The Isle of Wight Festival in review by Peter White

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There may have been traffic congestion around Newport for a few days, but hopefully any disruption was soon forgotten, and the latest Isle of Wight Festival will be remembered as one of the best the town has ever hosted.

Tens of thousands of people of all ages converged on Seaclose Park to witness four nights of musical entertainment, climaxed by the appearance of legendary pensioner Sir Rod Stewart, who brought down the curtain on the Festival’s Main Stage on the Sunday evening. He thrilled the masses with a mercurial show, singing all the songs that have made him a world wide star, and at one point performing in front of a big-screen video of his Knighthood by Prince William.

It was reassuring for the hordes who made their way into the site that security had been stepped up following the shocking terrorist attacks in London and Manchester shortly before the Festival took place. Then an amazing mix of acts, pulled together by Festival organiser John Giddings, ensured entertainment for all music tastes — from Bastille and Rag ’n’ Bone Man to Melanie C and Imelda May.

The stand-out performance for me came from another Scottish star, Sharleen Spiteri, lead singer of Texas, who provided an hour of pure genius, singing all the hits that have made Texas famous worldwide. Perhaps a slight disappointment for some was the fact the hugely popular Alison Moyet and The Pretenders performed in the limited space of the Big Top, which was packed from start to finish, leaving many fans standing outside. Two such acts could surely have commanded Main Stage status.

John Giddings went on stage to apologise when the giant-sized screens either side of the Main Stage failed to work properly on the first night, but in truth that apology was hardly needed after another breathtaking music extravaganza right here on our doorstep.

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