June 21st – 23rd June – The Isle of Wight Festival   Leave a comment

Cars had to be towed in and out the car park by tractor

With TV reports of seven mile traffic jams, flooded car parks and festival goers being stuck in their car overnight I was wondering if buying a ticket for the IOW festival had been a good idea. As Janis was at work on Friday we didn’t leave until Friday afternoon and made the ferry with seconds to spare. Once there we had no problem in getting to the site, just in finding somewhere to park. Eventually we found that all car parks were impassable and new traffic was being sent to a Country Park some five miles away and bussed back to the festival. That done, we then had to find somewhere to camp and as we had lots of food and drink with us, we had loads of gear to manhandle through five muddy fields before we could erect the tent in a gale!

On Saturday we watched bands like Big Country and Madness, and sat through Jessie J and Labyrinth for the sake of the girls. Janis retired to the tent in the evening and I watched Professor Green and Pearl Jam whilst the girls toured the funfair and went to a ‘silent disco’. I returned at midnight but the girls ignored the curfew and stayed out until nearly 2am, because they had to shelter from the heavy rain in the disco!

Sunday morning we awoke to a scene of destruction. The centre section of the tent was flooded, lakes had appeared in the camp site and some tents had blown down and been abandoned. We packed up, took the gear back to the car then returned for a great music session that included teenage heart-throb Matt Cardle, Suzanne Vega, Spector, Noel Gallagher and of course Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. ‘The Boss’ and the E Street Band were absolutely superb, the best live act in the world, a three-hour session with no breaks, full of energy and great music. They concluded with old favourites like ‘Born In the USA’ and ’10th Avenue Freezeout’ (with an extended and emotional pause in honour of recently deceased saxophonist Clarence Clemens) and then came back on stage for an encore performing ‘Twist and Shout’ to a backdrop of fireworks.

Leaving was not as bad as I had expected. We were so lucky to be parked in a mud free destination off-site. We caught the 0100 ferry and were home by 0300 after a fantastic weekend.

Mud, mud, glorious mud.

55,000 music fans, 110,000 welly boots!

Many tents were submerged in the flood and some had to be abandoned.

…. and of course I was camping with hyperactive and volatile teenagers (and their Mum). Kara, Janis and Amber with face paint and silly hat.

Surrounding the three stages were fairground, stalls , multiple stalls selling everything from trinkets to wellies, catering outlets and even a recovery room for those stoned out of their minds.

The girls went on some scary rides.

Our Saturday music session started with Scottish rockers Big Country.

With all the money she must be making on ‘The Voice’ you would think that Jessie J could afford a new pair of jeans.

Matt Cardle, another must see act for Amber and Kara

Suzanne Vega sang old favourites like ‘Marlene on the Wall’, ‘Luca’ and ‘Tom’s Diner’ along with several new ones

The area in front of the Main Stage is dominated by the Big Wheel.

Whilst Noel Gallagher and his ‘High Flying Birds’ were on stage …….

…. we were high-flying on the Big Wheel and getting great views of the Main Stage on one side ……

…. and the fairground and Big Top stage to the other. The flooded campsites and car parks are out of shot to the top right.

‘The Boss’ with the E Street Band: maybe not the best band in the world, maybe not the best musicians in the world, but definitely the best live act in the world.

The finale: ‘Twist and Shout’ with fireworks.

It had been a tough, muddy and wet weekend, not very comfortable but a great experience and was enjoyed by all.

Posted June 26, 2012 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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