Isle of Wight Festival traffic chaos resolved
Festival releases official statement
Chris Swindells - 22 June 2012
** Updated 20:39pm **
In contrast to an earlier interview with the BBC, Isle of Wight Festival organisers have now retracted the offer of refund to those unable to make it to the island due to the conditions, and made this official statement through their Facebook page: "There are lots of rumours circulating about ticket refunds and we just wanted to clarify. The situation has now been resolved and it is possible for everyone to access the site, enjoy the Festival and the music."
In an interview on the BBC, Isle of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings has offered a refund to ticket holders that have been unable to make it to the Festival because of the traffic problems.
Drivers arriving on the island have been directed to the Robin Hill overflow car park (PO30 2NU) from there buses will take festival goers to the site - for map and directions to the car park click here.
Isle of Wight Festival have released this twitter statement: "Due to high winds the Main Arena, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane will now open at 4pm. Many Thanks for understanding."
Isle of Wight Festival have apologised for long queues to get into the car parks which have left some festival-goers stranded
in their cars overnight. Organisers have opened extra fields and brought in metal tracks so vehicles could be directed to
overflow car parks.
A festival spokeswoman said: "If you are on the mainland we are advising people not to travel by car.
"There is a ferry service for foot passengers and this will be the easiest route. We are sorry for any disruptions caused."
Wightlink Ferries were forced to cancel many of their services yesterday as the island shuddered to a halt trying to cope with 65,000 extra people arriving in wet conditions, all of which meant a build up of traffic at Fishbourne and boats being unable to allow passengers to disembark.
Red Funnel who operate services from Portsmouth to East Cowes said: "Traffic now seems to be getting to
East Cowes. We will try and ship booked items as they arrive but as you can imagine there's a backlog. Please bear with us
whilst we try and catch up at East Cowes. Plan is to ship booked traffic that is here and then try and fill up with missed
Vectis 4x4 Response were on the festival site moving any vehicles stuck in the mud last night (Thursday) and in just under five hours moved 358 vehicles.
The festival organisers have tried to move cars to overflow car parks and used Newport Football Club ground to move stranded cars from around 7.15am this morning (Friday 22/06).
Music still continued last night, amidst the traffic issues, however festival-goers were cleared from the festival's Big
Top yesterday (Thursday) evening.
Festival-goers were asked to leave following Cerys Matthews's set at around 8.30pm amid safety concerns over the windy weather and muddy conditions.
According to the official Isle of Wight Festival Twitter account at 8.44pm the tent was closed for a short amount of time. Normal service resumed when the tent re-opened shortly before 9pm.
Speaking on local radio festival organiser John Giddings said: "Believe you me, I am doing everything in my power and the police are telling me to do everything in my power, because they want an emergency plan from me by Sunday about how we are going to get people out."
Yvonne Smith, 49, from Glasgow, Scotland told Virtual Festivals: "I had a car full
of passengers last night and we spent seven hours stuck in the car moving absolute nowhere before we gave up completely.
"At around 4am, a shuttle bus collected friends from the car, but I stayed with the car and slept in it overnight.
"I heard from the rest of them this morning and apparently the campsite is a mud pit too with the winds blowing tents all over the place."
She added: "It's not the organisers' fault that the weather is like this but it's obvious that the Isle of Wight's roads network simply doesn't have the capacity to cope with so much traffic if the weather is poor and God only knows what the rest of the weekend will be like.
"However, Biffy Clyro always bring the sunshine, so I've no concerns about that tomorrow night!"
John Pickett, a Virtual Festivals Facebook fan has reported this: "Took 11 hours
from the ferry to the car park, it's like a swap in the car park with 3 lorries towing you across it. Really windy so not
bothering with tents and staying in the car. Poor planning knowing it was gonna rain. Getting out will be a nightmare!!!"
An emergency and community information page has been set up on Facebook. To view the page click here.
Local islanders have also been caught up in the traffic and one school was closed today because of staff travel problems.
At 6.30am a local islander reported on twitter than there were hundreds of cars that had been waiting for more than nine hours near the crematorium to get on site.