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Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 12:11 UK
Isle of Wight Beatles fans await Sir Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney will headline the 2010 Isle of Wight Festival

Tens of thousands of music fans will make the journey to the Isle of Wight in June for the annual Isle of Wight Festival.

With Paul McCartney as the headline act, many fans of the Beatles will also be crossing the Solent.

However for fans of the Fab Four already living on the Island, the festival weekend is set to be a particularly memorable one.

Although the Beatles never played the Isle of Wight as a group, McCartney and Lennon did visit the island as teenagers and McCartney was the only Beatle not to attend the 1969 festival to watch Bob Dylan perform.

Tribute act

Two 'Paul McCartneys' will be performing at this year's Isle of Wight festival - one headlining the Sunday night, and the 'other' playing with the local Apple Beatles tribute band playing in the Hipshaker tent.

Rick Stanbridge
Rick Stanbridge has been performing Beatles covers since 2004

Rick Stanbridge has been 'Macca' since he started playing Beatles numbers with a friend in a local pub in 2004. Since then, the Apple Beatles have grown into an island institution.

The band were already booked to play for early-arriving festival goers on the Thursday evening when the headline act was announced.

Rick said: "You can imagine the feeling when Macca was announced and we were also on the bill! It's a massive honour that any full-time tribute band would be proud of, let alone some part-time local Beatle lovers like us.

"I get to play viola bass and do the Macca and we play across the spectrum, those songs we feel we can represent with good passion."

Rick has been "hooked" on the Beatles since listening to his parents A Hard Days Night LP at the age of six.

He continued: "To have this very influential legend arrive locally is something that was once only in my wildest imagination.

"To this day, I find more and more depth, timeless, classic instruments, genius arranging and song-writing and recording techniques to marvel and marvel at."

Beatles food

For Chris Sanders who runs the Octopus' Garden - a Beatles-themed cafe on Cowes High Street - the news that his musical hero was headlining the local festival gave him a quandary.

The Octopus Garden
The Octopus Garden has recently been refurbished

He explained: "It's one of our busiest weekends of the year, I just can't afford to leave the business."

Ironically, many of the festival goers wind their way past the cafe on their way to and from the Southampton passenger ferry.

"Both the festival and the Bestival are very good for us - it's good for business for the whole island.

"We're absolutely delighted especially because he has never played here before. This year's line-up is very good - and of course you couldn't get anyone better to headline than McCartney."

Chris already has a ticket for Paul McCartney's gig in Cardiff later in the summer so at least will not miss out on seeing the show.

He bought the Octopus' Garden cafe in 2006, having visited the island on holiday. The cafe has just completed a major refurbishment but still shows off Chris' collection of Beatles memorabelia compiled since the mid-1970s, growing up in London picking up old Beatles records and posters at Camden Market.

"It's quite nice to have the whole collection in one place, and be able to share it with everyone.

"It's a bit of a shrine and we do get some 'rabid' fans, but it's a cafe as well and people still want their hearty breakfast and something to eat."

Chris admits he would like to invite Paul McCartney to "drop in for a veggie-burger", although it wouldn't be the family's first encounter with the star. In 1981, his wife Penny tapped a man on the shoulder to help her repair a flat type at a motorway service station - only to discover it was none other than Paul McCartney.

The Beatles and the IoW Festival
15 Jun 10 |  Arts & Culture
Sir Paul unveils outdoor UK shows
02 Mar 10 |  Wales



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