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.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog