It was incredibly apt that Wet Wet Wet headlined the opening night at Isle of Wight Festival 2019, because all the talk on that first day was of moisture in the air, mud on the floor and tornadoes in the sky.
Spirits weren’t dampened, though, and 2019 became yet another stellar year for one of the UK’s most famous festivals, with a top-drawer line up, great entertainment and the fantastic, family-friendly atmosphere that it’s become so popular for.
After a damp Thursday, it was considerably warmer on Friday, just in time for a series of huge acts to hit the main stage. James put on a stormer of a show, mixing some of their new stuff – they released a new EP this year – with plenty of their crowd-pleasing, throwback tunes.
Lily Allen was her usual, superb, sassy self while Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds rounded off the evening in classic fashion, with plenty of their new hits and enough Oasis bangers to please the Wonderwall-lovers.
The good vibes weren’t just to be found on the main stage, though. Kashmir Cafe was abuzz with amazing performances – we particularly liked JEPH – and the rockaoke in the Old Mout Cider Kiwi Camp was, well, interesting to watch. Plus there were loads of fairground rides to fill in the spaces between performances.
After a special Friday, then, it was back to the tent for some much needed rest ahead of a jam-packed Saturday schedule.
When we say jam-packed, we don’t just mean listening to more fantastic artists, though. We also made a concerted effort to eat every type of cuisine possible at Isle of Wight Festival, and Saturday seemed like a prime opportunity to squeeze in maximum levels of tasty food consumption.
From a trusty British staple of fish and chips at lunch to feasting out on Jamaican patties (truly, truly scrumptious) for dinner, we found ourselves in a culinary wonderland. Which isn’t something you often say about a music festival.
As we morphed our schedule around eating, we managed to catch a number of great local acts on the Platform One Stage, which is set up and run by Platform One College of Music, based on the Island.
Bastille and George Ezra on the main stage both followed, each with brilliant, head-bopping sets (even if the last thing Ezra could do was bop, who appeared on stage with a poorly ankle and had to sit throughout). And then it was onto Fatboy Slim to close the night in the only way he knows how – with big beats, a dazzling light show and the volume on max.
And then Sunday, the last day, came calling – more food and more tours of the ‘smaller’ stages was in order. Mac and cheese burgers digested, we headed for a stint in Cirque de la Quirk, where we caught the magnificent Undercover Hippy, who teed up our final evening perfectly.
After that, it was onto Big Top, with both The Coral and Dermot Kennedy putting on rousing performances, before we went to see off the weekend with Biffy Clyro on the main stage. We all know what to expect with them and they never let you down.
As they passionately belted out Stingin’ Belle, fireworks flew into the sky and flamethrowers threw fire into the air. It was a fitting ending, really, to a fantastic festival.
But now it was time to head off. Back to the tent, back to the ferry and back to normality. All the talk of rain was long forgotten and only memories of yet another eclectic, fun (and food)-filled weekend on the Isle of Wight remained.
Here’s to more of the same in 2020.
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