Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Revellers gather on Isle of Wight

Boy George performing in the Big Top Stage at the Isle of Wight Festival, in Seaclose Park, Newport

Thousands of music lovers have made the ferry crossing to the Isle of Wight for the first of the major summer music festivals.

Biffy Clyro, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the Kings of Leon will headline the three-day Isle of Wight Festival, which coincides with the start of the football World Cup.

Large screens have been set up so festival-goers can watch the World Cup matches, with England due to take on Italy after Saturday's headline act by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Meanwhile, organisers are warning of a heat wave.

John Giddings, promoter of the festival which is now in its 13th year, said he was confident the weather and choice of headline acts would make for memorable weekend for up to 75,000 festival-goers.

He said: ''We're predicted a heat wave. The sun has been shining for the last week and I'm quietly confident it's looking to be a record-breaking weekend."

''Not only do we have three of the biggest headline bands, but on top of that we have over 100 acts playing across the festival's 20 stages.

"And of course, we've also got the football."

Other acts performing at the festival, which runs until Sunday at Seaclose Park, Newport, include Tom Odell, Starsailor, The 1975, The Specials, Suede and Sam Fox.

Last night Boy George was among a handful of acts to warm up the crowds before the festival gets fully under way today.

Problems were experienced in 2012 as campers faced lengthy queues to get into car parks because of heavy rains. However, recent improvements to the entrances and traffic systems have prevented a repeat of the problems two years ago.

John Giddings added: "I can't believe the weather forecast for this weekend, it's incredible. Combine that with the line-up and it's shaping up to be a red hot festival. Please don't anyone forget your sun cream."

Met Office Chief Forecaster, Paul Gundersen, said: "We're heading into a period of sunny and warm weather just in time for the festival.

"We expect it to be warm and dry with long sunny spells, which is great news for festival-goers, who should prepare for the nicer weather by packing sun cream and ensuring they keep hydrated throughout."

Lawson will be the first act of the day, taking to the main stage at 4pm.

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