THE stages are set, the caterers are ready, and the bands are poised – the biggest party in Essex is about to begin!

Festival goers will pour through the gates of Hylands Park from today in anticipation of seeing some of the biggest acts in the world.

Headlining the main stage is Justin Timberlake and The Killers, with the likes of Pixie Lott, Elbow and the Manic Street Preachers also gearing up to rock Hylands.

Here's our handy guide to the weekend with stage line-ups, travel and weather information.

JT and The Killers set to rock Hylands

THE biggest party in Essex descends on Chelmsford this weekend, and here we’ll give you all the information you need to get through the epic weekend simply known as the V Festival.

The event at Hylands House is famed for its superstar headliners and this year is no different.

Headlining the main stage on Saturday is singer-come-actor Justin Timberlake who’ll no doubt be bringing sexy back with songs such as Cry Me A River and Mirrors.

Then on Sunday, Las Vegas’ stars The Killers will top the bill with anthems that are sure include When You Were Young and Mr Brightside.

The car park opens at 10am today, with the camp site opening up at midday.

The festival arena swings open its gates at 11.30am each day. Bands are due to finish at 11pm on both nights across the stages.

Festival goers must then be off the site by midday on Monday, when the big clear up begins.

Weekend and day tickets for V are still available from, with prices starting at £89.

Chelmsford acts will take to stage

REGULARS to V Festival will notice a new stage this year which has been five years in the making...

For the first time, the ATM Stage, organised and managed by Chelmsford company AT Music, will highlight new and local acts across the weekend.

The stage opens a day earlier than the rest of the site, so music lovers will be able to get their fix a day early this year.

The stage is the brainchild of AT boss Marc Lincoln–Fargeot. He was only given the go-ahead for the stage last month, so it’s been a mad rush since to get it ready.

Marc said: “At first it was difficult to get the organisers interested, but we had a stage at the Fling Festival and they sawwhat wewere doing and were really impressed.

“They saw one of our acts, who’ll be at V, came up to me and said ‘put on that stage!’ This is really exciting for AT.”

Marc set the company up in 2001 and it has since grown into fields such as artist management, tuition, staging and lighting, and a song writing agency.

A number of the acts on the stage, including Kieran Eldridge and James Graham, are managed by AT.

Don’t forget your wellies, there could be rain!

FESTIVAL GOERS should be wary of the typically changeable British weather...

and head to Hylands Park armed with wellies.

Rain is expected today (Thursday) the day before revellers arrive, which will make pitching a tent that bit easier.

Those arriving at the site tomorrow will be able to enjoy a dry day with temperatures expected to reach 20c.

The first day of the festival on Saturday is expected to be cloudy, but dry in the main.

Rain is expected to return on Sunday though, so waterproofs are recommended.

Your guide to getting to and from V Festival

NUMEROUS road closures will come into effect from Friday morning and operate throughout the weekend.

The closures are the same as last year and include Viaduct Road and Writtle Estate.

More details and updates over the weekend can be found at A shuttle bus will operate to and from the site from Chelmsford train station for £5 return.

Times of the buses are: Friday towards the site 8.30am-7pm; Saturday and Sunday towards the site 9.30am-7pm, towards Chelmsford 7pm-1am; Monday towards Chelmsford 6am to 12pm.

Those planning on driving and parking at the festival are advised that parking is £20 for the weekend or £10 for a single day.

There is also a pick up and drop off point. Exit the A12 at junction 17 and follow the signs for V Festival.

The A414 at junction 15 will be closed and no vehicle will be able to access Hylands Park from this junction.

Saturday line-up

Main stage: Justin Timberlake; Ed Sheeran; Example; Bastille; Kaiser Chiefs; Tom Odell; Kodaline; The Stranglers

MTV Stage: Elbow; Manic Street Preachers; Blondie; Miles Kane; The Wailers; John Newman; Pixie Lott; George Ezra; Starsailor; The Rifles

Arena Stage: Alesso; Above & Beyond; Janelle Monae; The Human League; Sophie Ellis-Bextor; James Arthur; Foxes; Kiesza; All Saints; Fuse ODG

Futures Stage: Alex Clare; Birdy; Hoodie Allen: The Strypes; Icona Pop; Josh Record; Neon Trees; To Kill A King; Dan Croll; Sons and Lovers.

Sunday line-up

Main stage: The Killers; Paolo Nutini; Lily Allen; Rudimental; Chic feat. Nile Rodgers; Train; Newton Faulkner; M People

MTV Stage: Axwell & Ingrosso; Tinie Tempah; Jason Derulo; Rizzle Kicks; Katy B; Childish Gambino; Sam Smith; Aloe Blacc; The Wonders Stuff; Sheppard

Arena Stage: Chase & Status (DJ set); Sub Focus; Rita Ora; Cee Lo Green; Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott; Nina Nesbitt; Ella Eyre; Jess Glynne; Jhene Aiko; Neon Jungle

Futures Stage: Embrace; Howling Bells; GLC; The Original Rude Boys; Vance Joy; Magic Numbers; Becky Hill; Chloe Howl and James Bay.