This year’s sun-drenched Isle of Wight Festival marked the 50th anniversary since the event first took place on the island, with 50,000 enthusiastic festival-goers getting into the party spirit over the four days by donning gold clothing and accessories in celebration of the Golden Jubilee.
The sold-out weekend saw nearly 300 artists and bands perform across eight stages, including incredible Main Stage headline performances from Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, Depeche Mode and The Killers and stand out performances in the Big Top from the likes of The Wombats, Feeder, Sigrid, Travis and The Hacienda Classical. Huge crowds gathered in the BT Sport Field of Dreams to celebrate England’s World Cup victory against Panama on Sunday afternoon, and the weekend also saw 130 festival goers, plus Sky Arts’ Vick Hope and Absolute Radio’s Pete Donaldson, take part in charity bungee jumps in aid of the festival’s charity partner Save the Children.
Opening the festival, with a lively main stage performance were Doncaster’s finest Bang Bang Romeo with their cinematic bluesy ballads and a first performance of new single ‘Shame On You.’ Rising Star and BBC sound of poll nominee Tom Grennan took to the Big Top giving fans a taste of his debut album ‘Lighting Matches’, which proved to be one of our favourite acts of the weekend.
Bang Bang Romeo
Musical icons Nile Rodgers & Chic also took to the main stage giving a glistening set that quickly became a conveyor belt of hits. The perfect way to start the weekend, headliners Kasabian brought their stadium-filling spirit to the Newport site that was a full throttle hedonistic joyride. We danced and sang along to all their biggest hits amongst one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen at Isle of Wight Festival, with a pint of Strongbow Dark Fruits in hand of course.
Kasabian brought their stadium-filling spirit to the Newport site that was a full throttle hedonistic joyride.
On Saturday the festival enjoyed another day bathed in glorious sunshine. Celebrity guests on the day included Colin Firth, who came to watch his son Luca perform, and Peter Crouch, who was spotted kicking a football around ahead of the World Cup match.
While the sun was shining, so was the crowd as we all adorned ourselves in our finest golden clothing. Sparkling divas, shining stars and victorious gladiators come together for this year’s 50th anniversary, and it really was a day of fun and celebration.
As an indie-girl at heart, my favourite performances of the Saturday included Blossoms, Kodaline, and James Bay. Having first seen all of those bands at Isle of Wight Festival over the years, I knew I was in for a treat to watch them again and none of them disappointed. We were treated to a couple of songs from James Bay’s new album, as well as a short rendition of ‘Last Christmas’ by Blossoms’ front man.
As an indie-girl at heart, my favourite performances of the Saturday included Blossoms, Kodaline, and James Bay.
The man of the hour on the Saturday was of course the former face of 90s sensation, Oasis, Liam Gallagher. With a set that included a lot of shouting and swearing, all the hits of his first solo album as well as crowd-pleasing Oasis bangers, it was everything you’d expect a Liam Gallagher headline act to be. We sang our hearts out to ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Live Forever’ like there was no tomorrow.
After two days of hot sunshine, we nursed our hangovers on the Sunday morning with some breakfast at the campsite. After a few cold cans of Strongbow and Red Stripe that we pre-ordered fresh from the fridge, we eventually picked ourselves up and headed back to the main arena. All the while there was a sea of white and red in the BT Field as many festivalgoers made their way to the big screen to watch England thrash Panama in the World Cup.
…there was a sea of white and red in the BT Field as many festivalgoers made their way to the big screen to watch England thrash Panama in the World Cup.
Pop sensation Camila Cabello was our first port of call. Her international smash hit “Havana” logged five weeks at UK #1, becoming the longest-running female number one single since Adele’s “Someone Like You”. We knew her set would be worth a watch and she pulled out all the stops to get the crowd going. Straight after that we saw Van Morrison and Manic Street Preachers before the final headline act of the weekend, The Killers. With frontman Brandon donning a dazzling bright pink blazer, he soon had the crowd on its feet singing along to all the best tunes including ‘Mr Brightside’, ‘ Somebody Told Me’, ‘When We Were Young’ and ‘The Man’. It was the perfect way to finish off the 50th anniversary festival.
Manic Street Preachers
All the music aside, the Isle of Wight Festival is about so much more than the music. Once you’re through the festival gates, there’s something different around every corner. This year we spent many an afternoon in the Strongbow Yard, sipping ice cold pints of cider whilst basking in the hot sun, listening to a DJ set and watching the world go by. After experiencing all the food, drink and music we could squeeze in, we ended our nights at the Old Mout cider tent, dancing to all our favourite old 90s songs.
Once you’re through the festival gates, there’s something different around every corner.
Following one of the festival’s most successful weekends to date, The Isle of Wight Festival has announced today that next year’s event will take place 13-16 June 2019. Early bird tickets for the 2019 festival are already on sale from www.isleofwightfestival.com. Get them while they’re cheap!
Photography by Callum Baker, Dylan Roberts, Jennifer McCord, David Rutherford and Sarah Louise Bennett