I nearly dropped my latte this morning when I realised they had announced the bulk of the lineup for the Cinch Presents Isle of Wight Festival 2022. You can search for tickets here.
Organisers have kept us guessing in recent years as to when announcements will be made.
A few years ago, there was silence until after Christmas whilst other years have had a great big early announcement. My favourite announcement was when they spelt out Red Hot Chili Peppers on the beach in Ryde ahead of the 2014 Isle of Wight Festival.
Personally, I am delighted with the lineup. There's something for most people and my mother has heard of at least one of the headliners (my annual test of the lineup).
Muse were the biggest surprise for me. They played at the Isle of Wight Festival way back in 2007 (the Rolling Stones weekend) but I had no real inkling that they would return. Well, John Giddings did say in 2014 that he'd like to book them again but I've been rattling that 'rumour' out for the last seven years without it coming true.
Several acts are on the lineup after having to drop out in 2020/2021 (Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Happy Mondays and Pete Tong). The Happy Mondays were originally booked for Thursday night in 2020, so I suspect they might play on that day again.
The big question is whether others which were on the original 2021 lineup might be added later.
Will we finally get to see Jess Glynne at the Isle of Wight Festival? What about Chemical Brothers, Black Eyed Peas and Dido. None of them have never played the Isle of Wight Festival before.
Saturday night looks like it is becoming the dance/indie combo night at the Isle of Wight Festival. In 2021 we had Snow Patrol and David Guetta. In 2019 it was George Ezra and Fat Boy Slim.
Kasabian are returning to the festival for the fourth time after playing in 2007, 2011 and 2018. Nile Rodgers is back for a second time. He played in 2018, as did Blossoms.
The £1 Festival
As I've said several times before, the Isle of Wight Festival is still remarkably good value. The ticket price in 2012 was £180. In 2022, it will be £195. A £15 increase in 10 years is good going, even with the obligatory booking fees.
There were also early bird bargains for anyone willing to buy a ticket without seeing the lineup. Isle of Wight Residents were able to get an early bird ticket for a bargain £125. To put that in context, the cheapest ticket on sale today for Lionel Richie's concert in London is £124. That's a whole heap of music for an extra £1.
Personally, I have shifted in my view of what a festival should provide. At one time, I had a minute-by-minute plan of which acts I wanted to see.
The lineup is still important but I'm much happier to wander around and see a little bit of everything rather than obsessively ticking off bands. My favourite moments in recent years have been viewing the site from the top of the big wheel or taking the kids to see Milkshake Party Party Live.
A polite suggestion for 2023
My polite request (if anyone is interested) is that we could do with a female headliner at Isle of Wight Festival 2023. By my reckoning, the Isle of Wight Festival has never had a female headliner in its 22-festival history. Amy Winehouse shared a stage with The Rolling Stones in 2007 and an Abba tribute headlined on Thursday in 2008, but I'm not sure either of those count.
Feel free to politely correct me if I'm wrong, or offer suggestions of which female artists you'd like to see headlining.
My vote goes to Pink (she performed a terrific set in 2010), Bjork, Florence + The Machine, Alanis Morrissette or The Spice Girls (don't hate me, the kids love them).
Update - January 2022
I've realised that Fleetwood Mac (featuring Stevie Nicks) headlined the Isle of Wight Festival in 2015. Sorry about the omission.
The silver lining of 2021’s Isle of Wight festival being delayed is that we won’t have to wait as long for 2022.
I’m getting ahead of myself, but my assumption is that the Festival will a) return in 2022 and b) take place in June. I have no inside information to confirm either of these, just blind hope.
If those things happen, it will mean we only have to wait 9 months between festivals rather than the 27 months between the 2019 and 2021 festivals.
This is good news for those of us who look forward to the Isle of Wight Festival as one of the highlights of the year. There will always be objectors, but I love seeing the Isle of Wight busy with people carrying tents. I can endure a one way system for a few days to bring world class music to a small Island.
Sunday at a festival is sometimes a bit of a stamina test. Some don’t make it to the end, particularly those who pushed it a bit on Saturday night.
For us, it offered many memorable moments.
We were feeling less wandersome on Sunday and mostly stuck around the main stage field for James Vincent McMorrow and Imelda May. The sun was shining, the music was good and there seemed very little reason to move.
Next up was Supergrass, a band which I have a great deal of affection for. Unusually for me, I actually prefer the second half of their career rather than the earlier stuff which gets bundled in with Britpop bands of the time.
"Monsieur Jack" caused a brief problem with a guitar but the rest of the set was flawless, with favourites including Alright, Caught By The Fuzz and Pumpin' On Your Stereo.
The Script provided the penultimate main stage entertainment of the festival. They were an unexpected highlight for me, with some excellent crowd interaction (including getting a member of the crowd to call an ex-boyfriend).
Over the years, the Sunday night headline slot at the Isle of Wight Festival has been filled by several 'heritage' acts. We've had Rod Stewart in 2017, Queen + Adam Lambert in 2016, Fleetwood Mac in 2015, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in 2012 and Paul McCartney in 2010.
Duran Duran may not appreciate being put into that category but they have been going since 1978.
With tired legs, we settled down on benches in the Octopus Garden for their terrific set which included View To A Kill (with fireworks), Wild Boys and Rio.
Thanks to all who were involved in the Isle of Wight Festival 2021. I'm already looking forward to 2022.
Photos are used with permission from Isle of Wight Festival 2021.
I enjoy telling people that "the sun always shines on the Isle of Wight". We even have that quote in a frame in our spare bedroom.
It’s nonsense, of course, but the Isle of Wight does genuinely get more sunshine than most of England.
My favourite statistic is that the Isle of Wight gets 500 hours more sunshine than London each year. That’s Met Office data, rather than a creative copywriter’s statistic for the tourist board.
Another favourite of mine is that the Isle of Wight is four degrees warmer than Cumbria in July. The Island averages 19 degrees (i.e. t-shirt and ice cream weather) whilst Cumbria is 15 degrees (i.e. “that blew away the cobwebs” weather).
I feared for the worst when the Isle of Wight Festival moved from June to September for 2021.
Thankfully, Saturday at the festival offered even better weather than Friday.
This was great news, as perfect weather makes such a difference to festival enjoyment levels. It’s hard to pretend you’re having a great time in a poncho. It’s also not all that pleasant if a heatwave arrives and you find you’re stood in a field with no shade for 12 hours.
2021 has hit the sweet spot so far with lovely sunshine but not baking heat.
Besides the music there were a number of memorable sidebars on Saturday, including a backstage appearance by Courtney Cox and Ronan Keating performing rockaoke. Liam Gallagher also made headlines by falling from a helicopter and injuring his nose.
Onstage, Saturday's music was a good mix of old and new which fits the wide demographic of Isle of Wight Festival attendees.
We started the day with a nostalgic 90s double bill of The Lightning Seeds and All Saints.
Both acts had the sense to stick to the hits, as should be the case with all festival appearances. In my opinion, B-Sides and recent album tracks should be avoided with a crowd which is largely made of up people who only remember your singles.
Of course, The Lightning Seeds highlights were The Life of Riley (as featured on every 90s indie compilation double CD) and Three Lions. The latter was gleefully extended to a singalong which was embraced by the main stage crowd.
Audience participation was also encouraged by All Saints who gathered a large crowd for Never Ever, Under The Bridge and 'That Song From The Leonardo di Caprio Film'.
Next up for us was Maximo Park in the Big Top. It wouldn't be fair to call them a nostalgic act but I feel there are lots of 30-somethings like me for whom their first album from 2005 is a cherished memory of previous festivals.
There is no doubt that they've still got it and they were certainly a highlight of the day.
Nostalgia levels were reaching dangerously high levels, so it was good to see the arrival of Sam Fender. Highlights were an acoustic version of Dancing in the Dark but the whole set was well received.
We stayed with the main stage for Snow Patrol. Darkness had arrived which gave an excellent backdrop for them to play a set including Chasing Cars, Run and Open Your Eyes.
Controversially, we skipped David Guetta and went for a wander before stopping at the Big Top with the Kaiser Chiefs.
Thankfully, we could still see the main stage fireworks to finish off a memorable Saturday night at Isle of Wight Festival 2021.
Photos by Isle of Wight Festival 2021. Used with permission.
My mobile phone photos of festivals are not exactly award-winners.
Thankfully, the festival organisers have given us permission to share some of theirs.
The majority are from Friday night (Photo Credit: Isle of Wight Festival 2021) with the exception of the first two (Photo Credit: David Rutherford/Isle of Wight Festival). I should really have held onto the first two for tomorrow's gallery but I was too excited to wait.
On our page about the history of the Isle of Wight festival I always like to add in a little section about what made that year memorable.
Sometimes it is a big-name headliner, such as The Rolling Stones singing with Amy Winehouse in 2007. Or Jay Z bringing out Kanye West in 2010.
Sometimes it is something less positive, such as the year of mud in 2012 or Morrissey's cancellation in 2005.
Sometimes it becomes more significant much later, such as when David Bowie performed his last UK concert in 2004.
2021's entry was written weeks ago, at least in my head. It's the year after the cancelled/postponed festival of 2020. Back in Spring 2020 I had hoped to call it the 'year after Covid' but it gradually became clear that was never going to be the case.
As a result, I approached Seaclose Park with a mix of emotions.
Firstly, I was delighted that the Isle of Wight Festival still exists at all. Many festivals had failed before Covid and I did wonder if a year or two without a festival might spell the end of the party. I've gassed on before about the positive cultural impact of the Isle of Wight festival and would hate to see it go the way of Bestival at Robin Hill (Rest In Peace).
Another emotion was the combination of delight and trepidation at being amongst lots of people again. I've been less adventurous than most people and this was my first live music since late 2019. Last week I questioned whether I really needed to go to B&Q to get a shower hose or whether I'd be better buying it online. A crowd of 50,000 was a bit of a step up.
I carried out my own risk assessment and decided to go for it. Everyone had to follow the Covid entry requirements and the Isle of Wight Festival certainly isn't as squashed and claustrophobic as some other competing festivals.
I decided I would wear my mask when in a queue and would avoid squeezing in amongst the masses by racing to the front.
We didn't need to weigh up the risks of festival camping thanks to familial accommodation provided nearby. This adds a welcome level of comfort to a festival. I am still haunted by the night when someone had a wee on my tent at Leeds 2002. Or the occasion when someone threw poo at our tent at T in the Park in 2003. Or the occasion when... (Ed: I think we get the idea).
Once inside the arena, everything felt remarkably familiar and nostalgic.
The main stage, the big top, the big wheel and the kidzone were all in the exact same locations. Even the helter skelter and the giant Isle of Wight Festival sign were in their usual locations. I was able to give a tour to friends as if I was proudly showing them round a house I'd just bought.
The music (for us at least) began with You Me At Six followed by Becky Hill. Those arriving on Thursday watched the Red Arrows, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Scouting for Girls and others.
I am no longer a cool kid who knows every song by every main stage act. However, I was encouraged that I knew a fair few songs by You Me At Six.
We watched Becky Hill pumping out the hits from the top of the big wheel. It's a festival essential for us and is a couple of pounds cheaper if you do it earlier in the day.
Of course, this festival was pushed back from June to September, meaning that it was dark for the final three acts rather than just the headliner. The downside is that wearing shorts is much colder at midnight in September than it is in June.
The plus side is that the darkness added a welcome bit of ambience to James' set which was a mix of old and new songs.
Personally I'd have liked a few more of the older stuff from James but it's not their fault that my music collection hasn't grown since 2009.
Fish and Chips followed. That's not a new band that you haven't heard of, I just thought I'd make this a more detailed report than those which just focus on the music. They cost me £10 and I gave it a 9/10.
My fellow festival goers went for a gluten free paella (£9), chicken and noodles (£10) and a Ginsters peppered steak pasty (£1.50) which had been in his pocket since before we arrived onsite.
Anyway, back to the main event.
Tom Jones appeared at 9pm. I was too far back to report whether or not knickers were thrown but he worked his way through the hits (What's New Pussycat?, Delilah etc). He also performed an accompanied poetry reading about the power of television, which I am still processing.
I'd also like to mention that we found ourselves with plenty of space to spread out. We certainly wouldn't have had that at the front of the crowd but from a distance we felt very safe. My risk assessment certainly didn't need reappraising.
By this point I was getting into the festival mood and had my eye on the Sky Swing.
I don't mind heights too much but I do get nauseous on a roundabout. I also don't enjoy falling to my death. It was far taller than the big wheel and involved sitting on a two seater bench which spins round at the top of the tower.
In the end, I decided to steel myself and paid a contactless-£10 to climb on board.
I enjoyed it greatly, although the legs were a little wobbly upon exiting the ride. My fellow traveller found it a little more terrifying, at least for the first half of the ride. I would like to apologise to the young children in front of us who may have learnt some new words from him.
After this, we walked over to the big top for 20 minutes of Shed Seven. This is one of the things I like about the Isle of Wight Festival - the two main stages are close enough that you can hop between them.
My (distant) memory of Glastonbury is that the stages are so spread out and that the site is so busy that you end up spending a lot of time walking between acts. After a couple of days at Glastonbury I gave up on my preferred band-schedule and just stuck to two stages.
Finally, Liam Gallagher appeared. The Gallaghers have rather dominated the Isle of Wight Festival in recent years. Liam performed at Seaclose Park in 2018 and Noel performed in 2019. Thankfully both of them have the sense to pack the set with Oasis songs, as well as a few newer ones.
His set was probably the highlight of the day for me, particularly when he began changing lyrics to incorporate the words 'Isle of Wight'.
We then faced the choice of whether we should a) go home as it was midnight and well past our usual bedtime or b) catch the end of Primal Scream in the Big Top.
After some dithering we chose option B. Unfortunately, most of Liam Gallagher's audience had the same idea, so after a couple of songs we decided it was too busy for us and reverted to option A.
We made our way towards the exit and congratulated ourselves on lasting the whole evening.
Welcome back Isle of Wight Festival, we've missed you.
Several years ago, I wrote a guide to a walk from Bonchurch to Ventnor. I boldly named it part one of a series of pushchair and wheelchair friendly walks. Unfortunately, I rather forgot about this plan until someone emailed me asking where they could find parts two and three.
So, after a long delay, here’s part two. Let's hope it was worth the wait.
Part two starts in Gurnard, which is a pretty sailing village. The seafront at Gurnard has a hilly village green and a playground as well as rows of green beach huts.
At the time of writing, there is lots of free parking but there is talk of this disappearing. Search for The Woodvale pub at PO31 8LE on your sat nav to end up in roughly the right place. It's easiest to park at the bottom of the hill near to the last beach hut on your right as you face the sea.
This walk is a simple one for pushchairs and wheelchairs but it’s also a good one for runners. I’d say the ideal time of day is on a summer’s evening as you get some terrific sunsets along this stretch of coastline.
As you face the sea, head right along Prince’s Esplanade which eventually turns into Egypt Esplanade.
The pavement is wide and pretty smooth, although it does have a bit of a lean to it at certain points.
After about three quarters of a mile you’ll see the start of a shingle beach and East Rosetta Cottage where Winston Churchill’s parent met. There’s a plaque on the pavement which you’ll walk over. After another quarter of a mile, you’ll reach a takeaway coffee place.
We particularly like wandering along during Cowes Week when there are yachts to watch. Most of the time you’ll be able to spot a container ship, a cruise ship or a buoy racer on a jetski
We usually turn round at this point, which makes for a walk of about two miles.
Other Walks In The Wheelchair Friendly Trilogy
You might want to sit down before you read this next sentence.
I reckon Caddyshack may well be the Isle of Wight's best minigolf course.
Let me add a few caveats before you rush off to Shanklin Seafront.
By now, we've played our way round 11 minigolf courses on the Isle of Wight. Some no longer exist, such as the adventure golf course with the aeroplane in Shanklin and the older concrete course at Sandham Gardens. Let's take a moment to remember those we have lost.
There are also at least three we haven't tried, including the Aztec course on Sandown Pier, the Peter Pan course on Ryde seafront and the one with the dragon at Calbourne Mill.
So, the first caveat is that we might not have played on the best minigolf course on the Isle of Wight.
The next caveat is that Caddyshack won't be the best for every occasion. If you want a lovely sea breeze and a bit of sunshine, then you'll prefer Dino Islands in Sandown or Jurassic Bay/Pirates Cove in Shanklin. They're all good courses which have puffing volcanoes, dinosaurs and rivers of red water/blood. I would say they are all a little bit easier than Caddyshack.
The final caveat is that there are more charming minigolf courses than Caddyshack.
Rylstone Gardens and the course at Puckpool are both old fashioned courses with old fashioned prices (roughly half the price of Caddyshack, which is about £6 each). Those courses look like they were built by a pipe-smoking grandad with a flat cap, a big garden and a workshop.
So why is Caddyshack our new favourite?
Firstly, it's a terrific rainy day activity. A sea breeze is lovely on the right day but Caddyshack is better for a torrent during October half term.
Secondly, Caddyshack is wonderfully varied and carefully thought out. Most holes have two or three ways to be completed.
There's the basic route which our four year old managed by randomly bashing away with a tiny club.
Then there's the very tricky route for the dads who want to achieve a hole in one. My favourite was the drum-themed hole where the ball bounces along four drums with a satisfying "BOING!" noise. The drumroll effect when you get it in is a bonus.
There's a skateboarding hole, a snooker hole, a windmill hole and a roulette hole. There's a cool blue light section where our eight year old managed a hole in one. Personally I'd have some pumping choons in this corner as it has a nightclub vibe.
As an aside, I think this part has replaced an old driving attraction in the arcade which was looking well past its best.
For the record, I scored 53 and my eight year old rival scored 58. We add on our ages to our scores, so she won by an embarrassingly large margin.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog