The thought of spending five days camping in muddy fields, holding off bowel movements and washing with nothing more than wet wipes seems like hell Add live music to the equation and this odd scenario turns from disgusting to exciting. Grimness aside, the festival season is the highlight of the year for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United Kingdom.
The Isle of Wight Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious festivals in the country, attracting 58,000 people each year. While this sounds like a lot, it’s actually significantly diminished in size since the first event in 1970, which had an estimated 600,000 people and a lineup featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who and a whole host of other legendary artists from the hippy era. It was so huge that it was even thought to be one of the largest human gatherings the world has ever seen!
What makes the Isle of Wight Festival so unique is the vast range of genres. At no other British festival will you see rock, britpop, dance and metal sharing the same stage. In 2016 Blur, Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys and The Prodigy will headline. Other artists include pop punk superstars You Me At Six, Swedish country duo First Aid Kit, and the legendary funksters Kool and the Gang. You can see the full line up here.
When attending the Isle of Wight Festival there’s no such thing as a healthy, balanced diet. You will inevitably live off meals consisting of random concoctions that never belong on the same plate; think biscuits coated in a half heated tin of beans, with a side of bread and chocolate. Since you’re paying over the odds for a ticket you’ll no doubt be scraping the barrel, but every now and then you’ll probably bite the bullet and pay six pounds for a sub-par portion of chips from one of the many street vendors.
As for drinks, beer is really the only option. When you’re surrounded by tens of thousands of festival-goers drinking to excess, merrily singing their favourite songs, YOU WILL get roped in, even if you’ve got a hangover. Buying on-site is expensive, so best pick up a crate or two on your way to the camp site.
Now, for the most important tip of all. Unless you enjoy the sound of constant banging – day and night – do not camp near the toilets! As for the smell… festival toilets are essentially giant open cannisters of urine and faeces – they make open sewers smell like a blossoming flower gardens. Fortunately, the Isle of Wight Festival has a boutique camping option. If you’re worried about finding a suitable space, you can pay extra for a luxury tipi, podpad or Snoozebox.
2016 Ticket Prices
The capacity may have dropped significantly, but the prices have certainly gone in the other direction. Weekend passes are £195 for a full adult ticket; however, concessions are available for students and teens. The Snoozebox costs £800 and includes two standard festival tickets, a private car park and Wi-Fi.