Rain fails to dent festival spirits
Published 12/06/2015 | 18:41
Rain has failed to dampen the spirits of more than 50,000 music lovers who have headed to the Isle of Wight for the first major music festival of the summer.
Britpop legends Blur and blues rockers Fleetwood Mac are headlining the four day festival in Newport.
Other major acts taking to the stage during the Isle of Wight Festival will be Happy singer Pharrell Williams, The Prodigy and The Black Keys.
One of the first acts to perform was Kodaline who delighted fans with their anthem rock followed by Californian band Counting Crows who pleased the crowd with favourite Mr Jones.
The festival has so far escaped the forecast thunderstorms with only a short bout of rainfall landing on the crowds.
Promoter John Giddings said that it had taken seven years of negotiations to bring Fleetwood Mac to the event as part of their reunion tour and he said the deal clincher was the promise of the "biggest" helicopter to bring them to the site at Seaclose Park.
The classic blues and 80s band are expected to play the festival despite cancelling gigs in Birmingham earlier this week and Manchester tonight due to illness.
Mr Giddings said that the festival had one of its best line-ups, claiming that the headliners had scored more number one albums than any other UK festival, with a total of 19.
But as well as the rock and pop legends at the top of the bill, Mr Giddings has recruited a number of up-and-coming YouTube artists including DanielJ, Alicia Olivia, Myth City, Only1Noah, Toby Randall and Hannah Trigwell.
The festival is in its 14th year since it relaunched the events of the late 1960s which saw legendary acts such as Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, who gave his last UK performance on the island.
To recognise Hendrix's contribution, Mr Giddings has renamed the main arena the Electric Church and is calling on all those on site tomorrow afternoon to wear special Jimi masks in a record attempt to mark the 45th anniversary of his performance and to raise money for the WellChild charity.
The festival site has more than a dozen stages and nightclubs including the Bohemian Woods providing a venue for alternative acts, and new for this year a giant water slide is being set up.
For those in need of a bit of luxury, hot tubs and saunas will be available at the Bathing Under The Sky area and glamping options are being led by Tangerine Fields which offers a range of pre-erected and boutique camping options.
Andy Bush, of Absolute Radio, which is broadcasting live from the site, said: "This year's line-up is the best ever, winning the royal summer festival rumble hands down.
"Part of the magic of the Isle of Wight Festival is the pilgrimage down there, by land and by water - it's like that excitement you have the morning of a school trip."