The real Isle of Wight festival review “officially unofficial” day 2.
Thursday 12th June. Let the festival commence. Or maybe not. I wake up in the north wing of the stubbly Johnson residence. Having arrived later than the rest of the party I or should I say we ( myself and my good lady ) are as fresh as a daisy. That’s more than I can say for the rest of the crew. The household resembled an episode of the walking dead for the first hour. We had a cab booked for 10:30am ( I think ) and at 9am this was looking like a sure fire no-go. We showered (you perverts get that image out of your heads, not all together we took it in turns although there was a large key bowl on the side so maybe I just missed out) and after the car crash that was Graham Stubbles came down the stairs momentum started to gather.
Credit where it’s due, our host cooked all of us a fine and dandy full English breakfast. No matter how rough he looked you have to say that boy has a way with a frying pan. Oh and a saucepan or 3. It was an incredible effort considering he looked like ( and in his own words felt like ) he had been hit by a truck. At 10am with half of us still eating stubbly disappears and re-appears 14 minutes later looking like a tramp that’s found a cheeky can of special brew in a dustbin. The grin is there, tick, mischievous glint, tick, ridiculous choice of clothing, tick. The one positive note is that being about 125 degrees ( slight exaggeration but it was bloody hot ) there was no sign of that soppy jean jacket he likes to think is cool. Just kidding stubbly 🙂
The minibus/cab van thing arrives on time and amazingly manages to fit in not only all of our stuff but every member of the travelling party also. Always a winner when you are a cabbie. So the 6 of us ( Lisa, John, Shelley, Neil, Stubbly and myself ) set off for the festival site. Of course being 130 degrees ( slight exaggeration but it was bloody hot ) the minibus driver informs us as we set off that he can’t turn off the heating. Just what you need when dehydrated and feeling a bit peeky ( not sure if that is a word but regardless just pretend for the benefit of the sentence ).
We arrive at the site after a very important man in a high viz jacket points for a bit then gesticulates for an even longer bit before in no uncertain terms showing us the exact spot that he wishes us to park in. We park, unpack. Join the queue awaiting the piper and the 12pm opening of the gates. John Lee who I have to mention as he is a truly magnificent chap has his own bit of kit to carry the majority of the equipment. Now if you are an Eco friendly environment lover with a responsibility for your carbon footprint look away for the minute. You wait till you see this I believe may have been Johns words as he carried half the contents of the amazon rainforest to the cab. I am hazarding a guess that the local B & Q in Maidstone was completely out of stock for any wannabe purchaser of wood in the middle weekends of June.. It’s a nifty piece of gadgetry until everything is on it. Then the handle breaks and it’s a not so nifty bit of kit. The last thing you need in 135 degree heat ( slight exaggeration but it was bloody hot ) is your transporter not being fully functional. Alas this was the case. Lisa and Shelley were buried under an avalanche of chairs , sleeping bags and the all important port-a-loo while John and Neil wheeled the Trojan horse type barrow across the grass and mud trying to avoid the empty beer and cider cans already spread over the field.
Luckily stubbly had an extra sack barrow found at a previous festival so him with his green box and me with my sack barrow made our way through the still crowds and awaited the arrival of Lisa, Shelley and the men from del monte. People were already laughing joking throwing frisbees, using the bushes as toilets and getting in the mood to party. Knowing there was still a little bit of walking still to do we all showed our sensible side and avoided the alcohol temptation that some had no doubt given in too. We are all around 40 so Jesus give us a chance. Recovery times are longer as you get older you know.
I have to give Neil, JOhn and the girls credit ( though not necessarily through a giant O in Johns name ) that in their defence they were armed with stuff for 6 as there were two more to join the group at a later stage. Amazingly for the first time since I’ve been going to the IOW festival the gates were open before 12. We as a crowd en masse started the slow and monotonous snails pace stumble through the various fields to the main entrance. Thankfully due to the serious lack of rain in previous weeks the ground was solid and the trollies rumbled relatively smoothly over the land.
It does seem though that some people just cannot wait that extra 45 minutes to get to a tent. Once festival fever hits you it encapsulates your being and drives you to drink. That’s the only logical reasoning I can come too when thinking about the next memory I have. Now at this stage we are still waiting to get in. This is a very rough guess but I estimate there were maybe some 1 to 2 thousand people standing in a field with very little to do other than sit and wait ( or as previously mentioned chuck stuff about and wee in the hedges surrounding us ). One chap, bald, at best late forties early fifties had his own plan. He was at the festival and it was time to let his non existent hair down. I confess, I have been during my time as an adult in some sorry states after feeling the effects of one to many sherbets but this guy knocks me into a cocked hat. A side thought but if you where a cocked hat does it make you a d**khead?. Onwards Nicholas.
This fellow to put it mildly had had one to many and then just to make sure he was undoubtedly smashed followed the one up with another seven or eight. Clinging onto his girlfriend or his sister or maybe they were one and the same he was wobbling around like a trifle on a rollercoaster. The only thing stopping his legs from moving other than his own physical capabilities was the fact that his jeans were round his ankles. Beautiful. I should also mention the fact that he was very red. Stubbly gets sun kissed… I get sunburnt… this poor bloke had been cooking on 200 degrees basted in goose fat judging by the look of his shoulders and arms. To not do him a disservice though he was still walking ( I use that term loosely, in the same way that Ron Atkinson isn’t a racist, he just uses the N word now and again ). Walking is probably slightly inaccurate. In hindsight I think he was being dragged, but he was still taking in the sun topless and glowing like a beacon on a lighthouse.
I think the well oiled bringer of sauce lasted at least as far as halfway into the first enclosed walkway before crumbling down hugging the fence. I only stopped to watch because it was at this point I noticed my barrow had become much more difficult to move. I first thought someone was taking advantage and adding stuff on but nope. Checked for cans and bottles obstructing the wheels. Nope. A third of the way approximately to our field the bolt holding the right wheel onto my barrow had decided enough was enough and had gone AWOL. It was now in the hands of the gods.. Or at least in the hands of a field with huge lumps.
As we approached the official entrance, having passed a half cut bag piper en route my sack barrow was suffering. Weight shift was the key. Or at least i thought it was. John and Neil were manhandling the arc like people possessed . They were doing a sparkling job. The theoretical approach was that we would all 6 of us share the burden and carry the load. I had carried the one sleeping bag for all of 500 yards before my bolt had gone looking for his nut. It had plenty of choice. This changed group thinking. As we reached the turn for general camping it was decided by stubbly ( and in fairness I gladly caved in ) that he would continue on with the group to lend a hand and I would stay parked up until his return. An ideal time for a Crabbies. Ginger , one of your five a day!.
I sat, I waited. 25 minutes later the bouncy boy returned. I had seen various people with their ” it’s a ********* thing ” *, ******** being a surname. I hadn’t seen drunk bald bloke. Again confession time. Stubbly and I had booked ” posh-ish ” camping. If you really must know as a reviewer I feel that I should say that #tangerinefields was worth every penny. I will give an overall explanation later ( bet you can’t wait ). We arrived and after given our wristbands we were shown to our tent. She was a lovely northern Irish girl called Anna. Not our tent! Our steward. Unfortunately it was in a secondary field. Our tent, not Anna. As we tentatively tracked our way to the 2nd field my sack barrow finally gave up. With our steward Anna carrying half my kit we finally got to tent 767. Then she had to be Boeing ( going ) geddit? Oh well.
Moving on, we unpacked. (Definition of unpacked in my eyes is I basically took my beers out of the rucksack and hid them in the shade to save them exploding). We unravelled beds ( separate rooms , told you it was posh ) and then with our 10 exposed Stella Artois ( 4% I’m not a wife beater ) we headed off back to where john, Lisa, Neil and Shelley had set up camp. …. Day 2 still has a twister , a hero , lady parts, the line of the weekend ( in my humble opinion ) and two new arrivals. This will have to be a 2 parter. Hope you like it.. At no point will i Be offended if you tell me to shut up so feel free to say what you think. Day 2 part 1 DONE! X