THE countdown is on for this year’s Isle of Wight Festival with headliners The Who and Queen with Adam Lambert.

Absolute Radio returns once again to the festival as the official radio partner, broadcasting live all weekend with exclusive artist interviews and uninterrupted stage sets from the star-studded line-up. 

Pete Donaldson and Sarah Champion will bring all of the latest backstage gossip every day, taking to the airwaves with special inserts from presenters Danielle Perry and Andy Bush who will also be on the Island. 

Ahead of their stint at the Festival, the Daily Echo spoke to Pete and Sarah. 
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s IoW Festival?

Sarah: “Three days of fun in the sun! The Isle Of Wight Festival feels like a mini-holiday from the moment you step on the ferry, it’s where I used to go as a kid, Alum Bay, Blackgang Chine and I’m still a big kid at heart so I love it!” 

Pete said: “I can’t wait to get on that boat – top deck naturally – there’s something incredibly special about heading over by sea! Oh, yeah…and the bands and that.” 

Is there a particular act that you simply must catch this year?

Sarah: “I didn’t imagine I would ever get to see Queen at a festival and a field full of people fist pumping to ‘We Will Rock You’ should be pretty special.”

Pete: “The Kills are back with some new stuff – they’ll no doubt be beside themselves to road-test it at such a big festival. Can’t wait for that. Though I’m obviously only going for Busted’s phoenix-esque return!”

What memories do you have of your own first festival?

Sarah: “My first festival was The V Festival in Chelmsford and what I remember most of all was the excitement crossing that field in the sunshine for the first time, it’s a buzz I still get to this day. Faithless were there as it happens and I remember thinking they were brilliant, they put on a mesmerising show of acrobatics and I may have had a few beers by then but I danced my muddy socks off!”

Pete: “Reading ’98 – I had David Beckham frosted highlights on my head, a German army shirt on my back, and I was there to get down to the Foo Fighters’ second album, still one of my favourites. Mansun, Ash, Supergrass – the sun was beating down, and security had to throw cups of water on the first few rows. I may have had my specs kicked off my head during Ash, but I’ll always remember that festival fondly.”

What are your festival tips for surviving and having the best of times?

Sarah: “Pace yourself and use suncream! There’s always someone passed out covered in sunburn on day one and you just think to yourself, mate that’s a pretty expensive sleep in a field you’re having there!

Pete: “Yeah, impose a no-drinking-until-after-four rule. And don’t talk about the stinky toilets; there’s literally nothing that hasn’t been already said about the unspeakable hum of a chemical loo on a hot day.”

Do you have a favourite festival item of clothing you always take with you – lucky shirt, pants?

Sarah: “Haha! Well now I WISH I had some lucky festival pants! I like to wear a festival headband of some kind, the sort of thing you might get a few funny looks for doing the grocery shop in but feels perfectly in keeping with things at a festival.”

Pete: “Most of my clothes are usually ruined and get chucked in a motorway services bin after three days at a music festival to be fair! I’m a clumsy, muddy idiot.” 

What should listeners absolutely not miss out on?

Sarah: “I’d say Don’t miss the start and don’t miss the end! All the enjoyment of live music without having to queue for the Portaloos. Sunday evening we’re generally a bit broken but don’t miss the round-up of the best of the festival.”

Pete: “Anything post-10pm we’re usually a little more ‘relaxed’ as people invariably keep turning up with beers to the Absolute Radio teepee – but there’s so much. Get the hammock set up in your garden, fire the barbecue up and have a three-day festival from the comfort of your own back yard!
What’s the most stupid item you’ve purchased from a stall at a festival and wished you hadn’t when you got it home?

Pete: “Leopard print coat. Ukelele. One of those hats that hold two beers and a combo straw. The first Gay Dad album. God, how long have you got?” 

Listen out for Pete and Sarah on Absolute Radio.