Queuing… we all know it’s the right thing to do. The vast majority of us wouldn’t dare violate our sacred philosophy that we should stand in line and wait accordingly for our turn in any scenario. Quite rightly so, but it doesn’t mean we enjoy it. Can you feel me? Particularly when you’re waiting anxiously after a savage week of work to get into a festival, throw your belongings down and get down to some serious business. Now imagine rocking up to a festival site, where everybody has a relaxed smile on their face, people are offering help to perfect strangers who are clearly over encumbered beyond belief and there’s an immense feeling that something awesome is about to happen. That is exactly where I found myself on Friday afternoon.
Struck with a warm sensation that this weekend was going to be an absolute belter. I sat waiting for my partners in crime to arrive, exchanging pleasant conversation with passers-by and taking in the beautiful scenery that the Isle of Wight dishes out willingly every time I’m there. It took a matter of minutes to collect our wristbands, make our way past the security checks and make our presence known in the campsite. Everything and everyone was chilled and my God was it infectious. Ordinarily at a festival, it takes a good few hours to wind down after the monstrous ordeal of simply gaining entry… not here. Tents were up, bags were down and we were in full effect. The sun was hammering down and before we’d even left the campsite you could hear catchy, funk-riddled basslines erupting from the main stage.
After a quick skim around the site, we got our stomp on over to the Didge Café. An awesome tent with an abundance of comfy sofas and arm chairs surrounding a standing area (big enough for a crowd to get raucous,) aimed towards a stage with a fantastic sound. I must admit that any place on God’s green earth that enables me the righteous opportunity to buy a luxury toastie along with a double whiskey and a slice of carrot cake has my immediate blessing anyway. Sounds of Harlowe took to the stage and delivered an absolutely cracking set. A Bristol-based hip-hip-soul band, which I had the immense pleasure of catching at the Bestival last year, got the juices firmly going. We took a wonder up to the Main Stage to catch the last half hour of Paprika, a band blending Classical, Balkan and Eastern European music, and doing it with style.
A quick rush back to the Didge Café to catch Tankus the Henge, who if you haven’t seen, get on it! They’re spot-on and were spot on today. Thoroughly razzed up after these guys I made my way over the Mexican food stand, which formed my addiction for the weekend. I could quite happily savage a good amount of their Fajitas. Now fed, and refuelled from a quick trip back to the camp, we made our way over to see Z-Star. Someone told me beforehand that they had gotten serious reviews from some rock legends.
These guys were the highlight of the weekend for me. They rocked out something nasty! I will be checking them out again ASAP. I had the pleasure after their set, covered in sweat, to head back and meet the band and had a great chat. All of them were lovely, a great laugh and you almost forgot they’d just given you a damn good seeing to on stage not long ago. After leaving these guys, we made our way slowly back to the campsite where it didn’t take long to meet some likeminded Lords and Ladies, sit down, pour a drink and put the world to rights. Hands down, my favourite opening day to a festival so far.