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Isle of Wight Festival 2013 Review

'The epitome of a perfect festival'

Isle of Wight Festival 2013 Review

Photographer:Trevor Eales

Francesca Perry - 17 June 2013

The Isle of Wight Festival once boasted a promise of sunshine for the three day event but this year, with the memory of last year’s mud and flooding chaos still fresh in people's minds, there is no doubt that festival-goers are filled with some trepidation as the weekend draws closer. Thankfully, Mother Nature seems to be on our side and traveling patrons are greeted by dry conditions. Typical summer festival attire and sunglasses are a must, as the sunshine comes out in (nearly) all its glory.

Early-bird campers are treated to a spell-binding performance from Jaguar Skills (10) on Thursday night, under the new and well received dance tent. The perfect warm up for what the approaching weekend has to offer.

With clear skies overhead on Friday, crowds flocked to the arena for more. Warming the audience up for an impeccable array of acts, breakthrough Mercury Prize nominees Everything Everything (7) take to the Main Stage, and Jonathan Higgs absorbs the audience with his distinctive falsetto voice.


Nottingham born, Jake Bugg (7) followed, bringing a modest yet entertaining set to the main stage, performing hits like ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Lightning Bolt’. Elsewhere the exceptionally talented Lianne La Havas (9) graces the Big Top with her presence, but despite her soothing, jazz infused voice and flawless performance the crowd is sadly lacking in number.

Another female singer-songwriter, Emeli Sande (8) delivered some pop intensity to the Main Stage, encouraging crowd participation, with her substantial array of chart toppers, including ‘Beneath You’re Beautiful’, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Clown’.

The Modfather Paul Weller (7) gears the crowd up for the Madchester favourite, The Stone Roses (7). Playing plenty of crowd pleasing classics, the Manchester legends, despite bad tuning and drizzly conditions, meet a virtuous reception.

The rain clouds disappear on Saturday but gale force winds cause havoc with hairstyles and sound quality as Laura Mvula (7) takes to the main stage, performing to a chilled out afternoon crowd, basking in the sun.

Successful indie-poppers Bastille (9) reap plenty of delight throughout the crowds, as hit, ‘Bad Blood’ opens. Last playing here in 2011 under the Strongbow Tent, things have certainly progressed for this breakthrough band. Eternally grateful at the reception, the humble Dan Smith tells the crowd: “This is the biggest gig we’ve ever played, which is terrifying”.


The Killers (10) certainly didn't show any nerves as they pushed the crowd to their limit on Saturday night with their unique Vegas indie rock and rol infused masterpiece. Flowers performed with an evident determination to provide an unforgettable night, with anthems such as ‘Mr Brightside’, ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ and ‘When you Were Young’ amongst new offerings.

Forecast for heavy rain, Sunday thankfully does the opposite and brings sunshine, the perfect weather to end a perfect weekend. Newcomers Kodaline (10) performed at the Big Top, with an absolutely seamless performance. Playing hits, All I Want and High Hopes, amongst new tracks, they look set to be big stars of the future.


Reunited for the first time in 27 years, The Boomtown Rats (7) bring an eccentric set, bursting with nostalgia. Influenced by the late and great Eta James, Paloma Faith (8) followed, providing an extravagant, soulful performance.

A sense of sadness looms over the site as the festivities are almost over and fans prepare themselves for the American Rock Legends, Bon Jovi (10). Taking ownership of the arena, the crowd becomes a sea of hands, aloft with elation. Magnifying and throwing energy back into the audience, it makes for a wild finale to a blinding set, shows that the rockers have still got it.


Isle of Wight Festival 2013 has been an astounding triumph. With such an eclectic mix of acts, the festival reaches out to a varied crowd, from teens to grandparents. The vibrant atmosphere, accompanied by beautiful sunshine and an epic line up, leaves many guaranteed to take home some life long memories. In hosting the epitome of a perfect festival the Isle of Wight has again succeeded, and we can’t wait for what the festival in 2014 will bring.

Click here to see our full Isle of Wight Festival coverage.


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