Heading to the Isle of Wight Festival this week? Now that June has arrived (hey, you crept up on us, didn’t you?!) and festival season is now officially in full swing, here are some of our not-to-be-missed highlights to bear in mind as you’re donning your wellies and glitter and preparing to join the revelry at Seaclose Park from 9-12 June. And if you’re not already going, here’s why we think you should grab yourself a ticket, stat, and enjoy a last-minute excursion – there are still some left, mind!
Firstly, well, there are the headliners, of course. The line up for Isle of Wight this year is absolutely top-notch, and crowning the bill are the legendary Who – we saw them last year and they’ve absolutely still got it. Joining Roger, Pete and the rest are Queen, featuring Adam Lambert – guaranteed to have everyone up and punching their air à la Mercury – as well as Welsh rockers Stereophonics. But, we think, there’s a little of everything at IOW, and if none of that’s your bag, how about heading over to see London electronica group Faithless to get the party started?
Even aside from the main acts, this year’s festival isn’t short of a few legends, with Adam Ant, Status Quo and Iggy Pop – whose new album Post Pop Depression has been on repeat at Bristol Mag HQ this week, we might add – all scheduled appear over the weekend.
Back the Bristol massive: Up-and-coming local psych-pop-rockers The Shimmer Band have secured themselves a nice little slot at the festival, where they’ll be tearing it up on the This Feeling stage – which showcases the best new breakthrough acts – with their visceral and dynamic, synth-laden grooves. It’s been an exciting summer already for this talented lot, and they’ll be arriving fresh from supporting the Stereophonics at Cardiff City Stadium. Also well worth your support are Bath-born blues rock band The Family Rain, and ex-City of Bath College student and singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin. Big up the South West!
We’re also excited about fellow new kids on the block, Blossoms. Manchester’s newest musical exports have really been on the rise this year after finishing fourth on the BBC Music Sound Of 2016 list and charming their way round the country with the summery sounds of songs like Charlemagne, Stormy and Blown Rose. Google ‘em.
There’s a Nineties nostalgia trip available for anyone who wants to get on board, starting with Liverpudlian Britpoppers Cast and blast-from-the-Irish-pop-past, the gorgeous Corrs. Also qualifying for the revival are Reef, Ocean Colour Scene and former Verve frontman, the mighty Richard Ashcroft, who’s back on the scene with new solo material this year.
Personally, we’re also looking forward to seeing pop princess Jess Glynne – who’s had an incredible time of it recently, becoming the second British female artist to have five UK number ones last year. And then there’s Alabama 3 – you might already know one of their songs if you’re a fan of The Sopranos, it’s their theme tune!
If the superb music line-up isn’t quite enough for you, the IOW team have promised to screen all the action from Euro 2016 live in the BT Sport Field of Dreams as well, so die-hard footy fans can catch every kick on the big screen. And throughout the weekend, there’ll be the chance to watch the late David Bowie’s 2004 Isle of Wight Festival performance; plus a screening of Iggy Pop’s new film Blood Orange.
Last but not by any means least, there’s ALL THE REST of the extensive programme. By which we mean loads of entertainment, activities for kids and adults alike, fantastic food and drink, and plenty more. Check out Cirque de la Quirk and step into a worry-free nonsensical world with live body painting, dance-offs, pillow pits, face painting and creative workshops; the Strongbow Tree, where you can enjoy live percussion, instrumental sets and laser shows into the night; or Kashmir Café for Island-brewed real ale, fresh coffee, specialist cherry beer and homemade vegetarian food from a vintage double-decker bus. Channel 5’s popular pre-school strand Milkshake will be on the the KidZone Stage with their Bop in the Park show, while Ryde Extreme Performers will be running circus workshops in juggling, poi, diablo, plate-spinning, devil sticks and even stilt-walking. Get involved…
Main image: Liz Murray Photography
Iggy Pop image: Sukita
Status Quo image: Christie Goodwin