Over the weekend, around 80 bands descended on two different locations in England for this year’s V Festival, one of the U.K.’s biggest annual musical traditions. Oasis were supposed to headline the closing night, but singer Liam Gallagher caught a case of viral laryngitis and couldn’t perform. (Snow Patrol filled in for the band in the top slot, covering “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” in honor of their absent colleagues.) But the weekend really belonged to the ladies, as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and the always-fashion-forward Lady Gaga turned in crowd-pleasing sets.
The Killers, MGMT and Lily Allen also turned in memorable sets, but perhaps the weekend’s biggest surprise came during the performance by the Specials. In the middle of their set, the veteran ska band brought out a very special guest to join them on two songs: Amy Winehouse. In her first U.K. performance in over a year, Winehouse backed the band up on “Ghost Town” and “You’re Wondering Now” before ducking back out again. That wasn’t the only appearance she made during the weekend, as she also introduced fellow British tabloid regular Pete Doherty before his set on Saturday. Though she wasn’t necessarily in top form with the Specials, her performance was a far cry from her appearance at last year’s V Fest (where she was roundly heckled) or her attempt at a comeback earlier this year in St. Lucia (where she cut off her set six songs in because of “technical difficulties”). The festival season is coming to a close both here and abroad, which is why MTV News will be getting our last licks in this weekend in San Francisco at the Outside Lands Festival.