MUDDIED but unbowed, festival-goers vowed they would be back despite torrential downpours at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band brought proceedings to a close late last night with an epic three-hour set.
And although the 50,000-strong crowds enjoyed periods of sunshine on Saturday and Sunday, the event was marred by rain on its opening day, which turned the campsites and car parks into quagmires, causing traffic chaos across the island.
The trouble even backed up to Portsmouth as the council allowed car parking overnight on Southsea Common for those who had been unable to get on the massively-delayed ferries.
Further downpours of almost an inch of rain overnight on Saturday brought more mud, but staff were able to act quickly to stop things getting out of hand.
Festival organiser John Giddings praised the resilience of campers and said lessons would be learned ahead of next year.
‘The reason we have had so much attention is that this has never happened before here,’ he said.
‘This was an extraordinary situation for the Isle of Wight festival.
‘But I know I can make it better. You can never give up trying to improve things and we have learned from what happened this year.
‘I know some people got stuck in traffic for a long time, but I have tried to make it up to them by putting on a great festival.
‘I’m just amazed by how well people coped and got on with having a great time.’
For Eddie Dunn, 38, from Gosport, it was his first festival experience and it hasn’t left him eager for more.
‘The music was great,’ he said.
‘But I don’t think I would come back and camp again.
‘In fact, I will probably give any festival where you have to park in a field a miss after this.
‘But the music was brilliant. We were really surprised by some of the bands we weren’t expecting to enjoy, like Example.’
Rachel Neill, 15, of Chapel Road, Swanmore, said for her and her friends and family the mud wasn’t enough to stop them coming back.
‘It was muddy,’ she said. ‘But that’s what you expect at festivals.
‘The bands were great, especially Biffy Clyro and Madness.
‘We will definitely be coming back. It hasn’t put us off.’