We live so close to the Isle of Wight that it almost seems a crime not to go there when a festival is on with a decent lineup, and so on Friday we headed over to the Isle of Wight Festival for the day. To be honest the rest of the weekend's lineup was for our tastes, pretty dire - but who can resist the lure of The Stone Roses, Everything Everything and Jake Bugg? Not us! I'm not going to bore you with a blow by blow details of my day there including how I feel asleep mid afternoon and woke up sunburnt to a crisp... no no, I'm going to give you a 'The Good' and 'The Bad' of the day.
Healine act, The Stone Roses. An immense performance, Ian Browns voice was great, they have such an awesome back catalogue which meant that every song had people singing along. They opened up with I Wanna Be Adored which was just beyond words.
Toilets. Festival loos are never the height of civilised society but in 2011 when I last went to the IOW Festival they were dire, unusable bogs that led to me peeing into a camping saucepan all weekend. I'm glad to report that this year they have got their act together and have employed teams of people to tend to each portaloo block all day and evening. Stocking up the loo roll, cleaning and helpfully pointing out free loos to people queuing, it was impressive stuff.
Weather. Ok, so that's not down to the organisers but it did help that it was a sunny day.
Content. I'm going to be brutally honest here, the Isle of Wight Festival does not offer as much as other, similarly priced festivals. One main stage, a Big Top and a Dance Tent are the main draws. There are plenty of smaller live bands playing at the many bars but that's about it. The Bohemian Woods was very small and disappointing. There were far too many shops and stalls in ratio to the actual stages. If you are thinking of paying good money I'd advise going to one that offers more than just a couple of music stages; Latitude, Camp Bestival or Festival No. 6 for example.
Some bloke from Level 42. He came on stage with a radio presenter at one point and we were all asked to give him a round of applause. That was all a bit weird and made me feel that I was a bit too young to be there - and I'm 38...
The good bits far outweighed the bad though and we had a really great time, funnily enough it's the first time Papasaurus and I have had a proper dance since we met 7 years ago!
You may be wondering what the sort of age group the festival draws. Well a couple of years ago when I last went the lineup drew in a younger crowd, this year there didn't seem as many youngsters - maybe it was the lineup or maybe that tough economic times are meaning that people either can't afford to go or are being far more choosy about which one's they attend. There were some young children there but not many, likely down to the fact that the festival is not geared up to kids - something that they may need to evolve to cater for in years to come.