Isle of Wight Festival moved to September following road map news

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

The Isle of Wight Festival has been moved to September from its usual summer date.

The annual event, at Seaclose Park outside Newport, was due to take place days before the Government’s June 21 target date to remove all legal limits on social contact.

Organisers said they hoped to bring back as many of the artists as possible for the later dates.

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Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi and Duran Duran were booked to headline the event, which originated as a 60s counterculture gathering before being revived in 2002.

A statement from the organisers said: “The Isle of Wight Festival is a summer staple and two years without being together on the island is too long. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that we’re moving the festival to 16th – 19th September 2021.

“We’re thrilled to be able to welcome everyone to the island in September. We’re aiming to bring back as many of the artists as we can but whatever happens, rest assured, you’ll enjoy a stellar line-up over the festival weekend. It will be the perfect place to see out the summer in spectacular fashion.

“The Isle of Wight Festival is always guaranteed to provide unforgettable moments. It’s standing arm in arm with fellow festivalgoers in Seaclose Park. It’s watching the sun go down over the Main Stage, cheering as the fireworks light up the sky.

Isle of Wight festival 2018 – Day 4
(David Jensen/PA)

“It’s revelling in over 50 years of musical history and discovering incredible new artists. It’s experiencing the inherently magical island atmosphere. It’s making friends for life and memories to last a lifetime.”

John Giddings, the boss of the event, said people are looking forward to festivals after “being locked up inside” during the pandemic.

“People want music and they want music in open air, because obviously they think it is a lot safer,” he told the PA news agency.

He added: “Going to a gig, a festival, is really enjoyable because you can talk to the person who’s standing next to you who you have never met in your life.”

People are looking forward to the “bonding experience”, he said.

Other festivals have also rescheduled until late summer or early autumn – Parklife in Manchester moved its 2021 edition from June to September.

And last week Reading and Leeds festivals announced they were going ahead this summer, with Reading selling out within two days of the announcement.

However, both Download and Glastonbury festivals have been cancelled for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic.

Both intend to return in 2022.

Download, which is held at Donington Park in Leicestershire, was due to take place between June 4 and 6 with headliners Kiss, Biffy Clyro and System Of A Down.

The Chancellor is expected to provide more than £400 million of additional support for the badly hit culture sector in his Budget on Wednesday.