Summer festival season begins with Isle of Wight extravaganza

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Thousands of music lovers are boarding ferries to the Isle of Wight to enjoy performances by Rod Stewart, Arcade Fire, Run DMC and David Guetta at the first major festival of the summer.

Other acts taking to the stage during the four-day event include former Spice Girl Melanie C, The Kooks, Razorlight, Alison Moyet, Rag 'N' Bone Man and Clean Bandit.

Hampshire police say they will provide a "heightened presence" at the event at Seaclose Park, Newport, in response to the recent terrorist attacks and advised the public to be "alert but not alarmed".

Festival organiser John Giddings has said the line-up is "one of the best" in the event's 16-year history since he relaunched the legendary festival of the early 1970s.

He said that he had been first made aware of Saturday night headliners Arcade Fire by David Bowie, who headlined the festival in 2004.

He told Absolute Radio: "They seem like really nice people but to name-drop, the first person that told me about Arcade Fire was David Bowie. Years and years and years ago.

"He said 'John, you should check out this band'. And, I mean, they've gone from strength to strength haven't they?"

Rod Stewart, famous for his songs spanning five decades including Sailing and Maggie May, will close the festival on Sunday.

As well as music spread across several stages, the festival features the Octopus' Garden, an area selling food from around the world including garlic mushrooms from the Island's Garlic Farm as well as craft beers.

Festival-goers can also enjoy a touch of luxury in the hot tubs provided by Bathing Under the Sky as well as glamping options including Tangerine Fields which provides standard tents as well as Bedouin and cube-shaped tents.

Other acts taking to the stage during the weekend include Bastille, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Zara Larsson, The Vamps, The Amazons, Starsailor, The Pretenders, Kaiser Chiefs, Imelda May and Scouting For Girls.

Since the festival was relaunched in 2002, world famous headline acts have included The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, REM, Coldplay, Blur and Foo Fighters.

The Isle of Wight Festival became famous when it hosted a series of events which culminated in 1970 with 600,000 hippies descending on the island to see Jimi Hendrix and other legendary acts.