The Isle of Wight Festival
Over the last twenty or so years, the UK has seen a huge rise in the number of music festivals. A trend that has seen millions of people gather in fields across the country to witness their favourite artists.
However, even with the likes of Glastonbury, the music festivals of today are still very different from the originals. It’s easy to forget that during the last few years of the 1960’s the world’s two largest music festivals, America’s Woodstock and Britain’s Isle of Wight Festival held almost half a million people for a weekend of incredible music. The events were so big that there was even a shortage of food and water for many attendees. With a population of less than 100,000 people at the time, the Isle of Wight saw its population multiply by five, this caused an obscene amount of damage to the local ecosystem, and eventually led to the British parliament passing a law stating that there would never be a large music festival on the Island ever again.
However, this changed in 2001 when a man named John Giddings managed to convince the British government and local communities on the Island to allow him to bring the Festival back. As a child, having such a major music festival just a couple of miles from where I lived made me incredibly excited about live music, and eventually fuelled my passion and enthusiasm for live music even more. I’m proud to say that whilst growing up I had the opportunity to see some of the world’s most iconic musicians play such as Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen in front of 60,000 people every summer.
Music Festivals give people so much more than an ordinary gig, aside the unrivalled atmosphere, I would say that one of the most valuable characteristics (that only a music festival can offer) is the opportunity to find your new favourite artist. Whether its’s on a smaller stage, watching a new band who are still in the early stages of their career or on a larger more unfamiliar stage, listening to a new genre of music that you’ve never really experienced before.
George Capon (Guitar Player & Teacher)