Barclaycard presents the IW Festival 2023.

Performances across the weekend of the Barclaycard Presents the Isle of Wight Festival by solo artistes and bands were well received by the thousands attending the festival in Seaclose Park.

With tickets sold out a week before the event, many were disappointed to miss Robbie Williams, who seemed to be the ‘must see’ act.

There were excellent views of the main stage and surrounding area from the Barclaycard Tower where Barclaycard holders and other guests could enjoy a drink from the bar or just soak up the sun, especially on Friday and Saturday.

Of course, the good weather played its part, and many artistes were able to enjoy a taste of the Isle of Wight in the backstage chill out area. On offer was food and drink from Island producers including Isle of Wight Tomatoes, recently rebranded from Tomato Stall, Isle of Wight Cheese Company with their Galleybagger and prize-winning Blue Cheese and Calbourne Classics with a selection of their bakes as well as Minghella Ice Cream.

One performer enjoying Minghella Ice Cream was Roy Stride frontman for ‘Scouting For Girls’. Following his performance on Saturday afternoon he tucked into the ice cream and told us that he could thoroughly recommend it. Also in this quiet quarter was a performance stage. Sponsored by Mermaid Gin, this stage hosted up and coming artistes including some from Platform One, the Island’s Music College.  Mermaid was also a favourite drink with festival goers enjoying their Gins, Vodka and now the latest edition to the Mermaid collection, Rum, which is enhanced with locally produced honey produced by bees from the hives near the distillery.  Along from the Mermaid Bar was the boat which will be rowed by the Mermaid team In the Atlantic Rowing Challenge, which will start at the end of this year.

Three long -time friends from Ventnor are to compete in the 2023 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge under the banner of Mermaid Atlantic. This boat will work with Surfers Against Sewage, The Seahorse Trust and The Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust.

Xavier Baker co-founder and co-owner of Mermaid Gin, Chris Mannion who runs Island Coaststeering and i-Surf Surfing School and long- shoremen Paul Berry, who saw 15 years’ service in the Royal Navy will take up this challenge. Racing starts from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to English Harbour in Antigua a distance of 3000 nautical miles.

It is good to know that some of the artistes performing, as well as festival goers enjoy a stay on the Island, prior to and after the festival. Jarvis Cocker from Pulp arrived several days before his performance on Friday and stayed in Cowes.

Some regular visitors to the Island from Eastbourne told us they really enjoy the IW Festival but especially the Kashmir Café presented by Quay Arts as it has local beer. They were disappointed however this year as only Yatchsman’s Ale was on offer and suggested that Kashmir Café could become the festival hub for the real-ale drinkers.

Over the years the IW Festival has supported charities. Most years the local Mountbatten team have been in attendance selling their sunflowers. This year was no exception and in addition to the sunflowers they had large sunflower sunshades for Friday/Saturday on offer. By Sunday these had transformed into umbrellas and were more popular than ever.

In a UK festival exclusive, global pop icon Robbie Williams swaggered onto the Main Stage to bring
the 2023 festival to an epic close. Performing a selection of his greatest hits from across his eclectic
‘33 year odyssey’, he wowed the sold out crowd with his energetic set.
Robbie said about the show: “It was the gig of a lifetime – a magic moment – thank you!”
Niall Horan also graced the Main Stage, celebrating his number 1 album ‘The Show’ and even played
One Direction classic ‘Story of My Life’, James Bay surprised fans with a brand new track and in
his first UK festival appearance in 8 years, MIKA dazzled with an electrifying set.
Playing on the Big Top stage were Manic Street Preachers, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Enemy,
Gang of Youths, Lovejoy, Toyah & Robert and more.
Throughout the festival weekend, the Barclaycard AMP Stage hosted a number of intimate secret