Giddings Praises IOW Crowd’s ‘Resilience’

Isle Of Wight Festival chief John Giddings praised the “resilience” of the crowd as filthy weather turned the site into a mud bath and caused a traffic gridlock that tailed back as far as the island’s ferry port.

Three boats were held in the Solent, the strait separating the Isle of Wight from mainland England, until the cars that were stuck in the port had moved.

“We can’t do anything else with them until we can get into port to unload. At the moment we are in the lap of the gods with the Isle of Wight Festival,” a spokesman for ferry operator Wightlink told The Daily Telegraph as 55,000 music fans arrived to see a bill headed by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Giddings said he was amazed by the resilience of the crowd as it overcame the mud to enjoy the concerts, describing Springsteen’s performance as “one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life.”

He told Pollstar that musically the festival was “incredible,” which went a long way to helping the crowd forget the problems of the opening day.

A day after the event, 160 tractors were used to tow stranded vehicles out of the muddied car parks.

“We’ve never had rain like that before,” Giddings explained, pointing out that the journey from the island’s ferry port to the festival usually takes no longer than 20 minutes.

Other acts helping the crowd remain resilient at Isle Of Wight June 22-24 included Elbow, Pearl Jam, Biffy Clyro, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Vaccines, Madness, and Jessie J.