Isle of Wight Festival’s fiftieth anniversary edition appears to have not got off to the best of starts with fans labelling it an ‘absolute shambles’ as thousands of people have been left queuing in the sunshine for hours.
The popular music event, which is held at Seaclose Park, Newport, is kicking off today but has struggled to cope with the amount of fans arriving early.
Some fans claim to have been queuing for over ‘four hours’ and barely moved as well as being left exposed to the warm sunshine without any water or shade.
Ben Clements, 22, who is attending the festival with his family, said: ‘It is a shambles. We’ve been queuing for four hours, and moved about ten yards. People are being led around the queue and encouraged to queue jump. No water. No organisation. Pregnant women. People fainting. Over an hour for an ambulance to arrive. One sniffer dog checking every single bag, so only 20 people getting through at a time.
‘Only a matter of time before it kicks off. Police have asked the organisers to hand some water out two hours ago. They said it would take 30 minutes. Nothing happened. They said they would open the gate 45 minutes ago, nothing happened. Worst organisation I’ve ever seen.’
One person tweeted: ‘The pregnant women and kids with no water and shade might not be feeling very safe right now... this queue is shocking! We won’t be in for hours, people will fall ill. No stewards anywhere... people pushing in. Don’t blame people arriving early which they do every year.’
While Another added: ‘Been here since 10.15. Sat in the queue with 10yr old. Moved about 6 feet since you opened the gates. Absolute shambles. Missus is due to do the bungie at 6. Seriously think well struggle. Tell them not to cancel it.’
Isle of Wight Festival responded to the criticism on social media, tweeting from its official account: ‘Please bear with us, the glorious weather has brought a lot of you lovely people in early but we still need to follow security rules to keep you all safe.’
The festival, which was first held in 1968, will run until Sunday and will be headlined by Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, Depeche Mode and The Killers.