There’s a unique romance about the IOW festival. Maybe it’s following in the footsteps of iconic acts like Jim Hendrix, The Doors, the Who and David Bowie or the excitement of having to get on a ferry/hovercraft to get there! The sheer numbers (up to 90,000 daily attendance) means that for 3.5 days in June IOW IS the festival!
The 2017 main stage headliners included Rod Stewart, Run-DMC, Arcade Fire and David Guetta. These acts were all amazing but go there just for the main stage and you miss out big-time. The Big Top stage hosted bands such as The Amazons and The Sherlocks who played to packed out audiences. The Amazons is a stand-out band on any stage. Hot property off the back of their debut album they looked like they been playing massive stages for ever. An absolute favourite performance of the entire festival. Catch these guys this summer. Not only is the music huge but they are totally down to earth and were well and truly over-excited to have played the same stage as The Undertones on the final afternoon of the festival!

The first thing anyone new to festivals needs to know is that it’s not possible to see everything and invariably if you really want to see certain bands they’ll be sure to be scheduled on different stages at the same time! Luckily some bands played several sets on different stages across the festival and it’s fascinating to see how they deal with the different size stages and audiences.
One of the best places to be was the Jack Rocks This Feeling Stage. It would have been extra easy to not move from there for the entire festival. It’s no under-statement to say that the Jack Daniels/This Feeling partnership has totally rejuvenated the music scene promoting new music and giving musicians the opportunity to develop and grow as they play across multiple venues/festivals in the UK.  Make no mistake these are the future main stage headliners.
Outstanding performances across the Jack Rocks/This Feeling and Hard Rock stages included: The Blinders, Paves, White Room, The Novatones, The Wholls, Bang Bang Romeo, SHEAFS, Trampolene, Himalayas, The RPMs, The Jackobins, The Shimmer Band and Jordan Allen. Without exception these bands had the time of their lives at IOW and to witness the scale of happiness both on the stage and off proves without doubt that there’s massive talent in the industry some of which could be playing IOW for many years to come.  Mikey Jonns is the brains behind This Feeling making exciting new music accessible to the public and providing musicians with the opportunity to get out and play. If you love music then look out for This Feeling gigs local to you.
Other outstanding bands were Wild Front (Big Top and Hard Rock stages) who are whipping up industry excitement wherever they appear; Judas (Big Top and Hard Rock stages) who I predict will be huge and from the main stage Nothing But Thieves and Catfish and the Bottlemen.
Watching Catfish and the Bottlemen develop over the last couple of years has been astounding. From venues with tens of people watching to arenas and festivals with many thousands of people. Incredible performance on the main stage and a ‘must see’ band over the summer of 2017.
A few manic days and IOW Festival 17 was over. Back across the water and the island is handed back to the locals. Until next time!