Isle of Wight festival swamped by mud

Mud, floods and travel chaos dominated the Isle of Wight festival, overshadowing the music. The 55,000 people in attendance faced seven mile tailbacks, suspended ferry services and a festival site that resembled a mudbath.

Torrential rain that fell over the festival weekend was the main cause of the chaos. As car parks were churned up, traffic queued all the way back to the ferry port, preventing other ferries from landing their passengers. Some festival-goers had to sleep in their cars, or were taken by Hampshire Police to the Newport football ground where they were given temporary shelter.

Emergency measures were taken as organisers tried desperately to repair the car-park with woodchip and gravel. For many though, the experience was a nightmare, with Twitter buzzing with stories of people who hadn’t made it to the site.

Promoter John Giddings promised refunds to those who had been unable to attend. "If you have got your ticket, I have to refund you if you send it back to me," he told BBC Radio Solent. "If someone has suffered that, that's outrageous. I don't think I should keep their money. 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 about how we are going to get people out."

It suggests that the decision not to hold Glastonbury this year was influenced by some mystical foresight that the British weather would make a midsummer festival a chaotic and miserable experience.

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