Wednesday, 18 June 2008

ITV Local rock at the Isle of Wight

I have to admit I was slightly dubious about venturing to my first festival this weekend. I’d heard the horror stories about mud, mad rockers and worst of all, chemical toilets! But I packed my wellies, my ITV Local brolly, and a camera and hopped aboard the FastCat ready to face whatever the weekend threw at me.

As soon as I stepped through the festival entrance I knew I’d been anxious for nothing. The buzz in Seaclose park was incredible. The place was heaving, but it was packed with some of the most friendly, happy, welcoming people I’ve come across. From the headliners to the campers, everyone was there to have a good time. And most of them were willing to tell us
about it!

We met the Zutons, the Sugababes, the Cribs, Newton Faulker and many more – you can see all the interviews in full on our IOW festival page. We also met lots of groups promoting awareness of good causes - for example the sunflower-sellers raising money for the Earl Mountbatten hospice in local Newport; and the Taste of Wight team who are aiming to cater for the festival purely from Isle of Wight produce next year.

Going to the festival as press was a unique experience, as we were never quite sure whether we were really working – it seemed like too much fun! One minute we were inches away from the bands chatting to them about their own festival experiences and what we could expect from their sets, and the next they were tiny dots on a huge stage with a crowd of 50,000 between us and them. And yet I was still craning to see them and screaming when I got a glimpse!

The best part for me was soaring up above the park in the festival eye and seeing the Kooks step on stage just as we reached the pinnacle. And the food – fast yes, foul no! Delicious portions of almost every cuisine you could imagine, all ready in moments (once you’d battled the queues). I even coped with the notorious loos!
So I’ve become a festival convert. I’ve decided you just can’t beat the festival vibe and the solidarity you feel when surrounded by swarms of other unwashed and uninhibited revellers. I’ve already booked up for Bestival, the Isle of Wight’s other big music event, and may well camp out on the South Downs for the Beachdown festival. I’ve got the wellies now so I might as well use them!

See all our festival best bits here.
And see all the big stage highlights and full interviews on the dedicated IOW festival page.

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