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.
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.
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.