Isle Of Wight Festival

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Page was last changed Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 16:10:04

The Isle Of Wight Festival is an outdoor music festival that takes place annually on the Isle of Wight in England.

In it's initial three year run Isle Of Wight already secured its place in Festival heritage, especially in 1969 when the event saw Bob Dylan's first performance after a serious motor cycle accident that happened two years prior. Opening 11 days after Woodstock ended, estimates of 150,000 fled over to the little island to view their musical hero.

Ever since it's revival the event has managed to put together many successful lineups that have included The Rolling Stone, Florence & The Machine, Jay-Z and many more prestigious acts.

Following the extreme flooding of last year's event, Over £250,000 have been spent on improvements to the site. This involves two car parks instead of one, temporary tracking and multiple entrances.


  • Friday: Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris
  • Saturday: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Sunday: Kings of Leon

Other acts include Katy B, Boy George, Fall Out Boy, The Specials and many more.


Because of it's profound history in the UK festival circuit, many have dubbed the Isle Of Wight festival as a "heritage" event.

The Guardian described the festival as "the everydog of musical eras", the kind of festival that eases us in with some gentle nostalgia”.

One tradition that has continued since its launch with the 2002 revival was the local talent stage, where bands and local students have the right to compete for a headlining slot.

Stages and other entertainment

There are three stages at IOW, apart from the main stage, there is the Big Top stage and the Garden Stage.


Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster UK for the following prices:

  • Adult weekend with camping: £185
  • NUS weekend: £175
  • Child (7-12 years) £92.50
  • Children under 6 can go free but must book to receive a wristband.

There is also a deposit scheme:

  • 1st Instalment £61.50 to be paid within eligibility period.
  • Non campers will need to pay £60 by 30th Jan 2013, final payment of £60 on 30th March
  • Weekend campers the same due dates apply but with the installments costing £60 then £75


When Nature Calls

There is a special VIP toilet area called "When Nature Calls" and after booking a wristband for the weekend this is what you have to look forward to:

"When Nature Calls will be back at the Festival and this year our loos will be under cover in the form of a stretch tent. This exciting new addition for 2013 will ensure our customers are protected whatever the weather! There will also be a lounge area with seating and an opportunity to purchase light refreshments while you wait.

For those who are new to WNC, our cabins feature self-contained cubicles each with a wall hung WC, hand wash basin with hot and cold water, mirror, hand soap dispensers, luxury toilet tissue and paper hand towels. Our uniformed staff will check each toilet after every use to ensure it's fully stocked and clean for your use."

A weekend wristband for adults cost £30, and for an adult costs £20, they can be booked here


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Disability Access

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The Isle of Wight Festival is held at Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Local Information

The local town of Newport is roughly 15-30 min walk depending on what part of the festival you leave from, or alternatively you can catch a shuttle bus.


Regardless of whether you are travelling by plane, train or car, you will need to take a ferry at some point to get to the island.

For those arriving by plane, Gatwick or Heathrow are the closer aiports then from there you will need to get a train to a ferry service.

For all those travelling by train, you will need to travel to Portsmouth Harbour or Southampton Central and from there you can catch a ferry over the island.

For those travelling by car, you will need to book a ferry position with Wightlink or Red Funnel, then travel to the directed port once booking has confirmed.

All ferry ports in Isle Of Wight have signposts directing you to the festival, and all have shuttle buses if you are travelling by foot.

Here are some details you need to bare in mind when travelling with the following ferry companies:


  • Sails every half hour during peak times.
  • Services run from Portmouth Harbour and Lymington.
  • Services arrive at Ryde Pier, Yarmouth and Fishbourne.


  • 24 hour passenger/vehicle ferries operating between Southhampton and East Cowes.
  • Foot passenger services run every 30 minutes throughout the day.
  • Customers travelling with a vehicle are requested to arrive at least 30 mins and not more then 60 minutes prior to their booked sailing time.


  • Foot passenger service that takes 10 minutes to get from Southsea seafront to Ryde seafront.

We also recommend checking out for liftshares if you are driving, and also looking up the Big Festival Bike Ride, where people meet and cycle to the festival together.

If you would like to travel by car, why not save some money with Blabla Car - the ultimate car sharing website for UK and Europe!


There are plenty of local B&B's and Hotels to stay at and below we have included the following examples.

All are in Newport, which is close to the festival site:

(The following prices are based 2 adults sharing a double room, and the amount mentioned is an estimated total cost for arriving on the Thursday before the festival, up the Monday following the festival's close.)


  • 4 Star
  • £160 for 4 nights, £195.64 if you want Breakfast.
  • Resturant, Pool, Sauna, Steam Room, Internet and a garden view.


  • £217 for 4 nights, £280.92 if you want breakfast
  • On site Beefeater, Free Parking, All-you-can-eat breakfast


  • £220 for 4 nights.
  • Free wi-fi, continental breakfast and on-site parking.

What to wear

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While on the day camping is allocated first come first serve, you have the oppurtunity to book spaces in Family, Student or Respect camping.

Campervans are allowed, but there is a no caravan policy, however an awning that fits within a 7m x 7m plot is allowed. Campervan tickets must be purchased in advanced, and all those arriving with Campervans must be reminded that there are no water or electricity hookups.

The camping area includes - The grocery store, pharmacy, welfare/lost property, showers, toilets, The Carling Local and funfair rides.

Cooking in the campsites is permitted on camoing gas stoves and disposable BBQ's only, cooking on gas where installed in a campervan is allowed as long as it's within your area.

Site Information

Opening and Closing Times : The campsite opens on the Thursday at noon, and will remain open until noon on the following Monday.

The following opening and closing times are for the main arena.

Friday: 2pm-2am Saturday: 11am-2am Sunday: 11am-1am

In regards to the Strawberry Fields, they open for campers only on the Thursday from 6pm - 11pm. They shut at 2am on the Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday they close at 1am.

Cash machines : Many ATM's can be found behind the concessions.

Buses after the festival : Running throughout the night, buses taking attendees from the site to the ferry ports, will run from the end of the festival on the Sunday, until midday on the Monday.

Food and drink

Personal food and drink is not allowed into the main arena, with the exception of 500ml unopened plastic bottles. Further exceptions can be made for those with diabetics and special dietary needs, however it's best to contact the festival if you are within this category.

Perform at the festival

As seen on the official website:

"The Isle of Wight Festival's national talent search 2013 competition is giving unsigned artists from the UK and Ireland the chance to compete for one of six slots to perform at this year's Isle of Wight Festival - the stages being made available are on the Main Stage, The Big Top, The Cabaret Club, The Beach, The Hipshaker Lounge and the Bandstand. There will be six winners overall."

You can enter your band here

Volunteer or work

Click here for more information.

Drugs and security

As well as being searched at the port into the island of Isle Of Wight, there are also dogs and plain clothed policemen present, however forum discussion suggests a higher profile of police near arena entrances as opposed to campsite entrances.

Stream online

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The festival originally ran from 1968 to 1970 and often pulled in crowd numbers that exceeded the vast numbers that attended the ever famous Woodstock. After it's initial 3 year run, it was revived over 30 years later and contines to create line-ups and performances that will go down in music festival history.

The Original Years

Eleven days after the close of Woodstock, Isle Of Wight Festival opened on Friday 29th August 1969,

1969 included a performance from Bob Dylan, this was met with surprise and celebration, as three years previous Dylan suffered a sever motor cycle accident, one so bad that many feared he would never perform again.

Fans from all over the world flocked to the little Isle Of Wight, to watch what was described as "the second coming of Bob Dylan".

1970 was the year that Oscar worthy Murray Lerner made a documentary about the festival titled A Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Rock Festival.

Special headliners include The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Melanie, Leonard Cohen and Jethro Tull.

This last festival of that era also saw the last major performance of Jimi Hendrix, who after a troubling yet still triumphant performance, died three weeks later.

With 600,000 people estimated to have attended, the Parliament later passed the "Isle Of Wight Act" preventing gathering of more then 5,000 people on the island without a special license.

The Revival Years

The festival was laid to rest after the passing of the act in 1971, the event was revived in 2002.

Over the revival years notable artist appearances include The Rolling Stones, Muse, David Bowie, Manic Street Preachers, R.E.M, Coldplay, Robert Plant and The Police.

The festival has also gone on to win various awards including:

  • 'Best Major Festival' at the UK Festival Awards 2007
  • 'Outstanding Contribution' to UK Festivals at the same award ceremony for I.O.W boss John Giddings

Past lineups


  • Friday: The Stone Roses
  • Saturday: The Killers
  • Sunday: Bon Jovi Others include Blondie, Bloc Party. Paul Weller, Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith and many many more.

Isle Of Wight 2012: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam and Bruce Spingsteen & The E Street Band. To view the full line-up, click here.

2011 line-up featured Kings Of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, The Courteeners, Band of Horses, We Are Scientists, Big Country, Foo Fighters, Pulp, Iggy and the Stooges, Seasick Steve, Mike & The Mechanics, Hurts, Stornoway, Kasabian, Beady Eye, The Script, Plan B, Pixie Lott and Two Door Cinema Club.

For details on past line-up highlights, click here.