Spotlight: Best Headline Act of 2007?

Today's award spotlight is on the bands already in the limelight. These are the artists who've topped the bill this summer with sets that have left audiences open jawed and overawed...

Best Headline Act (in association with Virgin Radio)

Not that it’s been easy.  Headlining is a tough task: it’s rarely the time to try out new material, nor is it a chance to be self-indulgent. It’s an attempt to capture the feeling of the festival and give the atmosphere back to the audience through the band’s own music and energy, making every person in an crowd of thousands feel like they are part of something special.

A brilliant headline set can define a generation and ultimately cement a band’s place in the history books. Think Radiohead at Glastonbury in 1997 or Jimi Hendrix at Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 and who remembers Ben Harper at Glastonbury 1998? We don’t either…

This year the competition is tough: multi-genre nominees, a cacophony of crowds and a summer with enough rain to sink Noah’s Ark.  Here are the contenders who stayed afloat:

Arcade Fire
Arctic Monkeys
Daft Punk
Foo Fighters
Iron Maiden
My Chemical Romance
Primal Scream
Smashing Pumpkins
Snow Patrol
The Killers
The Rolling Stones
The White Stripes
The Who

But the question is – where will your vote go? Think carefully.

Will it be an act whose performance was made extra special by only headlining one event? If so have you thought of rock granddads The Rolling Stones, madcap madam Bjork or heavy rock heroes Iron Maiden?

Maybe its My Chemical Romance’s brave appearance at Download despite being warned that they’d face a barrage of bottles onstage, or did Smashing Pumpkins’ appearance at the Carling Weekend reassign your alternative rock state of mind?

It’s a tough task though with two previous winners back in contention.  Will 2005 winner’s Foo Fighters get your all important ballot box tick or do Muse deserve to regain their crown after their Isle of Wight performance.

It could be bands that released their difficult second albums who were favourites of the field folk this season.  Sheffield hot-shots Arctic Monkeys wowed wading crowds at Glasto and T in the Park, while V Festival revellers rocked out to The Killers and Latitude punters had the privilege of Montreal multi-instrumentalists Arcade Fire.

With so many guitar bands on the list it could be dark horses Daft Punk who take the award from under their noses thanks to their O2 Wireless shows.  Unless Wireless counterparts The White Stripes icky thumped their way into your hearts.

However festival circuit veterans could sneakily snatch it from everybody’s grasp.  Have Snow Patrol’s headline sets stood out or is it Bobby Gillespie’s Primal Scream team who deserve the trophy?

The Who sang ‘My Generation’ in the 1960s but were their Knowsley Hall and Glastonbury sets good enough to define this one? 

Which band deserved to grab the headlines this summer?  Vote for your favourite HERE.