HEAVY downpours and high winds have led to a chaotic start to the Isle of Wight festival.

Hundreds of festival goers have been trapped in traffic jams on the island and those within the site have been soaked and caked in mud.

Organisers also closed the Big Top temporarily tonight amid fears about high winds.

Meanwhile there have been long traffic delays for people in ports and hundreds of people have been stranded on ferries.

Three Wightlink ferries with a total of 600 people on board have been waiting in the Solent for several hours.

The ferry firm said it was unable to unload cars in Fishbourne because of congestion.

A Wightlink spokeswoman said: “They are fine, and there are crew and food on board. We can’t do anything else with them until we can get into port to unload.”

About 65,000 festival goers are expected to attend the festival at Seaclose Park in Newport.

But all day and all evening massive traffic jams have been building up after the main car park became flooded.

Organisers were forced to create an overflow car park.

And before a note had even sounded on stage, revellers were coated in mud as they put up tents in heavy showers.

Washing-up bowls were used as impromptu shelters as a month’s average rainfall for June fell overnight. Police have drafted in extra patrols late tonight. Special 4x4 vehicles are towing cars into the festival car parks.