Isle of Wight festival advice: go to the glass museum instead

Jun 22, 2012

Hundreds of music fans stranded in cars overnight as festival site turns to mudbath following heavy rain

IT WAS less Pearl Jam and more traffic jam for music fans heading to the Isle of Wight festival last night. Hundreds of people were forced to sleep in their cars after heavy rains turned the festival site into a mudbath.

Waterlogged car parks in Seaclose Park, Newport became inaccessible, causing queues which stretched back to the ports in Ryde and Cowes.

More than 50,000 people were expected to travel to the festival, which is being headlined by Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen. But ferry companies were forced to suspend their services, leaving 600 people stranded on boats last night – while others were given overnight shelter at Newport Football Club. Entertainment went ahead in the evening but the Big Top stage was temporarily evacuated due to heavy winds and rain.

Promoter John Giddings told BBC Radio Solent that the police had requested an emergency plan on how to get people out of the festival on Sunday. Organisers have been urging festival goers to leave their cars on the mainland and board ferries by foot.

The Guardian points out that festival-goers are unlikely to "fully enjoy" the artificial giant beach next to the festival site and advises music lovers to "pack a cagoule".

Meanwhile, Evan Davies on Radio 4's Today programme had a helpful suggestion for those stuck in the queues. During an interview with Fiona Gregory, a mother from Salehurst in East Sussex who was still stuck in queues with her teenage children this morning after leaving home yesterday at 1.30pm, Davies piped up: "There's a little glass museum over next to the Needles if I recollect. I'm sure there must be other things that you can do."

At which point John Humphrys stifles a guffaw and Gregory frets: "If I turn around, goodness knows how many hundreds and thousands of people are behind me. I could lose my place in the queue."

But Davies had further consolation for Gregory: "I'll tell you what though. It is going to be a really memorable occasion, and you and your kids will be talking about it in ten years time.

"Good luck. Bruce Springsteen is on Sunday so you have got a bit of time to get in and see him."

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