ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL RETURNS TO SEACLOSE WITH A ROAR

This year’s rearranged Isle of Wight Festival roared into action on the stroke of 17:00 on Thursday when the RAF Red Arrows display team filled the airspace above the Seaclose site.

Their distinctive bright red and white livery glistened in the sunlight as they began a 15-minute display before departing with a low flypast in formation over Newport.

Becky Hill wowed the early evening crowd on Friday, wearing a red minidress teamed with over the knee turquoise boots. This was her last festival appearance of the season and Becky commented on the good weather while being taken aback by the size of the crowd.

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Sir Tom Jones performed on Friday. He confirmed his legendary status as he performed a set filled with classics from the 60s all the way to 2021 with his recent album ‘Surrounded by Time’, which earlier this year made Sir Tom the oldest male to earn a number one UK album.

Bad boy Liam Gallagher performed a set sprinkled with a mixture of Oasis classic tracks and his own more recent solo efforts. After finishing his stint, he could not resist coming back for an encore. ‘Wonderwall’ had the audience singing along to end the first day on the main stage.

Saturday’s warm sunny weather had some music fans seeking shady sites or cover under the mature trees at Seaclose Park.

Friday | Photo: Isle of Wight Festival

Snow Patrol gave a 75-minute performance showcasing a number of their hits including ‘Run’. They closed their set with the classic ‘Chasing Cars’ with the audience singing along.

For those who like to dress up for the festival, this year’s theme was Peace and Love with psychedelic clothing much in evidence. Other trends included female butterflies and Sgt. Pepper era Beatles in uniform.

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Sunday saw The Script pay homage to a former headliner, Bruce Springsteen, with a rendition of his ‘Dancing In The Dark’ as well as several of their well-known songs.

Duran Duran brought the proceedings to a close with a rousing performance and Simon Le Bon in fine voice. Simon said they had come to celebrate 40 years and it was obvious they were really enjoying themselves. In fact, he stated they were ‘honoured to be here’. Over 95 minutes they reprised many of their classic hits, even finding space to showcase a new track ‘Tonight United’ from their forthcoming new album.

‘A View to a Kill’, the Bond film song, was performed with accompanying pyrotechnics. In a well-received set, they also performed ‘The Reflex’, ‘Notorious’, ‘Come Undone’, ‘Ordinary World’ and ‘Girls on Film’. As an encore they offered, ‘Save a Prayer’, ‘Perfect Day’, actually penned by Lou Reed, and ‘The Wild Boys’ complete with fire and flames. Their finale was ‘Rio’, a crowd favourite, which was the signal to release bouncing beach- balls into the arena.

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Away from the Main Stage, Kashmir Café, presented by Quay Arts, proved popular with local performers on stage and Platform 1’s bold red and yellow marquee was another popular venue.

Most festival-goers were aware of COVID precautions but having witnessed other festivals on the Seaclose site there certainly seemed to be many thousands there – just see the photos of the crowd.

However, there was certainly plenty to do and see for the crowds.  Various stages and music venues were dotted across the site including a ‘River Stage’ and fairground rides and other attractions added to the atmosphere and there was a choice of food and drink from around the world.

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