Missing Glastonbury? Isle of Wight festival keeps the spirit alive

 

When Glastonbury decided to take a year off in 2012, it must have seemed like a golden opportunity to the organisers of the Isle of Wight festival to temporarily take its place as the first big event of the summer music season.

What they perhaps overlooked as they moved their event back into the late June weekend left vacant by Michael Eavis' sabbatical, is that the weather at Glastonbury is, to put it charitably, often somewhat damp.

The rain clouds, however, had not forgotten the time of year. Inevitably, as would-be revellers made their way to the south coast to board ferries to the festival, the deluge came.

Heavy rain early on Thursday morning followed a spate of bad weather, and as many of the expected 55,000 attendees began to arrive on the island there was soon utter chaos.

Event car parks at Newport were water logged by Thursday night, churning up with mud, while roads leading to the festival became grid-locked. Such were the jams that ferries coming from the mainland were unable to disembark and ferry companies were forced to suspend services. About 600 were stranded on boats on the Solent overnight, while others had to sleep in their cars on the island.

Yesterday, some said they spent up to 10 hours travelling the short remaining distance to the festival, where they were met with yet more mud. Those still on the mainland were advised to abandon their cars and catch ferries as foot passengers, although by last night things were looking up.

Those at the Isle of Wight Festival will not be the only revellers who will need to pack a cautionary pair of wellies along with their sunglasses this summer as more inclement weather is forecast for the coming months. But that did not stop them from being less than pleased by what they said was a lack of preparation on the part of the organisers.

"Admittedly, they cannot control the weather, but they can have a plan for it," said Ashley Scrace, who said he would be seeking a refund on his ticket.

Linda Dawson, from Ashurst, said she was stranded while on her way to the festival with her partner and three daughters. "We weren't told the full story in Portsmouth and could have turned back if we had known we would be in the car all night," she told the BBC.

"Why did they let us get on the ferry when they knew there was nowhere for us to go?" Festival promoter John Giddings apologised and asked those who did not make it to the site to send their tickets back. "If someone has suffered, that's outrageous, I don't think I should keep their money," he said, promising there were plans in place to help people leave more smoothly on Sunday.

Those intending to go to the BBC's Hackney Weekend in east London today and tomorrow could be the next to face a battle with the weather in the name of listening to music outdoors, as forecasters predicted more rain this weekend. Large parts of north western England and south western Scotland are under flood warnings.

It was even too wet to go for a swim in Lake Windermere yesterday. The annual Great North Swim was postponed until tomorrow, due to safety fears as people struggled to get to the venue.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions