Isle of Wight Festival Gets Underway

12 June 2014, 08:08 | Updated: 12 June 2014, 08:28

The Isle of Wight Festival 2014 gets underway later, with more than 50,000 people starting their journeys over today.

Organisers have banned legal highs from the event this weekend, warning anyone selling them will be thrown out. Police say a dedicated plan is in place to help residents and visitors stay safe.

Seaclose Park in Newport is the destination for large numbers of people gathering to enjoy the Isle of Wight Festival this weekend (Thursday 12 - Monday 16 June.)

Hampshire Constabulary is maintaining its close co-operation with festival organisers ‘Solo’ and our partner agencies to keep crime as low as possible.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Isle of Wight Festival police commander Chief Superintendent Dave Hardcastle said:

“The Isle of Wight Festival has established a reputation for having low crime and a friendly atmosphere for more than a decade.

“We want festival-goers to enjoy themselves safely again this year, and we want any criminals to be warned off by our regular rigorous approach to protecting the island.”

“It’s always essential for police to patrol in partnership with security staff to ensure a safe festival.

“More than 100 officers, PCSOs and police staff will be deployed on duties in and around the festival site during the event.”

Hampshire Constabulary Crime Prevention Advisor Sarah Cohen said:

“Our work to help protect people is well underway before the festival even begins.

 “Visitors travelling on Wightlink's St. Clare ferry from Portsmouth and via Red Funnel's Southampton terminals can meet police staff and volunteers who can provide crime prevention tips and technology. I’d like to thank all the ferry operators for their support with this initiative.

“Upon arrival, festival-goers are invited to spend time at our festival police station in Seaclose Park near the foot entrance to the site where we’ll be offering further interactive ways to stay safe all throughout the festival.

“You can follow our @FestivalCop Twitter channel and #FestivalSafe hashtag to pick up handy pieces of personal safety advice via social media.”

Boy George will kick things off with a performance on Thursday night, while Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris are the main headliners on the Friday.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers are headlining on the Saturday and Kings of Leon will close the festival with exclusive performances of new material alongside anthems like Sex on Fire and Use Somebody.

Rudimental, Ella Eyre, The Pretty Reckless, Anna Calvi, Starsailor, The Struts, Alison Moyet, Amber Run, Inspiral Carpets and The Doors Alive, will also be on the bill at the festival from today until Sunday (15 June).

A festival spokesman said: 

"Here at the Isle of Wight Festival we're on a mission to bring you the best new and established artists over one unforgettable weekend this summer."

Find out more HERE.