' which has already seen the five-piece awarded album of the month in January’s Mixmag. So expect to see this lot all 'Over And Over' the festival scene in 2008.
Last festival: The Electric Picnic 2007
Might see them at: Bestival, Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds or Latitude
They've been quiet for a while but the curly-haired Brighton boys are set for a return to the festival scene with the release of their second album 'Konk'. If it’s anywhere as nearly as catchy as their pop-infused indie from their first album they'll be taking the crowds with them too.
Last Festival: V Festival 2007
Might see them at: Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury and T in the Park
The Newbies: The acts set to make waves this summer (if we have as much rain as last year)…
Dev Hynes' latest project makes Test Icicles sound worse than a New Year's Eve hangover. Intelligent anti-folk stylishly delivered with the backing of Bright Eyes' Mike Mogis, it can’t be far off.
A voice akin to Dusty Springfield and soothing soul-pop tracks for girls to get ready to and boys in jeans and shirts to dance awkwardly to – perfect.
If Sid Vicious was to be reincarnated as a girl and given a voice like he'd been smoking gravel he would be Ida Maria. With a soundtrack like a mature version of The Strokes and antics akin to Frank Carter the summer is certainly set to be messy.
Another girl, another newcomer. Marling's acoustic romanticism is finally set to hit it big as she turns 18. Gentle balladry about teenage issues – serve with cold cocktails and shimmering sunshine (please some sunshine)!
With a voice to melt any boy's heart or set any mother weeping, the RnB infused London gal will be found wielding her acoustic guitar, breaking hearts and collecting weeping mums this year.
The Ting Tings
Kicking around last year but holding back from signing to a label means that this clever garage-pop are now hot news. An inverted White Stripes with tunes more addictive than fizzy pop.
Joe Strummer wouldn't mind Glasvegas's lead singer robbing his looks, as much as the Glaswegian pilferers don’t mind nicking the history of doo-wop and fifties rockabilly and squeezing it into a slow Punk compressor.
Take one indie-pop band; add African drums and an American swill and you're left with Vampire Weekend. Quashing the irritant basic chord strummings of Jack Penate and The Wombats, this lot are far more intelligent with music, lyrics and influences.
Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
Seen it all before? If not, Joe Lean and his stupidly named army are going to repeat the trick of simple garage rock. So kids, that means you can stay in skinny jeans for another season yet.
It's as if Noel Gallagher has biffed a young Pete Doherty in the nose, stolen his Albion dream and driven the ship towards swaggering Brit Pop. With a bigger following than the Pied Piper already, this lot will explode in 2008.
You saw it here first.