Music-lovers pour over the Solent to festival

Festival goers queue at the ferry port in Portsmouth, before heading to the Isle of Wight Festival which begins tomorrow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 9, 2011. See PA story SHOWBIZ Festival. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Festival goers queue at the ferry port in Portsmouth, before heading to the Isle of Wight Festival which begins tomorrow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 9, 2011. See PA story SHOWBIZ Festival. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
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FESTIVAL organiser John Giddings had said this could be the best Isle of Wight festival yet – and by George he may be right.

Early-bird campers took over Seaclose Park near Newport today for the start of the three-day festival, as a sea of tents began to appear, as revellers used everything from supermarket trolleys to suitcases on wheels to cart their belongings over to the site.

Tonight eighties legend Boy George was entertaining campers by singing a set of Culture Club songs in the Big Top and cheesy pop stars ABC also took to the stage.

About 70,000 music-lovers are headed across the Solent, packing out ferries and the hovercraft service from Southsea.

At the site, festival-goers were getting excited.

Mike Doyle, 20, a student from Portsmouth University from Southsea, said: ‘This is the first year I’ve ever been to the Isle of Wight. I’ve come with some mates because everyone says how good it is. I’m looking forward to seeing the headliners most, but Tom Jones should be good too.

‘We’ve come up early to set up camp. It’s going to be great.’

Friend Toby Brusey, 20, from Southsea, said: ‘I’ve been to the Reading Festival before but wanted to see what the Isle of Wight was like.

‘The line-up’s pretty good this year with a good mix of new and old. I really want to see the Kings of Leon.’

The festival proper gets under way tomorrow with Kaiser Chiefs and Kings of Leon due to play the Main Stage.

Light showers threatened to dampen the atmosphere but there was still plenty of sunshine today as the rainclouds held off. The forecast is for showers tomorrow, sunshine on Saturday and heavy rain on Sunday.

Andrew Foster, 31, of Fareham, said: ‘They say it’s going to rain on Sunday but I don’t think it really matters – we’re still going to have a great time.’