Here's our ten highlights from an INSANE four days at Seaclose Park:
1. The music (obvs!)
Another year, another amazing lineup with headline slots from Queen + Adam Lambert, The Who, Faithless and Stereophonics, as well as performances from Jess Glynne, Busted, The Corrs, Cast, Feeder, Richard Ashcroft, Iggy Pop, Sigma and many, many more! With so much music on offer, it was almost head spinning trying to figure out who to see, not to mention darting from one end of them massive festival park to another! Our personal highlight was raving along to Faithless' 'Insomnia' on Friday night, with thousands of revellers screaming "I Can't Get No Sleep!" It was electric! The energy was so intense it's almost indescribable. Just amazing!
2. BT Sport's Field Of Dreams
With Isle of Wight 2016 Festival coinciding with the launch of Euro 2016 it was only right there was a special BT Sport Field Of Dreams showing all the matches on a huge screen, conveniently located next to a Red Bull bar and main bar. We headed down for the England v Russia match and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible. It was standing room only as thousands packed into the field, bursting with energy and excitement. A DJ built up the crowd before kick-off, blasting out classic football songs including 'Three Lions' and 'Vindaloo' … and when England scored, wow, it was crazy! There wasn't quite the same reaction for the second goal of the night…
3. Electro Love
One of our favourite tents at Isle of Wight was the Electro Love lounge boasting a nostalgia-heavy 1980s playlist every night. We ventured there after Faithless on Friday night, to find the DJs dressed as Mario and Luigi, a bubble machine blowing across the crowd, UV lighting and the most insanely lively atmosphere ever! It was so popular, it was one in, one out at peak times. We danced and sang along to all the classic 80s tracks, before catching our breath next to huge Rubix cube-styled tables. There was also a classic gaming room featuring old school N64s, Dream Cubes and more, playing all the classic games from your childhood. Hello Goldeneye and Street Fighter!
4. Stereophonics' mad confetti
Stereophonics were the penultimate main stage act on Friday night, and finished their hit-packed set with an explosive burst of colourful strips of confetti that flew out over the audience… before the wind swept it all back towards the stage. Oops. The result? Confetti strung all over the lighting equipment at the top of the stage, across the big screens and rather close to the section of the stage roof where flames had earlier burst up as part of the Stereophonics' show. Cue a crew member having to scramble to the very top of the stage (wearing a harness!) and cut it all down before Faithless began. They were still cutting it down the next day as well!
5. Rhythm of the 90s at Hipshaker Lounge
When we arrived on Thursday night not much was open, as the music didn't officially begin until Friday… so the Hipshaker tent was PACKED OUT! And for good reason: 90s dance band Rhythm of the 90s were ON FIRE! Seriously, they were just amazing! It was their first time at Isle of Wight Festival and we were taken back to our younger years with classic tracks like 'I'm A Believer', 'Ecuador', 'Insomnia' (ahead of Faithless playing on Friday!), 'Out Of Space', 'No Good', 'Set You Free' and SO MANY MORE! We could have danced to them every single night! Bring them back next year, Isle of Wight, pleeeease!
6. Tim Peaks' Diner
Up all night dancing + alcohol = desperate need for coffee in the morning! We found Tim Peaks' Diner inside the Hey Joe! bar and fell in love. Seriously, the cappuccino was incredible! And it served very virtuous (and delicious!) apple juice soaked Bircher muesli with fresh fruit, which was so much nicer than a big greasy burger. As well as live music inside the tent, there was a very chilled out garden next door, where you could sip your coffee and watch the world go by. The coffee shop was created by The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, who performed on the Saturday.
7. The BA Check-In Desk
We walked past the British Airways tent and thought, huh?! Why is there an airport check-in in the middle of a music festival? Well, word soon spread that it was a very special experience indeed and the queues built up quickly - and for good reason! After being questioned at check-in on where you were flying to, you climbed through a luggage belt into the main tent, to be greeted by a dancing security agent! Inside, there were podiums featuring dancing runway workers, a DJ booth on top of a pile of suitcases, and a beer garden. There was also a speakeasy bar, where you had to correctly answer a question in order to get a sample cocktail. (Ours was: "What was the original name for New York?") A spin and win table elicited much fun with prizes including flights to New York, first class wash bags, pilots' hats and inflatable planes, while complimentary massages, face painting a photo booth were also inside. Flights could be won to exotic locations via Gatwick Airport, while an airplane exterior allowed you to take selfies 'in the air'. Loved it all!
8. Stand Up To Cancer beach
As the official charity partner for Isle of Wight Festival 2016, Stand Up To Cancer – from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 – had its own beach area, complete with sand, deck chairs, giant ice creams and a DJ booth. Even better was the Bear Grylls' tug of rope challenge, which fuelled much camaraderie, cheering, falling over and all around fun, as teams or individuals tried to win. Made In Chelsea's JP Patterson even made an appearance, while free suncream was available so festival goers could protect themselves across the hot weekend.
9. Bathing Under The Sky
If you wanted to splash some extra cash, you could book a two-hour hot tub session courtesy of Bathing Under The Sky. From £25 to £45, depending on which day you chose and what experience you wanted. It involved relaxing in a wood-fired hot tub and enjoying a sauna, with spa facilities also available. Tickets included a complimentary glass of champagne, showers, hairdryers, deckchairs and cushioned day beds. We didn't actually bring swimwear (who would to a festival?!) but thankfully you could hire some. Every time we walked past we were SO jealous of everyone just kicking back, fizz in hand, while we trudged along on the busy dirt path outside.
10. Bowie tribute
Thousands gathered by the main stage on Saturday to pay tribute to the iconic David Bowie, who passed away in January following a battle with cancer. His last-ever UK gig was at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004. Stand Up To Cancer sold masks bearing the singer's image, and the crowd were asked to wear them at the main stage while highlights from his IoW set were played. Andrea Corr and Gary Kemp then performed a beautiful cover of 'Starman'. An odd mix, perhaps, but it really worked, with Gary's soft guitar strumming perfectly matched to Andrea's quiet intensity. The hospitality bar was renamed Blackstar Bar in honour of Bowie's last album.