Festival boss: We’ll avoid more travel chaos

HE WANTS TO BE ADORED The Stone Roses headline
HE WANTS TO BE ADORED The Stone Roses headline
University of Portsmouth group finance and business students, from left, back row Professor Diego Vazquez-Brust and head of the accounting and financial management subject group at the University of Portsmouth Andrew Wood. 'Front row, Louisa Burton, Faculty of Business and Law dean Professor Gioia Pescetto, Francesca Sharp, Amy Davidson

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ORGANISERS believe a repeat of last year’s chaos will be avoided as the Isle of Wight Festival gets underway.

Around 50,000 music lovers were today beginning to cross the Solent for the annual event at Seaclose Park, Newport.

They will be hoping to avoid the travel nightmares which had a huge impact on the 2012 festival.

Torrential downpours left roads in gridlock, car parks became mud baths and up to 600 people were stranded on ferries with cars unable to disembark on to the island.

But a swathe of measures have been introduced to avoid a repeat of those problems.

Festival organiser John Giddings believes every precaution has been taken to ensure revellers can travel to the event smoothly.

He said: ‘It’s going great and we’re ready and confident.

‘We’ve doubled the size of the car park and we’ve segregated the ferry traffic. We’ve built permanent roads in and out of the car park and we’ve started working on site a week earlier than last year.

Mr Giddings added: ‘We have £300,000 worth of drainage in the main arena from Sport UK, because it’s football pitches 50 weeks of the year.

‘We’ve been meeting with the police every day to ensure things work like clockwork.

‘There are digital signs on all the routes which can be changed in 10 seconds and inform people of anything they need to be aware of.

‘The weather forecast is looking good so we are keeping everything crossed it will be a great occasion.’

Happy Mondays headline tonight’s opening night, with Jaguar Skills featuring in the festival’s dance tent. The focus then switches to The Stone Roses tomorrow with The Killers (Saturday) and Bon Jovi (Sunday) also headlining.

Mr Giddings said the festival site is in perfect condition to handle the influx of music fans.

‘There have been a couple of showers this week, but nothing tragic. The weather building up to the festival has been nothing like last year.

‘Last year the ground was waterlogged before the festival started, but this year it’s been completely dry.’