Belfast Telegraph

The rest is plain sailing, says Isle of Wight event organiser after rainy start

John Giddings added Biffy Clyro, who headline Sunday, have an ‘explosive’ performance planned.

Attendees arrive at the Isle of Wight Festival (Ed Lawrence/PA)
Attendees arrive at the Isle of Wight Festival (Ed Lawrence/PA)

The organiser behind the Isle of Wight Festival has congratulated festival-goers for enjoying themselves despite a rainy start to the weekend, proclaiming “the rest is plain sailing”.

The festival is being headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra and Biffy Clyro, whose set Mr Giddings said people will be able to “see from the moon”.

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John Giddings at the festival on Friday (Ed Lawrence/PA)

The festival kicked off on Thursday evening with performances from Wet Wet Wet, Heather Small, James Walsh and Simply Dylan on the Big Top stage – amid rain and thunderstorms overhead.

“We had 24 hours of rain and the audience still enjoyed themselves,” Mr Giddings told the Press Association during a prolonged sunny spell on Friday afternoon.

“If they’re prepared to get through that, the rest is plain sailing really isn’t it?

“I can’t congratulate them enough on having the best time ever when the rain comes down like that.”

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(Isle of Wight Festival)

Mr Giddings revived the Isle of Wight Festival in 2002, 36 years after Ray Foulk founded it, organising three annual festivals from 1968 to 1970.

“It’s like putting a complex jigsaw together, and when you see it all working it’s really enjoyable,” said Mr Giddings.

The theme for this year’s festival is Summer of ’69: Peace and Love, as it marks 50 years since Bob Dylan headlined in 1969, singing to an audience estimated to number 200,000 people.

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Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight festival in 1969 (PA Archive)

Mr Giddings has asked some of the artists to perform a cover of one of the legendary singer-songwriter’s tracks.

Thursday night’s performance from cover band Simply Dylan saw them roll out hits including Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower and Maggie’s Farm on the Big Top stage, as the man himself did half a century ago.

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Ray Foulk and John Giddings on Friday (Ed Lawrence/PA)

Mr Giddings has predicted a remarkable lights show from Biffy Clyro on Sunday, saying they “spent all the money I paid them on the production for the show”.

“I think they’re going to blow the island up judging by the pictures I’ve seen,” he said. “You’ll be able to see it from the moon I reckon.”

PA

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