ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL
Dates: 13th - 16th June 2019
Location: Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight Festival is one of the oldest and best-known festivals in Europe. Its most famous early event was in 1970, where unforeseen thousands of people flocked to see the likes of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, Leonard Cohen etc. (there’re just too many to go on). It was brought back to life in 2002 having been closed for years, and has since withheld its reputation as a gathering place for incredible bands and musicians, and the huge adoring crowds that follow them.
The Foulk brothers started the IoW Festival in 1968, and in 1969 they somehow managed to get Bob Dylan to abandon Woodstock and play there instead – which was particularly remarkable considering many thought he would never perform again. Thousands of people from across the world came to see him, amongst others, and the stage was set for a festival that would evermore draw some of the biggest names in the business.
In 1970, a reported 600,000+ people came to watch a most phenomenal line up – causing British Parliament to have to pass a special ‘Isle of Wight Act’ to prevent such wildly unanticipated numbers congregating there again. Due to the logistical nightmare of 600,000 people on an island with a population of less than 100,000, it was not a commercial success and didn’t happen again for thirty-two years.
Luckily for the public, in 2002 it was revived (though there was no connection to the original founders) and since then has been featuring huge names such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Muse, and many, many, many more. Though attendance numbers have never again reached such heady heights as 1970, this is still a massive festival with unbelievable music for everyone, of every age.
With a huge amount of different venues and areas (and the music, cuisine and entertainment that goes with each of them; burlesque to fairy tale, casino to tea party), there are countless ways to enjoy yourself over a weekend like this. Just two hours away from London, being on an island somehow makes you feel like you’ve really escaped real life.
The festival welcomes people of all ages, and with bands both old and new; household names and emerging acts, you really could come here with your whole family and find something for everyone. Children below the age of 12 enter for free, and in fact there is no charge in the entire Kids’ Zone – and plenty for them to explore.
Needless to say, the organizational and logistical side of things is now also top drawer, meaning you can enjoy your surroundings and really get involved in everything that’s on offer. The island itself is a charming place to visit, with areas of wildlife conservation, cliffs and quarries of fascinating anthropological and paleontological interest and a rich maritime history. The climate, being that it is further south, makes it a warmer destination than man other parts of the UK – further emphasizing that marvelous feeling of escape to somewhere new.
In such a spectacular setting, the thought of not making the most of the option to do some luxury camping may seem like madness. Having crossed the sea to get there, why not go the whole hog and indulge yourself in some lavish, but affordable, glamping? Deliciously comfortable beds, hot showers, flush loos and privacy; the ultimate refuge from festival fatigue.