Red hot Isle of Wight Festival 2014

I have literally no words to explain how awe-inspiringly cool it was… Just WOW! 

IOW Festival is a major annual event hosting live music shows for four days that brings plethora of entertainment and musical madness, with provision for camping sites at the heart of the island, with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Kings of Leon, Calvin Harris, Coldplay taking up the main stage. This year the most sought after event was on saturday the 14th by THE MOST MAGNIFICENT - Red Hot Chili Peppers! Aaaawwwww yay!!!! 

The tickets can be bought either online or at the Red Tunnel Ferry station. Once you have booked your place they send the relevant tickets called "passports" designed to look just like one for laughs (quite clever really) and wrist bands just a couple of weeks before the event to your home address. I only attended the 14th of June show. It was a long day(and night) all the way from 10Am till 3Am the next day… I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I can say this for sure now, "IOW for the win!!! You definitely did not disappoint me!" Big events and bigger names... thumbs up from me :D 

To start with, the festival had everything british that you could possibly expect: long queues from entrance to the toilets. Booze… Lots and lots and llllooooots of booze, and of course rain. LOL! Yup, it started to shower as soon as we got to IOW… Typical really! Anyway, the sky cleared out soon (twice between two brief drizzles) and we had some amazing sun to bask in while we sipped on our drinks, grabbed some grub and enjoyed the live music.

The entire site was enormous and well organised. So, to start with our exploration and covering all the relevant stalls, we looked up the map given in our "passports":

Passport and the site map 
There were hundreds of stalls for drinks, snacks, gifts, hippie clothes, trinkets, Indian decorative and accessories, tribal wears, junk jewellery, and what not at ones disposal. The variety was just overwhelming. As seen on the map (above) there were six places, marked in circles, to go to for stamps in case we wanted to receive discount on our tickets for next year. Well, I wasn't quite bothered about the stamps myself, I just wanted to relax, enjoy and have a great time. So we started off from the entrance making our way through bars and food stalls, till where the festival grounds ended. Everything was so enticing… I particularly enjoyed the layouts and presentations of some of the tea/drink stalls like the pretty "Intoxicated tea rooms," it had a really fancy board and fences, liquor infused tea, and folks doing the shimmy to live vintage music. Then there was the posh looking Zebra champagne garden, not much of a garden but it was a tent with tables and chairs laid out under the sun, a live band playing inside, a luxurious chandelier above a grand piano and expensive champagne served at the bar. I also liked the looks of the hookah (sheesha) bar (bright and colourful) and the strongbow garden with its funky gates decorated with large flower and fruit cutouts. Fun fun!!!
There was also an area in case you fancied "Bathing under the sky" where you could dip yourself in a wooden hot tub or a barrel sauna sipping on champagne all the while enjoying the view of the entire field from atop the "bus" deck. There were also live music played by known and unknown upcoming artists in all of the major stalls. From start till end, tribal to rock jam, there was music in the air…

Not to forget, the most impressive part of the entire management was the staffs endeavouring in keeping the ground spick and span. Kudos to them!


Coming to the main entertainment factor... The two venues for major events were the "Main stage" and the "Big Top". The line ups for the day were:

  • THE 1975

  • NVS

Right, so after going around half of the entire ground till just past the big top for the majority of the noon and sampling the assorted beverages each booze stall had to offer we finally settled ourselves down in front of the main stage. During lunch hours while we took our little break we watched the ridiculous performance and (lots of) swearing by "The pretty reckless"... They weren't bad per-say but it was rather funny to hear the lead lady scream "F U" so many times to the audience that comprised almost 30% of kids under 10… We then took a second tour of the ground, this time covering all the way till the "beach," which was rather disappointing, just a small beach themed site with sand 's all. We walked the length and back, got us some ice cream, more booze, and even lunch. Then we returned to the main stage ground to keep our place for the rest of the event. 

It was now time for "John Newman"! Boy was he cool! The cute fellow sang some amazing tracks from his album and even did impressive MJ dance jigs (he sure can dance!), finishing the lively and energetic performance with his massive hit single "Love me again". After about 45 minutes of break it was "The 1975". Now, I hadn't heard of them before but it certainly won't be the last time that I heard them. They were really good, each song was cool and  the lead (who looked a lot like Ben Whishaw with a certain disposition of Johnny Depp) was quite impressive with his vocal talent too. I'll certainly keep an eye out for them in future. 

Next were "The Specials"... Initially (pardon my ignorance) I was like "Who?" and my guy said, "You'll see…" with so much of confidence that as if it was no way that I hadn't heard them ever. And turns out he was right! I mean who hasn't heard "Ghost town"???? And as they sang more and more I realised I had heard more than just one song of theirs here and there, never realising it was them. Quite a good surprise and realisation :) Another band added to the playlist :D The energy of the crowd was immense as well, people tossing each other up, balloons and beach balls bouncing from one to another, ladies on shoulders grabbing the camera's attention and then lifting up their tops to show their lady lumps to show the whole crowd their excitement… Lol! Complete madness…

And finally, it was time for the grandest of them all, the mighty legends - Red Hot Chilli Peppers to take over the stage… The wait seemed like forever. We were packed tighter than sardines yet it never discouraged shenanigans from adolescent hormone-raged critters. Impatient, the crowd started singing "By the way" by themselves to keep the spirit up. Everyone held their breath or applauded whenever they saw someone come on the stage, bit of a false alarm but it was quite funny :p Then, at quarter past 11 at night, the lights went dim… Silhouettes could be seen as someone stood right at the centre of the stage with a few around, poised with their instrument, the final cheer from the crowd came… The faint sound of guitar was heard. Everyone going mental... Slowly and gradually the bass grew louder and louder... the unmissable beat took the ginormous audience by storm… I could feel my heart beat rise with the rhythm...  The whole crowd went wild… And then, came the amazing voice of Anthony singing the evergreen song "Can't stop." While Flea strumming ferociously on his guitar by Anthony's side with the same vigour we have known and loved him for… Gosh! That song can never be old!

"The world I love
The tears I drop
To be part of the wave can't stop
Ever wonder if it's all for you…
The world I love
The trains I hop
To be part of the wave can't stop
Come and tell me when it's time to…"

Other tracks they sang were: "Snow", "The adventures of Rain Dance Maggie", "Dani California", "Californication", "Other side", and their much awaited massive single "By the way." Uff! An hour rocketed by and no one ever noticed. When the beat starts ain't nothing's gonna stop me from jamming now! We were packed tighter than sardines in a tin can but I still jumped and danced… How can you not? They finally wrapped it up with their eccentric "Give it away"! Well, call me greedy but I wanted more, besides I was eagerly waiting for them to sing "The Zephyr song" too (I have some fond memories of that song :p)

Listen to the playlist here.

My share of RHCP!
Need I say more? It was just PHENOMENAL!!! A wild dream come true cause after all this life is more than just a read through ;) 

Felt like I was in school again! Thank you RHCP and IOW.


Okay, now for the haute couture!!!  As you can see I opted for what works best for beach festivals (although we were quite a way away from an actual beach). A simple white Tee with message of "global warming" on it (couldn't get more hippie!), a pair of high waist daisy dukes, new look's pretty floral headband (yayyy!), pink rose wrist/rubber band, floral sneaker to go with the accessories, and my funky pearl rimmed glasses. 

Yup! I made sure I looked as hippie as possible :p Don't know about you, but I loved it :D
As for the crowd, well, there were plenty many pretty girls, young and old, all clad in their festive best (sorry gents, it's ladies fashion time so kindly take a backseat for now, besides it's much easier for you guys anyway, a T-shirt or vest or nothing on top and a pair of shorts or trousers and that's it, you know your style better, I won't claim to be a fashion police for you :p). Here were some of the most common trends spotted:

1. Short

Daisy dukes and cut-off de-stressed denim shorts one of which gave me a cool fringed shorts DIY idea, coming up pretty soon so keep an eye out ;), and printed shorts too that looked equally cool.

Other forms of bottoms included harem pants, normal jeans (although not too many since most anticipated a sunny warm day) and pretty summer skirts in bright colours and daisy prints.

2. Head bands

All sorts of flower headbands, especially the summer favourite - daisies.

Okay something people never tell you about headbands is that they NEVER look the way you actually want then to all the time. May be briefly, but certainly not the whole time you wear it because...

a) It will always shift and crump up your hair like a bun gone wrong

b) If you have hair like mine, which is either too silky or just like Harry Potter's (has a mind of it's own), it is ever shifting under the headband, due to may be wind, head movements, dancing, forehead sweat or whatever. The look never stays the way I want it to stay. Soon I end up looking more like a hobo than like a princess!

c) Oh and has anyone even mentioned the mild discomfort and throbbing ache on the area under the elastic band part? I mean why won't anyone ever warn???? 

Okay, I always knew these would happen but seriously, I never hear ladies complain or talk about it at all… I wonder, is it just me? A fair bit of warning would do no harm...

3. Tops 

These were of the highest varieties… 

a) There were summer tops such as bralets, cropped-tops, cami tops, boob-tubes, crochet tops, vests, cheeky logo vests or just plain tees. A lot of see-through lace tops as well.

b) There were also lots and lots and lots of kimonos. Oh how I love them! Just a plain white vest, a pair of denim shorts, sandals and a fringed kimono thrown over and you look like a hippie goddess ready to party! 

c) And finally bikinis, of course there were bikinis, it's summer after all.

4. Shoes

I love collecting footwear a lot. I mean, honestly I guess I just wear about 1/5th of my collection but that never stops me from buying or DIYing more… Huff! Need some self control ;)

Well, summer times are the best when it comes to adding as many varieties in your wardrobe as possible. Anyway, coming back to the casual footwear worn by the general public, the varieties included keds, sneakers, pretty sandals, fugly jelly shoes (why???) and even loads of wellingtons just in case of down pour and bogs!

5. Summer Dress and playsuits

This wasn't all that common but there were occasional chic divas who were clad in their sunday bests such as a beautiful cocktail dress, there were also pretty day dresses in daisy prints. Cut out dresses and cute playsuits were fairly common too.

In all, I'd say the fashion sense of most ladies were impeccable. 

Well done ladies!

Oh, and there were dudes in dresses and skin tight jumpsuits. Not sure what to make of that O_o Some of them I just wish I could un-see. LOL! Anyway, with this ends the adventures of a hippie in a music fest! 

Here are some of the highlights of the day:

That's all for now folks. I hope I can make it next year too :D If you have been to any of the IOW festivals before you know how grand it is. And if not, I highly recommend you do. You won't regret it :)

With loads of red hot love,