Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Isle of Wight Pop Festival 2013 (Babyboomers Return )

Many years ago, when I was young and beautiful ??????????,at the end of the hedonistic 60s, I and around quarter of a million music lovers attended the first Isle of Wight pop festival and watched the rock and folk gods of the time, including such luminaries as "The Who ", Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and many others I knew well at the time,but now have disappeared into geriatric memory. How daring we all felt,in our flared jeans,tie died t shirts,shoulder length hair,smoking badly rolled joints and ever hopeful for "Free Love" !
   Roll on forty two years I happened to notice that two of my ageing music idols were performing at the 2013 event,namely Bruce Springstein  and Tom Petty.There were many other more contemporary luminaries performing on the same weekend, most of whom I had never heard of,but the ageing rockers were the musicians I wanted to see perform live before either they or I departed this mortal coil ! Heather,Michael and his friend Andy were also keen to attend and revive their dwindling "Yoof"
 We drove to Lymington in sheeting wind and rain on Thursday night arriving there about 9 praying that the weather would clear for the festival.On the journey down we were dismayed to hear tales of cars being swallowed in bottomless pools of liquid mud in the make shift car parks at the festival venue and endless traffic jams criss crossing the Island.By the time we had feasted on Chicken Jalfrezi and Mutton Vindaloo at the convenient Indian restaurant on the High street we felt a little more optimistic especially as the rain and wind had cleared and we boarded the ferry in cheerful mood.What fools we were !
     The sea was like a mill pond and we were hopeful that we would travel the twenty miles to Newport from Yarmouth in less than an hour.Within 15 minutes  we had ground to a halt at he end of a traffic jam and for the next six hours travelled no more than a few miles.Needless to say we slept in the car along with our tents, clothes,food and about two dozen bottles of home brewed cider.The Black Hole of Calcutta would have been an attractive alternative ! 
     Early morning Heather and i scouted out the lay of the land and discovered we were no more than three miles from the Festival grounds but unfortunately the car parks were impassable and new ones were currently being sourced by the organisers.On our scouting expedition we had noticed an abandoned garden centre which had gone bankrupt with a CONVENIENT tarmacked car park with lots off empty spaces.As no one appeared to be travelling in the opposite direction we raced back to the car ,woke Michael and Andy ,pulled the car over , overtook the long queue and made it to the promised land of the car park!!!! HALLELUJAH
 Our next problem was one of logistics.The amount of gear  we had brought in the car would have needed a team  of pack mules to convey to the festival grounds.Luckily we found a supermarket trolley abandoned in a hedge(Vandals  and thugs !) which we commandeered ,loaded it to the gunnel's with our gear and made our way to the Festival grounds.
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When we arrived at the "Pleasure Gardens"imagine our horror when we were greeted from a scene akin to the Seventh Pit of Hell but mud substituting for flames!There were rivers,nay OCEANS  of mud.It flowed in places,was stagnant in others.As you will see in one of my later videos whole tents were consumed in the morass and who can say if people had also not been swallowed in it as well.Quicksand would have been a preferable surface to walk over !Somewhere in this horror we had to erect a tent.Within five minutes Heather had managed to fall face first into the bog.When I pulled her out ,at great risk to myself I may add,she rather resembled a tar baby.



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Grieve for the submerged tent and for the possible residents who were swallowed by the ooze!!



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Well,astounding that we came here for entertainment but somehow we did have fun in our adversity.In a distant part of the grounds we found a patch clear of mud.Fortunately we had a trial run of erecting our tents so managed to do so and return to the car for more supplies.The booze was more of a problem as our rucksacks were searched for imported alchohol but we managed to get around that problem by emptying our water bottles and substituting cider in its place.Cunning huh!!By lunch ,the sun was shining ,not a cloud in the sky and we were in high spirits.Time to queue for the music.




 Muddy feet ,waiting for the arena to open!
 Andy and michael heading for the main stage
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Firstgroup up was noah and the Whale.Never heard of them before but they blew us away !