THE wait is finally over and it’s time for a Red Hot weekend!
Thousands of excited festivalgoers will today begin making the journey across the Solent to be among the first to set up camp at Isle of Wight Festival 2014.
The gates to the campsites at Seaclose Park will be open for the most eager revellers, determined to pitch up early and enjoy the first of four nights of spectacular entertainment.
And what a weekend it promises to be!
As well as more than 100 bands and artists performing on more than 20 stages across the site, England’s World Cup campaign will also get under way on Saturday night.
Topping the bill are acts including Calvin Harris, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon, Passenger and The 1975 while there’s also the traditional IOW blast from the past which this year includes Alison Moyet , Travis, Starsailor and Samantha Fox.
Forecasters are predicting a long weekend of bright sunshine and blue skies with virtually no chance of any rain falling and temperatures in their mid 20s – meaning Seaclose Park is going to be one hot place to be.
The combination of all these factors has left organiser John Giddings a very happy man.
He told the Daily Echo: “I’m so excited – the weather has put everybody in such an incredible and happy mood. It’s absolutely amazing walking around the site and seeing everyone smiling.”
This year’s festival has expanded yet again – with even more stages and places to explore popping up around the sprawling site.
John added: “The whole point is I want people to come here and explore, to enjoy discovering something new.”
And back again for a special football year at the IOW is the BT Field of Dreams where every World Cup match, including England’s clash with Italy at 11pm on Saturday night, will be screened.
Those deliberating between watching the Chilis on stage and catching a glimpse of the football need not worry either – there will be no restrictions on walking between the two at any point, while festival buses will also run throughout the night until everyone who needs to leave has done so.
John said: “We don’t want thousands of people walking into Newport late at night trying to find a bar with a TV showing the game, so we are showing it here, and everyone is free to move around the site between the mainstage and Penny Lane as they like.”
But what is the man who is about to run his 13th festival on the Island most looking forward to?
“I want to see Alison Moyet on Friday, The 1975 on Saturday and Passenger on Sunday – but mostly I look forward to the audience watching and enjoying themselves.”
n You can still get tickets on the gate and people are being urged to buy them at face value rather than from touts operating in and around Newport.