When one thinks of going to a rock or pop festival on tends to have some inbuilt preconceived ideas of precisely what may be in store for the music lover. Fields full of tents, poor sanitation, revellers joyfully prancing in acres of woodland mud, face painted peace signs and a million chemically induced inane grins looking back at one. Right: well let’s move on from Jimi Hendrix’s 1970 to the 2013 Isle of Wight festival. The fields of tents are still with us though some do have dishes in the shape of sunflowers for internet and mobile access. In other fields there are the huge motor homes or caravans and in all cases the revellers wore wrist bands of varying colours denoting their status and allotted access within the festival perimeter. There are several performance stages surrounded by every conceivable catering option which automatically removes the privilege from anyone wishing to bring their own food or drink onto the site. This is a commercial venture on a massive scale with some people paying up to £350 to wear an additional wristband with V.I.P. emblazoned upon it. The only ‘very important’ thing about these people is the price they’d paid for their free festival refreshments served in a pavilion style enclosure. I, along with my two fellow travellers, was lucky enough to be wearing a blue ‘backstage guest’wristband which, on two separate occasions on the first day, attracted cash offers of up to £1000 each. Personally the passage of time has brought with it the need for a few home comforts.
No more camping or communal showers. We stayed in a beautiful farmhouse: ferried to and from our festival backstage less-crowded environment by taxi driven by the amazingly patient Ray. Trust me, when one has spent the best part of ten hours on ones feet listening to Bon Jovi or the Killers, one is more than relieved to see Ray’s cheerful bearded face beaming back at exactly the right time.