After loading up the car, we were ready to go. It seemed like ages since we’d done a music festival, and we worried slightly whether we were too old for it, hence deciding to go with a self catering holiday cottage rather than slum it in a tent, but we were looking forward to the Isle of Wight Festival nevertheless. One of the great things about the Isle of Wight is its size, which meant that it was no problem to drive from our self catering Isle of Wight holiday cottage in Bonchurch to and from the festival site in Newport every day. We could even have used public transport if we’d wanted, but like I said, we felt we were getting a little old for partying all night.
Despite the festival not starting until the Friday, we decided to go down on the Wednesday with a view to getting acquainted with the surroundings, perhaps enjoying some of the sights, and getting some supplies in before the festival began properly. Once off the ferry at Cowes the real fun began, and rather than stocking up for the festival we spent most of the first night making the most of the indoor swimming pool at the lodge.
First up on the Friday were We Are Scientists, who we enjoyed before having a wander round to take in some of the festival atmosphere. As well as the newer bands, there were some oldies that even I remembered! The night ended with rousing sets from Kaiser Chiefs and Kings of Leon, and we couldn’t wait to come back the following day.
Saturday began with Big Country, one of my favourite bands from the 80s, and one I never thought I’d ever actually get to see. Not quite one to tell the grandkids, but their set was most enjoyable anyhow. Seasick Steve was an act I hugely enjoyed that day; I must confess that I’d never heard of him beforehand but he was hugely entertaining. The real highlight of that day though was the headline set from the Foo Fighters.
The weather forecast for the Sunday was terrible, and whilst we felt sorry for the thousands of people getting soaked in the campsite, our decision to go with self catering felt fully vindicated. The rain was so bad that we actually left the festival early to get back to our lodge and enjoy a well-deserved glass of wine and a warm bed before packing up to go home the following day.
All in all, it was a terrific experience, and we were especially glad that we chose self catering on the Isle of Wight for the added comfort it afforded us. I’m already considering doing the same next year, and I hear that there’s another festival later in the summer called Bestival, although I might give that one a miss. Despite having a great time, I think once a year is probably enough for me!
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