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Its been 50 years since the summer of 69’ when Bob Dylan, The Who and a whole host of special guests played to a packed out Seaferry Park on the Isle of Wight. Half a century later, music lovers are back again for a weekend of peace, love and some pretty outrageous music.
Here’s what happened at Isle of Wight Festival 2019.
Ticket to Ryde
For all the non-domestic attendees of the festival, the ferry was (as ever) the first of many adventures across the weekend. A cheeky 20 minute journey from Portsmouth to Ryde brought fans safe and sound to the quaint little island which this year was taken over by the grooviest gangs the UK had to offer. With the theme of Summer of 69’, campers took this in their stride and made sure that the Isle was rightfully decorated with big wigs and vibrant colours.
After a slightly rainy start to Thursday, it was only about to get… well… wetter, as Scottish rock veterans Wet Wet Wet absolutely smashed the headline slot on the first day of the festival for the campers.
This is my island in the sun
The only Island fans were in love with that weekend was Wight! After a blustery Thursday, all of Seaferry Park welcomed the sunshine with open arms on the Friday, and all of the funkiest outfits came out to play in full force. Everyone was ready to really get the party started.
Noel Gallagher headlined the Friday night, following performances by Gerry Cinnamon, Sea Girls, DMA’s, Hacienda Classical, Lily Allen and more across the main stage and the Big Top Tent. The curation of the line-up led perfectly to Noel closing the day with Don’t Look Back in Anger, a triumphant and anthemic moment for all.
With attendance of the festival only growing throughout the weekend, the importance of the diverse entertainment became even more important. With such a range of activities to get involved in this year, fans were guaranteed never to have a dull moment. Festival goers could check out Cirque De La Quirk, The Hard Rock Stage, The Kids Zone, a fun fair and many extravagant bars that had music on until the early hours of the morning.
Staying at Tamara’s on a Saturday night
Shortly before the festival started, George Ezra had some bad news for fans. The singer-songwriter had been on one of his “annual runs” that led to him sat on a stool and probably downing a couple of ibuprofens as well. Yet ever the showman and clearly not one to give up, Ezra regaled audiences with tales of his songs and delivered a truly engaging headline set.
Norman Cook, otherwise known as Fatboy Slim, then had all ages grooving into the night, at the main stage with a set straight from another planet. Paying tribute to his heroes with his visuals and working his crowd-pleasing classics into a mix that would convert anyone into a full-time raver, Fatboy Slim bought a great balance to Isle of Wight and gave the crowd the chance to really throw some shapes.
As Saturday played host to Miles Kane, Friendly Fires, Anne Marie, Rick Astley, Roachford, KT Tunstall and more, the real heroes were the families that were ready for everything. From relaxing to Ezra to raving with Fatboy Slim, the fans brought the atmosphere ten fold… and then some.
The golden rule? Go and see Biffy Clyro
As the sun rose on the Sunday, it dawned on everyone that it was the last night and it was time to go big or go home… Obviously no one chose the latter.
Biffy Clyro, Richard Ashcroft, Madness, Sigrid and Tom Walker smashed their sets on the main stage and effortlessly continued the great atmosphere around the festival.
There were plenty of talking points at the Isle on the Sunday such as Richard Ashcroft getting cups of tea delivered to him on stage, Madness amping up the ska, and Biffy Clyro dominating the sky with fire.
The crowd were left in awe during the spectacular fireworks closing Biffy’s set, accompany the superb Machines and Stingin’ Belle.
Over at the Big Top Ten – almost bursting at the seams – Keane rounded things off with a brilliant set.
Til’ next year folks
The festival was another roaring success, proven by the partied-out faces on the ferry home, revelling in the fresh sea air. Let’s do it all again next year.
Tickets for Isle of Wight Festival 2020, running from 11 – 14 June 2020, are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.