So this year’s Isle of Wight Festival became a hot topic over the weekend due to the adverse weather conditions and general muddy chaos, but what about the music, atmosphere and festival fare?
Over 55,000 people were treated to stand out performances from an array of diverse acts including Bruce Springsteen, Biffy Clyro and Tinie Tempah, with the festival set over 3 stages.
The Big Top tent brought a variety of performers together with a younger mix of music on offer. Kelis surprised with her drum skills, Katy B had a cringe DJ battle, Magnetic Man supplied the dupstep and Lana Del Rey got stuck in traffic.
The Born To Die singer managed to pull in a large crowd for her set and showed critics that she can indeed hold her own. Kelis and Katy B both put their DJ’s to good use with a vast amount of famous dance and garage samples whipping up the audience. Both acts created some very interesting covers as well as playing their own famous tracks, which certainly kept the youthful spectators on their toes.
The Garden Stage showcased some of the more independent artists with highlights including sets by Best Coast and Crystal Castles. Best Coast provided a chilled out vibe with their trademark surf pop and the incredibly catchy Crazy For You was perfect for the festival atmosphere.
Performing straight after Best Coast on Saturday were Crystal Castles who definitely brought a change of pace to the evenings proceedings. Alice Glass was throwing her self all over the shop to their experimental electro, with the outfit playing way into the night and attracting a mass of raving fans.
Strongbow Productions also deserve as mention with their tent that is widely becoming known for putting some pretty eclectic performers together. This year festival goers got a chance to see acts like Citizen, Alex Metric and Rudimental whose ensemble crew gave a stella set that got everyone throwing shapes.
But IoW 2012 was all about the main stage as a truly diverse range of musicians put in some incredible performances. Out in force were some of music’s biggest icons with the likes of Madness, Bruce Springsteen, Noel Gallagher, Pearl Jam and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers all putting on a show.
Elbow and Tom Petty had everyone singing along to their big tracks on Friday night after Feeder had started the day playing to an empty field. It’s not that know one wanted to watch poor Feeder but was instead due to the fact that the main areas were opened later, again another delay because of the weather.
Madness made the sun shine on Saturday and performed all the classics as well as an unexpected tribute cover of Beastie Boys anthem Fight For Your Right. On Saturday night Biffy Clyro and Pearl Jam brought some classic rock to the festival that managed to keep the crowds spirits up as the rain started.
But not one of these sets could touch The Boss as Isle of Wight 2012′s standout performance without a doubt had to be Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. With an epic three hour set Bruce showed he still has some serious energy. The American legends changed the pace of the evening after a rather static set from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and at one point played three of their biggest anthems Born in the USA, Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark back to back pleasing the masses no end.
The selection of festival fare also kept the crowds sweet with no shortage of refreshments. IoW had some delicious edible options with stone baked pizza’s (ours is a pepperoni and jalapeño please), Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes, Jamie Olivers Fabulous Feasts and a Wagamama’s Lounge amongst those catering to the masses. We recon the Yaki Soba was so tasty it was better than your average Waga’s.
Drinks-wise obviously ours was a Carling, who were the official beer of the festival and had created an ingenious QR code competition on the cups, that involved free showers at their Refresh Rooms, perfect considering the weather.
The festival closed with fireworks and a fantastic cover of Twist and Shout by Bruce and co, a finish that pretty much summed up the atmosphere of the entire weekend. IoW had a shaky start this year with many doubting its success after some seriously bad weather, but festival goers are in it for the long haul, with only a small amount of people packing up and heading back to the mainland.
For those who made it to the festival, Isle of Wight 2012 was everything it had promised to be, just with a little more mud.
Images: Letisah Grosvenor (1. Rudimental 2. Katy B 3. Crystal Castles 4. Kelis 5. Best Coast 6. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band)