More than 30,000 music fans will be heading to the Isle of Wight for its annual music festival this weekend with crowd pleasers Coldplay and Foo Fighters taking top billing.
Former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed, controversial dance group The Prodigy and Primal Scream are among the main acts taking part in the three-day event.
Also included in the line-up are Dirty Pretty Things, the new band set up by Carl Barat following the split of The Libertines after badboy rocker Pete Doherty was thrown out of the group.This year’s event is the fifth since the festival was relaunched 30 years after its heyday when it attracted up to one million people to the island.
The Isle of Wight festivals at the end of the 1960s were a series of legendary events featuring Bob Dylan, The Who, Free, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane and culminating in 1970 with 600,000 hippies descending on the island to see Jimi Hendrix perform his penultimate concert.
Since restarting the festival, world-renowned acts such as The Who, David Bowie, Robert Plant and REM have played. Ben Jones, DJ for Virgin Radio which is broadcasting this year’s sold out event, said the festival reawakened memories of the infamous 1960s festivals.
He said: “Glastonbury gets the credit for being the best UK festival, but if you go back to the original festivals then it was the Isle of Wight that people remember – it is immersed in rock ’n’ roll history. But English festivals are now synonymous with summertime as much as strawberries and cream – it's what we do and we are doing it more and more.”
The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival starts today at Seaclose Park, Newport, and runs until Sunday.