Sunday and home from Isle of Wight Festival

Going to keep this a bit shorter than intended as WordPress just deleted the entire post once and it’s been a rather long day, starting yesterday…

Yesterday was spent running between fields to catch as much of everything as I could. Band of Skulls, I was told was a ‘must see’. They were fantastic, but I know so little about them I opted against reviewing. Attempting to trek to my tent, a certain beat escaped the Big Top tent and like bacon sarnies in the morning I was drawn in, circling and hoping that The Virgin Marys would be lousey I found myself at the front of the crowd clapping, dancing and grinning ear to ear. I felt like Anthony Wilson discovering the Sex Pistols in 24 hour party people. Only I’m not a producer, wealthy or willing to sign a contract in blood. Again, I wished I could get a review in as these guys are going to storm the scene however due to lack of knowledge there was barely the time if I was to catch the Vaccines.

Darting straight back to the vaccines, not remotely concerned that my wellies were blistering up my feet with running around I was in for a big surprise. Boardmasters last year was good, but for me not brilliant. This year they delivered.

The Vaccines

The Gallaghers don’t really do it for me so I skipped that to get on with writing whilst I could be rigged up to the mains. Backstage was a famous presenter who I still can’t find on Google filming and doing photo-shoots. By the sounds of it Matt Cardle also took bit of a shot at one of the production team (in a good way) but knowing neither I don’t have the details or follow up story! Sky’s money seemed to be invested in a hot air balloon that I didn’t get to see take off but have pics for you later and also a giant Peacock. ?!

I met Laura Williams also working for VF this year although her main job is with 24/7 South West covering fests, she had the unenviable challenge of digging out backstage gossip and news worthy stories. I on the other hand was free to go watch Bruce Springsteen – Wow wow wow, didn’t quite expect to enjoy it so much!

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band

I did get a cheeky scoot over to Ash and not seeing their whole set was by far the biggest disappointment of the weekend. Still, having the fireworks go off on one of the very rare occasions I was in the VIP pen was incredible, not sure what could have beat that. I was also made up that I had been so certain something big was going to happen, I’d even saved the thought in text notes to myself! I’m sure people thought I was crazy texting throughout the show but there was so much to get down.

The darkness was my pressure-free rock out at the end and I am genuinely really excited about the release of their new album. They filled the whole of the middle field both inside and out the tent. Slip-sliding home I was really grateful to The Virgin Marys for being so damn good, I would never have made it to my tent and back on time to enjoy the show.

Choosing to kip for a few hours I set my alarm for 3.30. Listening to a couple of blokes argue right above my head and later a tractor driving by I was still awake when the alarm sounded. The photographer also wanted to sleep another hour and so 4.30 was time to face the music.

Packing up was comical and I was pretty much alone, other than the three security guards watching me with some amusement. One eventually suggested I sack off the tent but being Scorpio, that wasn’t going to happen. I resolved to ram the entire thing into my main bag, filling it with mud in the process. I would never have made it out of the campsite on my own, after a struggle through the first hundred meters I was relieved to be offered help by the photographer who, concerned by my absence, had come to find me.

Quick plug for the photographer, Tim Cheeseman who has some wicked snaps that can’t go on VF for sizing issues blah blah… if you wanna see some of the best wait until he’s recovered and got onto the uploading, it will be worth it!

Within 15 minutes the two of us were at an empty bus station ready go go our separate (although geographically the same) ways. I was headed to Ryde to catch my ferry and en-route met a fantastic woman who had just had her first ever festival experience. Driven by her 16 yr old son who routinely heads to Reading she had been dubious but had a fantastic time. We differed in opinion regarding music, but she was very current in her tastes and will have a lot to talk about when she gets home!

Ok, so a few complications on the way home including using the wrong template for the final review. Personally I prefer it to the one that I ended up re-writing hours later so I will post it here next. I’m still running on coffee and have a house to unpack still as well as get ready for work bright and early tomorrow, so I’m gonna leave you with tent soup and protective clothing on ferry seats and get some camera snaps to you tomorrow.

Oh, and here’s the official review:
Official IOW overal review for VF




Isle of Wight Friday afternoon – Sat morning

Since leaving you inside my uncertain but upright tent yesterday afternoon things have been good.My new neighbours looked a little miffed that they’ve lost their garden to me but as compromise I didn’t put up the porch so I guess we’re quits. I had to get going immediately and that just about got me to the main stage in time to watch Feeder. I was luckier than most, the mud meant that the treck to the main arena was totally bottle-neceked and a reasonable 15 minute leaving time from camp just wouldn’t have cut it.

From Feeder onwards I yo-yo’d between the main stage and big top – there have been some really awesome acts and hopefully most of them make it onto Virtual Festivals. They are a little unimpressed at the brevity however I have covered 6 instead of 2 bands in the face of huge technical issues caused by the rain, not to mention the mission to the media hut and the fact it closes before the headliner has finished!

Tom Petty – freaking awesome, I will update with links to reviews as soon as possible. Burgers from the burger stand not so awesome, I timed it perfectly for the drop in temperature and had been rather looking forward to it but was served a cold, hour old at least slab of meat that couldn’t even melt the cheese slice sqidged on top.

Now for the mud – that’s all the UK seem too interested in so I’ll tell you about a guy I met on the way up to camp. He’d lost his wellie in the mud – probably not the only one to do so. He then put his foot in the mud and proceeded to try and put it back into his wellie… this failed terribly and he could now not walk in his boot at all and was forced to walk with one bare foot… somewhere along the line he has also taken a spectacular fall and resulted as a mud cake. Each step he took in the mud made him scream and curse and turning a corner onto “Purple 3” or “home”, for all intents and purposes again brought him to the ground. This is when I tried to help and, turning assistance down told me what he had done. Bravely he laughed it off and we went our separate ways. It wasn’t until this morning, making my way back to the main road (Just for a sense of normality) I saw the bricks, broken clay piping and ominous spikage that must have been causing the pain. Not good, definitely not good.

I found sanctuary in Pizza Hut this morning and they didn’t bat an eyelid at my filthy boots, nor anyone elses who had the same idea. Instead they set me up at a table and checked regularly that I had everything I wanted, I possibly looked in need of charity…

Anyway, I’ve just dived in from Madness to hit send on this and Jessie J is up next – wouldn’t miss her for the world so I’ll leave you with this awful picture of me trying to get presentable before vacating the tent this morning….


Tom Petty
Lana Del Rey
Caro Emerald
Noah and the Whale

Isle of White Festival – Friday afternoon


Um, well, I made it. I’m not quite sure how. After the ferry the journey was easy, I got a train one stop to Ryde Esplanade and from there there were busses to take people to gate at the Campsite. Easy enough. Only to get cash took a treck up the hill to the centre of Hyde, where all banks appear to like to look down on the rest of the town. Not a problem. Nor was the bus, only I knew I had to get to A6 – which we passed on the way about a mile uphill from the site. Despite the incline and growing weight of my bag, the weather was good and the smell of cooked food sold along the was was hugely tempting. I learned a new skill of dodging busses travelling up the cordoned route and, whilst taking a break at A5 was delighted to find that Tim, the photographer was making his way to A6 – and was offering to give me a hand from the press desk. After reluctantly declining the opportunity to buy a regular ticket and abandon the treck I somehow covered the distance.

Press desk – easy, slow but no hassle. Company en-route to camp was welcome and the campsite came quicker than I remembered it being. Squelching into the opening of the site the muddy welcome was expected, it was all over the news last night and weather warnings have been issued. It was pretty humorous and I changed into wellies as advised. They were brown with pink polka-dots at the time. My bag got a lift across the mud pools that had formed and the photo guy has pulled it some of the way too, leaving a clean track in it’s path as it accumulated mud underneath. After some time of trekking I took pity and made a break on my own. I found a wonderful tent-sized spot left behind by abandoners that clearly didn’t want their poles or covering as a momento of their short stay at the festival.

Feeling pretty happy with myself the underlay of the tent went up with no complications… then came the wind. As I tired to figure which way the overlay went on it made several attempts at escape, causing two women to come and give me a hand. As the mud is so soft nothing had to be nailed in, just pushed into the ground – this could be a problem if the winds continue to pick up.

Currently everything that can be tied is and I imagine time will tell if I have a shelter tonight. Half an hour until Feeder, however the media tent is out of use due to no electrics so the reviews may have to be delayed – my own dongle is on it’s way out already. So, current status, muddy but dry… go figure. Oh, and I have my wristband which is pretty funky:


Isle Of White festival 2012 (Friday)

Day one and plans have changed already, there’s nothing like giving yourself time for things to go wrong over festival season! Today, for a start should have been day 2, pitched, acquainted and eagerly awaiting the opening sets – chilled out with a beer on the grass.

Clearly, that is optimistic to the point of stupidity and when I woke up to downpour yesterday morning I admit I wasn’t really feeling it. Having no plus one doesn’t help, and even the whip-up designed to invoke envy in every ticketless music fan wasn’t doing the job.

Logging on to buy ferry tickets for the car I wished I’d booked a B&B long before, only the uncertainty of accreditation held me back (these things are notorious for last minute tweakings). Three hours, I figured, would be enough time for me to unpack my recently-moved possessions and re-pack for the weekend. Another insane estimation on my part! Fortunately the £160 return fee for the ferry, plus petrol and navigation complications were coupled with the realisation that I had a 2 minute window to get to the fest and locate the press office conspired to make me re-think my plans. Chewing this over, my housemate who is off to a stag do in Brussels this weekend made the unaccounted for revelation that he would be staying at his parents house before departure. Carefully patched dog-sitting between my mum and boyfriend came apart at the seams and, opening the door to check that rainfall and increasing wind speed was real I decided there was no option but to stay, re-think mode of travel and plum for a later than anticipated arrival and a battle to pitch up in the mud the following day.

Which brings me to today. With relief that my bf took a bossy turn and made me go through the rigmarole of printing necessary documentation last night (wading through a maze of packed boxes, power tools and leapfrogging attention-deprived dog) and dthat I had compiled a last-minute list of things to pick up en-route I have just hauled what must be nearly 30k of luggage through Stratford to Waterloo station. This is why I would have preferred the car.

Of course, this is probably a ‘girl thing’ but I can, on occasion be a very good packer. The tent is i heavier than I’d have preferred, the Eurohike has evaporated in the sea of packed possessions. I have both a ground sheet and sleep bag. Bare basics. But then I needed to pack for rain, wind, cold, and optimistically maybe even a touch of sun. I’m not sure how I would have motivated myself otherwise. So far it’s been worth it, my legs have had a workout and I have EVERYTHING. (will update on this statement later). I am also enviously eyeing up a co-commuters’ nifty ensemble of lightly packed essentials, aware that he only has to make it to the campsite. I wish very much that I could drop off all my luggage at said camp, however in true un-paid press fashion I must navigate my way to the office with all my worldly goods. This is the biggest pre-occupation right now. Along side silent prayers I will work out what the devil I’m supposed to do about this Hovercraft malarkey.

On the bright side I did all my packing to Bruce Springsteen, after my weather related sulk drove me to pull the plug on Absolute. The only thing that really tempted me to stay tuned in was that their guy was documenting a particularly uncomfortable car journey in some ancient car.

I don’t envy them that, but I can’t see their reporters having to drag two thirds of their own weight across fields of well trodden mud… I will have to be particularly careful tent is well and truly up before I see a beer tent. With any luck I will also manage to find others from the VF crew and maybe even see some bands!

Today’s line-up as follows:

Tom Petty &The Heartbreakers​Groove Armada (DJ Set)
Enter Shikari
Example​DJ Fresh presents Fresh Live
Noah & The Whale​
Lana Del Rey
​Mat Horne (DJ Set 1am – 2am)​
The Garden Stage:
Chrystal Castles
Best Coast
Dry The River
Gretchen Peters


Isle Of White initial line-up thoughts

Initial thoughts on line-up…

Line Up

I may have been a little over-zealous booking Wednesday off work, thinking that may not be needed…

However the Friday HAS to be worth arriving in a timely fashion for! Needless to say it’s not the headliner that has got me going here.

Noah and the Whale jump out for the fact they may just make me shed a tear – ‘5 years time’ was a bad choice for me on my 5th anniversary with ex and it really didn’t go down the way it should have. Two years on I’m thinking that 5 years from that day we may be lucky to still have the odd ‘like’ on each others facebooks. With any luck Example will perk me up somewhat. I like his music, not so keen on him. I follow @Example and get the feeling he’s not so personable, all the same he’s undoubtedly going to throw a PARTY!

Feeder have slipped disturbingly low down the line-up I imagine they will have crowds from across the globe crashing in on the little island depending on how ‘available’ they are. I still sing CD player when I have the roof down in the car! Who knows, this could make me feel 17 again.

Saturday may see me struggle to get up early, but to give Labyrinth his due – he’s worth it. I saw Labyrinth play Oceana, Watford the night my best friend told me she was moving to Glasgow where she has since fallen in love and settled… not a great night but good memories from said artist all the same.

And Madness. You can find other reviews by me on Madness, I’ve seen them several times over the years to sadly waning crowds. I have a good feeling about this though, I suspect they are sneaking a new come-back. Consistently innovative and anxious to please they have never failed to surprise me… creative, fun-loving, crowd-pleasing nostalgia guaranteed. Who knows they may pull out some new tracks.

Another re-review … Jessie J.


Nuff said! LOVE the confidence, the talent and was lucky enough to see her right on the brink of the stardom that now surrounds her.

Tiny Tempah — yup. Looking forward to that but not squealing with excitement, maybe that will come. Biffy? Again, I expect to be entertained but won’t be conducive to that.

And Pearl Jam… I will have to explore my feelings on this one a little closer in time. This takes me back to my very early exposure to music and somehow 1never quite cemented my views here – that was the luxury of being too young to care and just enjoy!

I want to say I’m psyched about Sunday. The Vaccines and Bruce Springsteen… bloody awesome. But Noel Gallagher? This makes me plan to sulk in my tent somewhat… but I will stay open – minded, close my eyes and D/L his High Flying Birds…

Now perhaps there’s some ex-anti-Oasisers that can put me straight, fans or foes of any of the line up share your wisdom and give me some challenges to deal with! Otherwise my one-sided review will go out to the masses in the very near future…