The Isle of Wight Festival – One Of The Most Historical And Iconic Music Festivals In The World!

The Isle of Wight Festival was originally held in 1968 at Ford Farm, near Godshill. In 1969, it was held and Wootton and in 1970 at Afton Down, near Freshwater.

The 1970 event drew so many people, many of whom were not ticket holders, that Parliament passed the “Isle of Wight Act” in 1971, preventing gatherings bigger than 5000 people on the island, without special licensing.

Because of the act and because of concerns among local authorities and event organisers, there was no festival for many years. But in 2002, Nokia sponsored a revival of the outdoor concert.

The organisers were, of course, better prepared for the crowds. In 1970, no one really expected the huge influx of people to an area of that size. So, the 2002 event was a hit and has been held annually ever since.

The location is now adjacent to Seaclose Park on the outskirts of Newport in the fields of the eastern Medina valley. Before the revival of the Isle of Wight Festival, Seaclose Park was a popular destination for skaters, tennis players and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Since the revival, investors have worked to maintain its condition for the annual event. The Isle of Wight Festival is now one of the best maintained community parks in the UK, according to some sources.

Although the dates for the concert vary, it is typically held the first or second weekend in June and lasts for three days and nights; Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available year round at the official website and through the usual outlets.

There are special rates for children. Campervans are allowed with special permits, but all occupants must have their own ticket. Although camping is the “traditional” way to enjoy the concert, other accommodations are available in Newport and the surrounding area.

The event was booked as the “Nokia Isle of Wight Festival” in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Starting in 2007, the event has been organised by the Solo Music Agency. The word “Nokia” was dropped from the title, when the company stopped sponsoring the event.

Highlights of past Isle of Wight festivals have included performances by Neil Young, The Police, The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, the Foo Fighters, Prodigy, REM, David Bowie, The Who, Counting Crows, Bryan Adams and Robert Plant.

Attendance ranged from 50-60,000 annually during the years 2005-2008. That’s more than 10 times the original maximum set down by parliament in 1971, but far less than the estimated number in attendance during the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. Roughly 600,000 showed up to hear Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, the Doors and the Who, as well as a dozen other performers.


The Isle Of Wight Festival Tips

Planning on attending the rock festival at the Isle of Wight this weekend? Before you go, make sure that you have prepared properly.


Travel Light

An event like the Isle of Wight Festival is all about the experience. Don’t drag yourself down with unnecessary things like expensive electronics or bulky supplies. Instead, plan to pack some sunscreen and Aloe Vera. You won’t want to bring much more than you can carry easily to the festival with you. Otherwise you will find yourself wasting time and energy on where and how to store these things and keep them safe. Focus on necessities like food and shelter and leave the extras behind.


Dress Appropriately

A festival like this one may seem like it offers the perfect opportunity to wear all of your most frivolously fun clothing and accessories. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider where you will be and what you will be doing and plan your wardrobe accordingly. Begin by choosing closed toed shoes that will protect your feet in the crowded arena after dark. Pack extra socks so that you can change them at will. Consider wearing clothing that will survive the camping aspect of the Isle of Wight Festival with a minimum of wear and tear. Most importantly, leave your jewelry at home with your other valuables. Don’t bring anything to the Isle of Wight Festival that you cannot afford to lose or damage.


Take Care of Yourself

The key to having a good time at the Isle of Wight Festival is to be open to the experience while taking steps to take care of yourself. This means planning ahead and making smart decisions while you are out enjoying yourself this weekend:

  • Be sure to bring the supplies you need to eat well and stay hydrated during the festival. There will be water available to attendees so take advantage of it.
  • Get to know other Isle of Wight Festival-goers and travel with a group when you can.
  • Make sure you have adequate plans for travel and shelter.
  • Don’t make yourself or your belongings a target. Carry a limited amount of money and an id. Leave the rest of your wallet at home.
  • Pack earplugs. You’ll be able to hear just fine while protecting yourself from the aftereffects of concert noise levels.


So what do you need to take to make sure you have a great Isle of Wight Festival?

The first thing on most people’s minds would be the tent. You can pick up a good tent at many stores nowadays, and you shouldn’t need to spend to spend more than £100 to get a good quality three to four man tent. A good rule with tents is, if there are two of you to get a three man tent. This will give you the additional storage, and room to get changed and washed inside should the weather become adverse.

You will then need a roll mat or inflatable mattress to keep you off the floor when sleeping. Again there are very cost effective products currently available, even some self-inflating versions for less than £20. Many people also like to take a folding chair, these are now very light weight and can be carried easily over your shoulder until you reach your desired spot in front of the stage and also come in very handy when eating and hanging out at your tent before and after the music.

The last thing you will need to sleep is a sleeping bag. Like duvets, sleeping bags come in various thicknesses, however being summer you shouldn’t need too thick a sleeping bag. The heavier the sleeping bag the heavier they become, remembering you will have to carry this kit to and from the site.


So You Have Your Accommodation So What’s Next?

Hygiene is always an issue when camping. You want your creature comforts, but don’t want to weigh yourself down too much with overzealous packing. A great idea is to get a few of the screw cap 100ml travel bottles. That way you can take your favourite shampoos and conditioners but not have to carry too much weight and take up too much room in your rucksacks.

Another great space saving but efficient bit of kit is the microfiber towel. They weigh very little, cost very little and dry really quickly, so instead of packing a huge heavy beach towel, take a microfiber cloth.

Make sure you also pack the baby wipes. They are great when you get back to your tent late after the main stage closes and you don’t want to try and find the washing facilities in the dark.

It is always a good idea to take a travel first aid kit when heading off to the festivals. With the potential of mud and dirt getting in to the little cuts and scrapes, and wellington boots causing blisters, a set of plasters and a tube of antiseptic cream is a must. Paracetamol can also be handy if you had a little too much festival cheer the night before, for a simple headache can make a festival very hard work. Although rest assured that the Isle of Wight Festival staff can point you in the direction of great first aid facilities, should you need help of any kind throughout the festival. As can the ferry staff on board the Wightlink fleet during the journey to and from the island.

The last of the hygiene essentials is to take an empty plastic water bottle. You can always fill up with clean fresh drinking water once you are on site, so you don’t have to carry the weight of a full bottle but having a container is essential for drinking and brushing teeth, etc.

The next area of the Isle of Wight Festival consideration to look at is the food. All festivals have a great selection of take away food available on site. However sometimes you just want to eat at your tent and not want to have to drag yourself in to the stalls to get something. So here are some great tips to consider when packing food for the weekend.

Tins are a good start. They can generally be eaten hot or cold, and are quick to prepare. Soups and beans are better than things like hotdog sausages, as the brine constitutes the majority of the weight in a hotdog tin.

Fruit is also an easy option, both fresh and dried. It weighs very little, tastes great and can provide the energy to help you make it through a few hours of dancing to your favourite bands. Oh yes, and it’s good for you.

Raw meat and prepared skewers for the BBQ are a very popular option at the modern festival, although be aware you cannot BBQ at your tent at the Isle of Wight Festival, you will need to take your equipment and food to the designated cooking areas. If you are choosing the BBQ option, then corn on the cob wrapped in foil tastes great and is easy to cook. Prepare them at home, covering them in butter then wrap them in foil and cling film for the journey. Simply remove the cling film and cook on a BBQ for approximately ten minutes and you are ready. Remember to eat the meats in the first couple of days, as meat can spoil quickly and cause upset stomachs (or worse) if not stored correctly.

Sweets, chocolate, crisps, nuts and energy bars can be welcome snacks when rushing between stages to your favourite bands. They are again easily stored and can be left in a jacket pocket until wanted.

A few final ideas worth thinking about when considering food at the Isle of Wight Festival are, to take a loaf of sliced bread, it can add substance to a tin of soup and helps to mop up the plate. It’s a good idea to take along a small pot with salt and pepper, as some tinned foods can be somewhat bland. Cooking oil is useful if you plan on doing any frying. Sauce sachets are really handy, if you have any left over from your last trip to a fast food outlet, it saves you from bringing space consuming bottles of Tomato and BBQ sauce.

Now that you have food and you have accommodation, you need to make sure you take care of your valuables during the weekend. The last thing you need is to have your wallet/purse or cards stolen.

A few tips to consider when in and around the Isle of Wight Festival site. Firstly do not put a padlock on your tent, it will signify to the thieves that there is something in the tent worth getting in to steal. Leave your tent in a bit of a mess, don’t give the thieves an easy time locating things of worth. And split up your cash, don’t keep it all the same place. Ideally you will have your main collection of cash, cards, phones and keys in a security locker available at the festival site, but keep the valuables you do carry with you in a zipped or buttoned pocket, this will save you from dropping them when dancing or jumping to the music. Finally stay in groups, try not to walk through the site in the dark on your own.

Although safety is paramount to everyone at the Isle of Wight Festival it’s not worth the risk.

If you stick to the above advice and remember to take the right clothing (Wellingtons are a must), you will be set for a safe and enjoyable Isle of Wight Festival.


Overall, the Isle of Wight Festival offers an incredible experience that you don’t want to miss out on. Create some special memories by attending the Isle of Wight Festival this year. You may become a part of history in the making.

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