Celebrating 50 years since its creation, Isle of Wight Festival 2018 had every right to go big. And that they did.
A sell-out crowd enjoyed four days of glorious sunshine, complemented by an array of superbly talented acts, from the local artists gracing the Platform One stage right through to the big hitters.
But it wasn’t just about the music. As always, there was something for everyone here – from mechanical rodeo bulls to market stalls right through to football. The BT Sport Field of Dreams, showing all World Cup 2018 games, proved a big hit with England supporters who crammed in to watch a 6-1 win over Panama.
The golden theme – a nod to the festival’s 50th anniversary – was well received, with Saturday’s crowd awash with fancy dress. Best dressed got the pleasure of a backstage pass, where they would surely have seen the likes of Peter Crouch and Colin Firth mixing it with musical stars.
Oh, and the food. You can’t forget the food.
Isle of Wight Festival has got a name for itself as a hotbed of tasty treats and things were no different this year.
The Island’s own Garlic Farm provided perhaps the yummiest options, with their garlic chilli beef a particular highlight. Whether you were after a British staple – the fish and chips went down well – or fancied something a bit more continental – Greek Gyros anyone? – all tastes were well catered for.
The family vibe was as prevalent as ever, too, with a packed events list in the KidZone arena and ear defenders aplenty to keep those sensitive ear drums safe.
The music was the main event though, undoubtedly. The Wombats kicked things off on Thursday night in a packed Big Top, mixing some of their classic noughties songs with tunes from their new album. They went down a treat and teed up the weekend ahead perfectly.
Friday night promised big things and duly delivered. Feeder performed a flawless set, again in Big Top, and it’s fair to say their hit song, Buck Rogers, went down pretty well.
The Script were also fantastic, with lead singer and former The Voice coach Danny O’Donoghue taking the opportunity to jump into the crowd and get up close and personal with his fans. A superb Chase and Status DJ set rounded off the night, running into the early hours.
If Friday was all about the Big Top, then Saturday was one for the main stage. Liam Gallagher, who walked out with a typical strut, played a series of timeless songs, including Wonderwall, before handing over to Depeche Mode to continue the throwback theme.
In classic festival way, some of the best was saved until the very end. The final day was rounded off with an hour and a half set from The Killers, and boy did they see the IOW Festival off in style.
It’s no surprise that they ended on Mr Brightside but, when you’ve got a song so universally popular up your sleeve, you’d be foolish not to.
As you turned to leave, alongside 50,000 other delighted festival-goers, fireworks flew up into the 11 o’clock sky. It was a fitting end, going out with a bang like that, to what was a raucous, lively and ultimately, fantastic weekend.
Here’s to another 50 years.
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