Isle of Wight Festival, U.K.
This Isle of Wight wasn't expecting monsoon style weather causing water logged fields, sinking stages and thick mud camping sites, but everyone that attended encapsulated the festival spirit of us against the elements. The rain caused severe gridlock in to the island, but the problems were not as bad as reported in the media and the festival provided a welcoming if very muddy atmosphere.
Friday got off to great start with Seasoned rockers Tom Petty and the heartbreakers making their first ever UK festival appearance. The style of all out proggy rock made a great evening of easy listening in the summer sun and a mix of all ages embraced the night. Over at the big top Kellis had the tent shaking with dance classics and a rare drum solo display. Feeder also provided a brand of Foo Fighter style rock on the main stage as well as Lana Del Rey performing an eerie yet captivating display.
Saturday provided Pearl Jam, who are one of these us bands who have always failed to command the same levels of fans in the UK that they did in the US. Frontman Eddie Vedder however was mesmerising, with showmanship similar to the likes of The Boss himself Bruce Springsteen. He executed song after song, gripping the audience with his unmistakeable grainy vocals. Although IOW organisers were trying to stay away from popular pop genres, Saturday provided a great radio one mix with the likes of Jessie J and Tiny Tempah storming the main stage.
The final day provided the highlight of the festival and those who endured the weather were given their reward of three hours with The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. From opening song to encore Springsteen offered complete value for money, blasting out hits of Born in the USA and The Rising. The Boss was a great coup for the organisers and his 3 hour set defined him as the headline act. Without doubt Springsteen nailed it and with a musical career spanning five decades, it was a magical ending to a wonderful festival.
Rob Collins. Irish Festival Awards
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