A number of outdoor music events, most notably the Isle of Wight festival, have been blighted by the weekend’s harsh weather conditions, with heavy rainfall turning fields into swamps, CMU has reported.
Those on their way to the Isle of Wight festival encountered treacherous conditions on the road, with many festival goers spending the first night of the event in their cars on the roads approaching the festival site. While many complained about a lack of communication from the event’s organisers, others were able to take comfort from the hospitable nature of some particularly kind-hearted locals, who allowed those in need to take refuge on their drives and set up makeshift camp sites in their gardens.
Among those to raise concerns about the organisation of the festival was Isle of Wight MP Stuart Love, claiming that he had expected more from festival bosses in light of the warnings regarding the weather, as well as insisting on a review of the way the event is organised and licensed. Events on the Isle Of Wight are already subject to separate licensing legislation,in the form of the Isle Of Wight Act, which was introduced after the 1970 edition of the original incarnation of the Isle of Wight music festival.
However, the modern Isle of Wight festival has developed good relations with the island’s local authorities, with organisers and council officials appearing to work closely over the weekend to deal with the difficulties, resulting in special measures being introduced to ensure festival-goers could leave the site and island with somewhat greater ease at the end of the event. A squad of 100 4x4s will be on hand to assist with stuck cars, while public transport will be increased.
Isle of Wight festival boss John Giddings apologised to ticket-buyers caught up in the chaos, many of whom missed Bruce Springsteen’s closing headline slot yesterday in a bid to avoid more mayhem on leaving the site: “I am really sorry to everyone who had problems as they arrived at the festival but I hope that I have made up for it by providing one of the best weekends of music ever. We knew it was going to happen, we were prepared, we knew there would be adverse weather conditions, it was just slow and we caused a great traffic jam and I am sorry to all those who got stuck in it.”
In addition to the Isle of Wight festival, the second day of the outdoor event at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, which was due to be headlined by Paul Weller, had to be cancelled following concerns over health and safety, while in Liverpool the Africa Oyé event was also cancelled, although a smaller indoor event featuring many of the festival’s line-up was subsequently staged.
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