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The alternative title for this blog might as well be 'A Series Of Unsubstantiated Rumours and Guesses' but I felt that might not be quite so good for Google Search Engine Optimisation.
Regardless, here we are again with the exciting announcement that the Isle of Wight Festival will be taking place on June 8th - 11th 2017 and tickets will be going on sale on November 7th. Last time tickets went on sale pretty much straight away, but I do rather suspect that most people don't plan their lives a year in advance so I don't think it will make a great deal of difference in the end.
Each year we like to come up with a list of rumours of who will play. On this year's list we've currently got:
Before you get too excited and start planning which of your Oasis t-shirts you are going to wear, it's worth taking a look at where these rumours come from and how often we get it right.
The vast majority of those are just names which John Giddings has said that he would look to book at some point. He could say that he wants to book Beethoven and the Beatles and I'd add it to the list, like the mindless sheep that I am.
The other bands and artists are names which have been rumoured by other websites, such as The Sun and NME, without any proper explanation of the source.
Bear in mind this cautionary tale.
One year I wrote on this website that I'd like to see Bob Dylan returning to the Isle of Wight Festival. I don't particularly like his music, but his appearance in 1969 was such a big deal and arguably led to the huge success of the 1970 festival that I felt it would be pretty special to have him returning. There wasn't anything suggesting it might happen, it was just a thought I had whilst standing in the shower.
Before I knew it, someone had tweeted John Giddings saying that there was a rumour that Bob Dylan was going to perform. John Giddings graciously retweeted it, and I was about to add it to my rumours list until I realised I'd started the rumour myself.
Needless to say, Bob Dylan didn't play the Isle of Wight Festival that year.
So, how often do we get it right?
In 2016, we had a dismal year of guessing. We had Oasis, Foo Fighters and Muse down as performing and we certainly didn't predict Queen, Faithless, Stereophonics or The Who.
2015 was a bit more successful. We predicted Blur and Fleetwood Mac correctly but we didn't predict The Black Keys, Prodigy or Pharrell Williams. So, somewhere around half right if we're being generous and aren't too clever with fractions.
In 2014, we did have Calvin Harris and Kings of Leon on our rumours list, although it was a very long list so it was the equivalent of saying that you can guess someone's name and then reading out a book of baby names. We didn't guess the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, that was a complete bolt from the blue.
So, based on that, and sticking my finger in the air, I reckon there's about a 50/50 chance that at least one of the names on that rumours list will actually play at Isle of Wight Festival 2017.
Just don't blame me if I'm wrong...again.
Crumbs, that's got to be the worst headline ever. Sorry about that.
Anyway, I suspect Shanklin Chine is one of those places that many Isle of Wight residents have never actually been to. My evidence for this claim is based on a survey of one, who was the plumber working at my Mum's house on the day of our trip.
"Where are you off to today?" he said.
"Shanklin Chine!" I cheered excitedly.
"Very nice!" he said
"Have you been?" I asked
"Nope" he replied.
For the benefit of the plumber, and anyone else who hasn't been, I can report back that it's worth a trip, with a couple of caveats.
Firstly, you need to be able to cope with quite a few steps. The friendly lady in The World's Smallest Ticket Booth did tell us exactly how many (I've since forgotten) but it was certainly enough that you need to be fairly fit and able.
Secondly, don't plan a whole day at Shanklin Chine. It took us under an hour, although you could pad it out with a cream tea or if you are one of those people that can spend 10 minutes sniffing an unusual flower.
We made the cavalier decision to override the ticket lady's advice and take the pushchair, which was perhaps unwise but it was an off-road one which was mostly being used to carry beach things rather than a child.
The Chine is effectively just a very pretty walkway with nice views and plants, but there are a few things to keep you occupied including some history about PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) and other local oddities which I would have spent more time reading about if my daughter wasn't pulling on my arm.
There were also some animals to gawp at and the tearooms looked idyllic.
There's also a clever ticketing arrangement where you can upgrade your ticket for something like 40p extra which means you can come back again later in the day and see the whole thing lit up. We declined, but I'd have coughed up the cash if we didn't have baths and Julia Donaldson books to read that evening.
The Chine emerges at the Luccombe Chine end of Shanklin beach, which I personally think is the nicer end. You exit through a turnstile which looks like it has been borrowed from a League Two football club and emerge near the pretty thatched pub (the Fisherman's Cottage).
So, not exactly a full day out, but a pretty little walk and some welcome shade on a warm day.
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