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Isle Of Wight Festival Hit By Travel Chaos After Torrential Rain

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Are there any members on the Island and can give us an update on this one please?

Festivalgoers sleep in cars on gridlocked roads or are stranded on boats as wet weather turns site into mud bath

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Torrential rain has caused chaos at the Isle of Wight festival as revellers arriving at the weekend-long event were forced to sleep in their cars after torrential rain turned the site into a mud bath. Organisers dismissed fears that the festival would be cancelled, but urged people to avoid arriving at the festival in cars as torrential rain caused car parks to become waterlogged.

Ferries were cancelled and people found themselves trapped on boats and in cars, or evacuated to a football ground as the island ground to a halt. Roads leading to the festival were gridlocked on Thursday night as revellers could not enter the waterlogged car park.

Ferry companies were forced to suspend their services and about 600 people were stranded on ferries on the Solent, unable to disembark because of traffic build-up on the island.

There were still queues to get on to the site on Friday as organisers desperately tried to drain carparks, laying gravel and calling on local farmers to deliver hay. Ben Jones, a spokesman for the festival, said safety was the first concern, but assured festivalgoers the event would go ahead. Car parks were being pumped and new parking facilities opened around the island with people being given free shuttle buses to the festival, he said.

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"There are some delays getting on site and for that we apologise but we are working around the clock to make sure people can get on the site and, just as importantly, leave safely when the festival is over," he said. But the atmosphere at the festival – which features headliners Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Pearl Jam and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – was positive, he stressed.

"The atmosphere among the music lovers here is one of optimism," he said. "People are looking forward to seeing some of the best live bands in the world."

The festival's problems began after the site was lashed with heavy rain on Thursday, causing the event's carparks at Seaclose Park, Newport, to become churned up with mud as cars began to arrive. Car parks soon became inaccessible and caused long queues, stretching back to the port towns of Ryde and Cowes.

Police intervened in the chaos, leading stranded festivalgoers to Newport Football Club where they were given shelter overnight. People are now being advised to avoid arriving at the festival in cars if possible.

Some festivalgoers who arrived on the island last night abandoned the shuttle bus from the ferry to the site – usually a short journey – after travelling only half a mile in two and a half hours. Lloyd Shepherd, sitting outside his tent in windy, but for the moment dry, weather said the short route from the ferry terminal to the festival was entirely blocked for much of Thursday evening. "As we hadn't moved in hours we decided to get out and walk the four miles to the site," he said. The scene that confronted them was barely more welcoming. "It was as grim as grim can be – wet, windy and cold," he said. He added that organisers appeared to be underprepared for the wet weather. "It is carnage here. The main walkways to the main arena are bathed in mud. I saw a woman caked in mud and dragging a wheelie suitcase behind her – she didn't look too happy."

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Shepherd and his friends arrived at the site around 9pm. But others were less lucky. "We heard of people just sleeping in their cars in the middle of the traffic jam and being trapped in there for eight or nine hours," he said.

Fiona Gregory, from Salehurst in East Sussex, said she had left home at 1.30pm on Thursday and was still stuck in queues in the early hours of Friday morning. She told the BBC: "I'm so upset. It's a complete disaster. On the island it has been a nightmare. There are no police, no diversion signs, nothing. Now we're about two miles away on a country lane and we have moved one mile in the last four hours."

More than 50,000 people are travelling to the festival. Entertainment started on Thursday night for those who had reached the site, although the Big Top stage was evacuated at one stage because of heavy wind and rain. It reopened again for the headliners Primal Scream.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jun/22/isle-of-wight-festival-rain

http://www.isleofwightfestival.com/

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The heavy rain forecast for Sunday morning won't help either!

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It certainly doesn't look good if you're there and I wouldn't be setting out now to go as there is more rain on the way:

Festival promoter John Giddings asked those who never made it to send their tickets back. "If someone has suffered that, that's outrageous, I don't think I should keep their money," he said. Mr Giddings, who is expecting 55,000 people to attend, said the bands are being given a police escort to the site to ensure they arrive in time to perform. He added: "The bottom line is when you put a car on a really wet field - no matter how much gravel, trackway or woodchip you put down - it will be a problem. "Every time you put something down, 20 cars pass over it and it sinks into another layer of mud.

"The only way to get around this is to tarmac all the fields." "The weather has been horrendous. The amount of water that has fallen in just 24 hours is beyond belief. "I'm really sorry and appreciate the support that people have given us. I'm sorry they have had to suffer these conditions."

Hundreds of revellers were been to sleep in their cars overnight after traffic became gridlocked when the festival car park turned into a mudbath caused by heavy rains. The queues caused ferry companies to suspend their services and about 600 people were stranded on the Solent as the boats could not be disembarked because of traffic build-up on the island.

The problems started after heavy rain fell yesterday, water-logging the event car parks at Seaclose Park, Newport, meaning that they became churned up with mud as cars began to arrive. Mud at the festival site caused by heavy rain led to huge delays in parking and resulted in tailbacks as far back as the port of Fishbourne.

Police led many of those waiting to Newport Football Club where they were given shelter overnight. Now organisers are urging anyone still waiting to get to the island to leave their cars. A festival spokeswoman said: "If you are on the mainland we are advising people not to travel by car. "There is a ferry service for foot passengers and this will be the easiest route. We are sorry for any disruptions caused."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-festivals/9349374/Isle-of-Wight-Festival-goers-who-gave-up-and-went-home-to-get-refund.html

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Have to admit, I would hate to be there under those conditions - urggh!

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The heavy rain forecast for Sunday morning won't help either!

Not good at all......

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http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=wira;

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/se/st_catherines_point_forecast_weather.html

Sunday early hours could add another inch to the craziness!!!

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Because of the traffic jams on the island yesterday the ferries had to be cancelled as cars couldn't disembark, so police diverted cars away from the ferry terminal in Portsmouth to park up on Southsea common as they were started to clog up the roads in Portsmouth too! I don't know why so many people drive over there anyway, they can easily get the train to the ferries here & get trains/buses/shuttle services on the island...fools.

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I don't know why so many people drive over there anyway, they can easily get the train to the ferries here & get trains/buses/shuttle services on the island...fools.

Presumably they carry the entire family's tents, airbeds, sleeping bags, clothes, food for the weekend, booze etc under their arms ?

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Because of the traffic jams on the island yesterday the ferries had to be cancelled as cars couldn't disembark, so police diverted cars away from the ferry terminal in Portsmouth to park up on Southsea common as they were started to clog up the roads in Portsmouth too! I don't know why so many people drive over there anyway, they can easily get the train to the ferries here & get trains/buses/shuttle services on the island...fools.

As an exiled Caulkhead i completely agree. They shouldn't be taking that number of cars over regardless of the weather. There should be some sort of park and ride scheme based on the mainland - or better still, just don't provide parking anywhere and make them all come over as foot passengers and get special buses to and from the site.

The IOW cannot cope with it's own volume of traffic, let alone 50,000 more people bringing cars.

I shall be watching the weather radar on saturday night/sunday morning with some interest....

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Presumably they carry the entire family's tents, airbeds, sleeping bags, clothes, food for the weekend, booze etc under their arms ?

every festival i've been to i went on foot. It's this bloody obsession with driving everywhere (they would park by the stage if they could) and having to take the contents of the house to go camping for a weekend.

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Wouldn't wanna take kids to any of the festivals I've been too... 'Daddy, why does that man have such big eyes and keeps on hugging everyone?'

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I shall be watching the weather radar on saturday night/sunday morning with some interest....

Looks like it will be touch and go for a large amount of rain to add to the mud baths:

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GFS has been consistent with the positioning and amounts for a few runs now - I wonder if the organisers have contingencies for when the place floods????

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http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4389994/Mud-mayhem-at-Isle-of-Wight-pop-festival.html

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I wonder if the organisers have contingencies for when the place floods????

Surely they would have given it some consideration and turned the 'mud bath' into an attraction...

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Big rain coming, head for your tents!!!!

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