Thousands head for ferries to Isle of Wight Festival

First published in News
Last updated

Thousands of music lovers will be getting on ferries today for the crossing to the Isle of Wight for the first of the major summer music festivals.

Bon Jovi, The Killers and The Stone Roses will headline the Isle of Wight Festival with Bob Geldof reforming The Boomtown Rats after a 26-year break to make a special appearance on Sunday.

Revellers have been promised by the organisers that there will not be a repeat of last year's scenes of chaos when heavy rainfall turned the car parks into mudbaths.

The ensuing traffic queues even led to ferries becoming stranded in the Solent because they were unable to unload any more vehicles on to the island.

John Giddings, promoter of the festival which is now in its 12th year, has invested in larger car parking fields with asphalted entrances to help prevent a recurrence.

He said: ''The sun has been shining for the last week and I am here putting the finishing touches to the 12th Isle of Wight Festival, I haven't been this excited since the first year.

Bournemouth Echo: Stone Roses perform

John Giddings, promoter of the festival which is now in its 12th year, has invested in larger car parking fields with asphalted entrances to help prevent a recurrence.

He said: ''The sun has been shining for the last week and I am here putting the finishing touches to the 12th Isle of Wight Festival, I haven't been this excited since the first year.

''Not only do we have three of the biggest headline bands in the world, the Stone Roses, The Killers and Bon Jovi, on top of that we have over 100 top class acts playing across the festival's stages.''

Mr Giddings added that steps were being taken to foil ticket touts.

He explained: ''Historically we've had problems with ticket touts, with this in mind this year we're holding back 2,000 tickets per day, so that real fans can come and enjoy the festival. Please do not buy from a tout, there will be tickets available at the box office.''

As well as the improvements to the practicalities, Mr Giddings has created new attractions away from the main stages with additions including a bohemian wood, cabaret club, extended dance tent and a bigger beach.

Bournemouth Echo: The Killers

And festival-goers will also be able to experience art in action with a piece of stone the size of a Stonehenge slab being transformed into a piece of sculpture during the weekend.

The luxury side of the festival has also expanded with hot tubs and barrel saunas being available in a new spa area, and in the campsite, Tangerine Fields are providing hundreds of campers with pre-pitched tents with extra luxuries such as a pamper parlour and phone charging.

Bournemouth Echo: Bon Jovi Tribute Show

A spokesman for the company, which has been operating for 10 years, said: '' All of Tangerine Fields' tents are re-used until they can't stay up late any more, then their good bits are taken and passed onto younger models, getting the maximum use out of everything before it is retired.

''All of the left over sleeping bags are donated to various local and national charities including Oxfam and Crisis and His Church and so far over 40,000 homeless people, scout groups and hostels have directly benefited from Tangerine Fields and the kindness of their guests.''

Some Bon Jovi fans have been disappointed that guitarist Richie Sambora will not be performing after he recently quit the group's North American tour.

Other acts performing at the festival, which runs until Sunday at Seaclose Park, Newport, include Paul Weller, Emeli Sande, Jake Bugg, Everything Everything, Blondie, Imagine Dragons, Ellie Goulding, Rizzle Kicks and Republica, with the music starting tonight for campers with The Farm and Happy Mondays.

Police will be patrolling the festival site and have helped develop traffic plans to prevent a repeat of last year's problems.

 

Bournemouth Echo:

Chief Superintendent Dave Hardcastle, of Hampshire Police, said: ''This event represents the largest policing challenge at a single event across the Isle of Wight and Hampshire this year.

''Our focus is on helping to ensure such a large influx and exit of people is handled safely, and with the minimum of impact.

''We have all learned lessons from last year's experiences with weather and traffic, which have led to our plans with promoters and partner agencies being reviewed and revised thoroughly.

''Crime levels at the Isle of Wight Festival have remained low, but we are never complacent in our focus to disrupt and detect criminals in conjunction with the organisers and their security staff.''

Bournemouth Echo: Rizzle Kicks are offering work placements to up to 150 young people

He also warned that illegal drugs and legal highs would not be tolerated.

He said: ''No reports of legal high sales within the festival were reported last year, but we check intelligence from across the country regularly about any new substances coming onto the market.

''We continue to repeat national warnings and advice that legal does not mean safe.

''People often have no idea what they are actually taking because the substance is not labelled correctly.

''Any decision to experiment could have terrible consequences for you.''

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree