By Peter White
With this year’s Isle of Wight Festival countdown almost complete, Island Life gives revellers an insight into what to expect at the ever-popular music extravaganza at Seaclose Park, Newport, from June 15 to 18.
The multi-talented line-up appears to be among the best ever staged at the IW Festival, with Sunday night headliner Robbie Williams being joined by such top names as Blondie, George Ezra, Pulp, Human League, Sam Ryder, Anne-Marie, Gabrielle and many others.
But for those who like to explore, away from the Main Stage and Big Top there will be plenty going on around the whole Festival site, with a further 12 stages and favourite areas. These include Cirque de le Quirk, Electro Love, Hipshaker Lounge, Intoxicated Tea Rooms, Kashmir Cafe, Octopus’ Garden, Old Mout Kiwi Camp, the Strongbow Yard, and the Platform One, River and Feeling Stages.
As in all previous years, there will be a strong emphasis on safety for the tens of thousands of people attending the event, and The Festival will be working together with the Hampshire Constabulary to keep crime levels down.
They say: “A small minority of people attending the Festival see it as an opportunity to commit crime, mainly stealing from tents. You can help yourselves by bringing with you only what you can afford to lose. There’s no way you can make a tent 100 percent secure, and don’t be tempted to leave valuables in your vehicle either. Don’t challenge people looking through tents; report them to Festival staff or the Police immediately.”
When packing for the Festival, be aware that the following items are not allowed on the site: glass, candles, gas canisters larger than 300g, smoke canisters, knives, any illegal substances or drugs, nitrous oxide, laser pens, megaphones, fireworks flares, poles, banners and flags, animals (other than registered guide or hearing dogs) and any item which may be used as a weapon.
Meanwhile, Solo Agency, owned by Isle of Wight Festival leaders John and Caroline Giddings, has turned over the land it holds for festival camping to biofuel production, with grass harvesting being conducted either side of the event. The land was previously managed solely for use by the festival so the new arrangement brings the land into productive use year-round.
Caroline Giddings said: “We want the Isle of Wight Festival to be the most sustainable festival in the UK. Year on year we have done more to ensure that our event is as sustainable as possible, from small-scale changes, such as the type of cups and cutlery we use, to systemic shifts such as the push to get the main stage area on the electricity grid. This latest initiative builds on that decade of work to keep us at the forefront of environmental activity in the industry.”
John Giddings added: “I’m really pleased that we’re able to give our land a new lease of life, helping to generate renewable energy and making sure the fields are used productively year-round. On top of delivering one of the UK’s best music festivals, we have also sought to play a positive role in the local community and we’re proud that we will be doing our bit in the push for a more sustainable future for the Island.”