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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Monday, 14 June 2010 16:10 UK
Isle of Wight Festival closes with Sir Paul McCartney

By Anna Lindsay
BBC News, Isle of Wight Festival

Festival-goers at the Isle of Wight
Many festival-goers wore wellington boots due to some muddy conditions

A young man in a "meringue"-style wedding dress greets me in the scorching sun and introduces me to his mother.

A civil servant by day, the mother stands proudly next to her 25-year-old son while she wears a basque, shorts and glittery make-up. Ah yes, UK festival season is most definitely under way.

The Isle of Wight Festival - seen as the first major festival of the British summer - came to a close on Sunday night, after a three-day mix of pop, rock and rap.

Headline act Sir Paul McCartney, in only his second UK festival appearance, rocked the last hours of the event with a two-hour set and 27 crowd-pleasers, including Hey Jude, Day tripper, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Live and Let Die.

The ninth festival to take place on the island since returning from its 1970 heyday - when Jimi Hendrix played just three weeks before he died - got under way on Thursday.

The annual event was restarted in 2002 and is now one of the UK's largest festivals.

Ruined sandals

Florence of Florence and The Machine
Florence and The Machine played on the Main Stage on Friday night

Naturally it rained on the first night and, by Friday, the camp site was a skating rink of thick, slippery mud.

Tens of thousands of revellers were forced to get about the site, at Seaclose Park, Newport, like unsteady toddlers - hands at the ready for the topple.

One festival-goer, who is four months pregnant, said: "People think I'm mad being here, especially camping, but I love it."

Quick not to miss a trick, stall holders in the Strawberry Fields arena put wellies on sale for £20 - causing scenes of blind panic as crowds fought to get hold of a pair, and ruined dainty sandals were ditched.

But what had promised to be a mud-fest in the early stages, gave way to scorching sunshine and a lot of sun burn.

Spray tan

Families mixed at ease with younger music fans, all here to see the unpretentious mix of music.

Jay-Z and Florence and The Machine headlined on Friday night, with Kayne West putting in an appearance during Jay-Z's set.

Football fans watch the World Cup big screen at the Isle of Wight Festival
Football fans grab a spot in front of the big screen at Seaclose Park

By Saturday, the World Cup was under way and a special arena and big screen allowed fans to watch England's opening game against USA.

Rockers Biffy Clyro competed with the match, but took it in their stride, as thousands still showed up.

Blondie followed, to mixed reviews, with The Strokes later stealing the Saturday show.

By the final day, anyone feeling a little unsanitary could get a hair wash and blow dry - or perhaps a quick spray tan - in an array of styling and make-up tents.

Women were crammed into seated rows having their hair straightened or curled, as Spandau Ballet played their afternoon set nearby.

"It's amazing, it's the best thing here", said Alex Gordon-Roe, 21, from Cambridge.

"I just woke up and just looked a state, now I feel so much better," she added.

Rock fans

But the star of the final night's line-up was undoubtedly Pink - appearing before Sir Paul - who began her set by dropping 100ft out the bottom of a box, suspended from a crane high above the screaming crowd.

As well as playing her own hits, she pleased the rock fans with The Who's My Generation, Green Day's Basket Case and Roxanne by the Police.

Other artists during the weekend included Editors, Crowded House, The Saturdays, Friendly Fires, Vampire Weekend, Paloma Faith, Juliette Lewis, Doves, Noah and the Whale, and Marina and the Diamonds, who played to her biggest crowd yet.

The festival, which the island council estimates brings £15m annually to the local economy, came to a close with the usual fireworks spectacular, as the rain started to pour and the race to the ferry began.




SEE ALSO
In pictures: Isle of Wight Festival 2010
15 Jun 10 |  Arts & Culture
In pictures: Isle of Wight Festival 1969
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Sir Paul backs 'green' festival
06 Jun 10 |  Hampshire
What does your festival say about you?
26 May 10 |  Magazine
IoW Festival's mystery girl photo
02 Jun 10 |  Arts & Culture
Island Beatles fans await Macca
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The Beatles and the IoW Festival
15 Jun 10 |  Arts & Culture


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