Isle of Wight Festival 2017
With no more island competition from Bestival, The Isle of Wight Festival proudly certified its position n the UK festival scene by once again returning to Seaclose Park in Newport. June saw the Isle of Wight Festival celebrate a sixteenth instalment since the 2002 relaunch with yet another successful event enjoyed by more tan 60,000.
Having attracted massive names in the past such as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Blur, David Bowie, Foo Fighters and many more of a similar calibre, it was this year the time for superstar DJ David Guetta, old school group Run-D.M.C., Canadian indie six-piece Arcade Fire and teenage heartthrob Rod Stewart to step up as main stage headliners.
Our Isle of Wight Festival adventure started on a damp Thursday evening, with Big Top stage performances from cover band Sex Pissed Dolls, The Alarm and Starsailor before an impressive, high-energy headline set from Razorlight in front of a large and fresh-faced crowd. With the weather constantly improving, Friday gave the first opportunity to explore the festival’s impressive main arena, with many rides, amusements and food stalls to keep the masses entertained both before and during the music.
The first band we caught on Friday was the impressive upcoming rock band from Southend, Nothing But Thieves, closely followed by the ever popular Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. The man from East Sussex has an incredible live voice, and fresh off the back of releasing his debut album ‘Human’ in February, the growing Isle of Wight crowd was treated by a man that is sure to go very big places in the near future. Playing straight before the co-headliners was Isle of Wight veterans, Kaiser Chiefs. The band fronted by Ricky Wilson got the crowd moving with ease, dropping banger after banger.
With the sun setting it was time for the first main stage headliner of the weekend. Making their Isle of Wight debut was hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. The New York outfit put on an incredible show, dropping hits from their impressive back-catalogue. The set was one of incredibly high energy and the crowd went absolutely mental for the old school tracks, especially when they played ‘It’s Tricky’, ‘Walk This Way’ and ‘It’s Like That’.
Closing the main stage on Friday was French producer/DJ, David Guetta. With an incredible array of albums, since hitting fame in 2002, the set was always going to be a massive success and he ultimately delivered. Guetta played a variety of older tunes as well as new material, including playing new single ‘2U’ featuring Justin Bieber for the first ever time live. With a magnificent pyrotechnics show the crowd, which was already spurred on by the quality Run-D.M.C, they pandered to a high octane UK festival exclusive show.
Saturday brought more of the same scorching weather and naturally, spirits were high. The first act we caught on Saturday was Keane frontman, Tom Chaplin. Chaplin got the crowd in the mood with his solo work before playing a number of Keane hits. Jack Savoretti was next on the main stage, and he put on a very good show for the now fairly large Isle of Wight crowd. This was quickly followed by Scottish rock band Texas, in one of the highlight sets of the weekend. It seemed as if the crowd knew every word to every song they played, it was a real Isle of Wight singalong show. Indie band The Kooks, playing their first Isle of Wight Festival since 2008 followed suit, playing all their popular hits to a lively crowd. In another highlight of the weekend, band of the moment Catfish and the Bottlemen came on stage in front of a massive crowd. The four-piece, who have been touring arenas and playing huge outdoor gigs, showcased the hits from their two albums.
Saturday night’s main stage headliner brought a very different spice to the previous nights headliners. Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire took the reins and, at no point, looked like disappointing. The group delved deep into their impressive back catalogue as well as playing their latest single ‘Everything Now’, which went down a storm with excitable fans. Saturday night didn’t end there, however, as Example and DJ Wire headlined the Big Top at midnight. The crowd in the Big Top tent was an entirely different kettle of fish, with an hour of almost constant jumping and singing. DJ Wire played an array of dance hits before Example came on and played all his bangers to a rammed and very sweaty crowd.
On the final day of the festival, the first band we watched was Scouting For Girls. Their 2007 hits went down as well as they would have then. A true gig about reminiscing. The band attracted a huge crowd and proved they could play much higher on the bill in the future. The next act we saw was Hertford singer, George Ezra. The set was highly enjoyable. With Ezra having one of the most unique voices out there, he played the bulk of his debut album, as well as playing new material off his upcoming record. With excitement building and the sun beginning to set, next on stage was the highly talented Bastille. The band brought a new energy to proceedings, with frontman Dan Smith joining the crowd during ‘Flaws’. The band went on to play hits off their first album and latest release ‘Wild World’, while also performing their take on ‘Rhythm of the Night’/’Rhythm is a Dancer’. Bastille was the best act of the entire weekend in my opinion.
Needing little introduction, Rod Stewart headlined the Sunday night. With an incredible display of LED’s, Stewart played for almost two hours and played his array of hits as well as Faces’ hits in what was a massive singalong in front of potentially the biggest crowd of the weekend. His stage presence was surprisingly very decent, with a full live band behind him and his voice is still better than good enough to headline festivals. It was a very enjoyable end to a great weekend.
Overall Isle of Wight Festival yet again consolidated its place as one of the UK’s best music festivals. It was a brilliant weekend, helped massively by the incredible weather. It shall be very interesting to see who headlines next year!
THE FESTIVAL IN REVIEW:
- Incredible headline artists.
- Large variety of acts.
- Lack of artistic content.
- Absense of varitey of bars eg. cocktail bar.
Organisation – 9.0 | Music – 7.0 | Food & Drink – 4.0 | Site Setup – 8.0 | Attention to Detail – 8.0 | Creative Content – 7.0 | Value for Money – 7.0
Overall Score – 50.0/70.0