What?! took on a rollercoaster of adventure at the IOW festival. Watching The Black Keys and The Prodigy as the rain hammered down on Friday night, the sun causing some very painful sunburn on Saturday afternoon and with performances from some of the biggest names in music to talented up-and-comers, Isle Of Wight Festival had a little something for everyone.
The main stage, renamed the Electric Church (in honour of Jimi Hendrix who made his last ever UK performance at IOW festival 45 years ago), played host to an array of lively sets from newcomers Nothing But Thieves, R&B legends Kool & The Gang, the fantastic singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini and glam-rockers The Struts. Blur’s Saturday night headline spot was an almost biblical experience, with Damon Albarn bringing incredible vocals despite feeling a little under the weather. From playing their most famous hits such as Parklife and Girls and Boys as well as a selection of tracks from their newest album The Magic Whip drew the crowds in, both the hardcore fans and newbies alike. The Britpop legends moved their set smoothly between their spacey melodies and ballads, spellbinding their Saturday night audience.
The Jack Rocks with This Feeling stage was the best venue outside the main areas.. If you’re into discovering unsigned talent and the most promising up-coming bands, there was no other destination that could satisfy your thirst. The Glass Caves were a definite crowd-pleaser, with their rip-roaring melodies and enchanting stage presence. Judas, Storms and Hyena also made appearances on Saturday afternoon and delivered anthemic choruses and enthralling indie-rock anthems. The Sugar Spun Sisters, DJing in-between the sets on Friday and Saturday kept the audiences’ hyped up with their non-stop indie classics and buzzing atmosphere.
Without a doubt, Fleetwood Mac was the weekend’s highlight. Lindsey Buckingham’s unparalleled guitar skills (he plays his amazingly intricate riffs with his bare hands, no pick required) and Stevie Nick’s twirling and tassel-covered tambourine drew almost every person who attended the festival to the main stage to here Little Lies and Landslide played live. They ended the weekend by ripping through a selection of their timeless greatest hits, reducing many Fleetwood fans to tears.
The high spirits of the crowd never wavered despite the thunderous rain and scorching sun, unbelievably talented bands and artists (both well-known and unsigned) and the stages kept up with the electric atmospheres (Bohemian Woods and Jack Rocks with This Feeling, we’re looking at you). The Isle Of Wight festival was the perfect start to the weekend festival season.
Next year’s Isle Of Wight Festival takes place 9-16 June 2016, and Early Bird tickets are on sale already, you can get yours here
Words by Annie Lunnon.