Festival mornings all seem to blend into one. You get up, slip on your wellies and pick your way over the guy ropes to the toilets, loo roll and hand sanitizer under your arm. Following that is a breakfast of cider and junk food that your mother would be ashamed of. On this particular morning, we were excited for Pharrell Williams and Blur’s sets. On the way down to the arena we caught a few minutes of a surprisingly good country band on the Hard Rock stage. After a dodgy stir fry lunch in the arena we stretched out, enjoying the sun. Kool & the Gang were particularly good and had us all up and dancing. Pharrell, having featured in three major hits in the last few years (Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and Happy) was a highly anticipated act, however in my opinion he didn’t live up to the hype. The best part of his set was when he left the stage for twenty minutes, leaving his dancers to steal the show with a choreographed performance to what must have been a nineties and early noughties playlist. At one point some members of the audience joined him on stage, and one woman’s dancing with Pharrell gained a lot of laughs and cheers from the crowd. Blur’s two hour set was next, but they made the mistake of playing predominantly new songs for the first hour, which meant many casual fans left for the Big Top stage. The second hour, however, was faultless. Hit after hit was played with great energy, especially impressive when frontman Damon Albarn admitted he was recovering from having lost his voice only the day before. Their finale, The Universal, was highly emotional and beautifully accented by the lights of the fairground surrounding the arena as well as the stage lighting, smoke and bubbles.
We were disappointed that it was already our last day, but all cheered up when we found a gourmet mac and cheese stand called The Mac Shac, complete with punny names for each dish. With pasta in hand we lay out once again to wait for the day’s acts. Paolo Nutini supported Fleetwood Mac, but he could have been a headliner himself. He performed his hits with a new slant, creating mash-ups and re-imaginings of his own songs. It was a creative and engaging set to watch, but if he had performed a few more of his songs as they were recorded, perhaps more people would have recognised the melodies and sung along. Despite this, he was still one of my favourite acts from the weekend. My absolute favourite, however, was Fleetwood Mac, who showed they could still out perform some of the best acts in the world. They played most of Rumours, Landslide, and more, with what seemed to be genuine affection for each other – welcome after their catastrophic breakup and Christine McVie’s recent return to the stage. We all left the arena feeling buoyant from the atmosphere Fleetwood Mac had created and returned to the tent for a celebration with some of the friends we had made in the campsite.
All in all, it was a fantastic, unforgettable weekend. If you ever get the opportunity to see some of your favourite bands at a festival then take it. Just make sure you look after your cash.
Image credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-festivals/11674513/Isle-of-Wight-Festival-2015-Fleetwood-Mac-review.html