Richard Oliff: How the music festival experience has changed

When one thinks of going to a rock or pop festival one tends to have some inbuilt preconceived ideas of precisely what may be in store for the music lover.

Fields full of tents, poor sanitation, revellers prancing in woodland mud, face-painted peace signs and a million chemically induced inane grins.

The 2013 Isle of Wight festival was very different to its 1970 counterpart, says Richard

The 2013 Isle of Wight festival was very different to its 1970 counterpart, says Richard

Right: well, let’s move on from Jimi Hendrix’s 1970 to the 2013 Isle of Wight festival.

The fields of tents are still with us, though some do have dishes in the shape of sunflowers for internet and mobile access.

In other fields there are the huge motor homes or caravans and in all cases the revellers wore wrist bands of varying colours denoting their status and allotted access within the festival perimeter.

There are several performance stages surrounded by every conceivable catering option which automatically removes the privilege from anyone wishing to bring their own food or drink on to the site.

This is a commercial venture on a massive scale with some people paying up to £350 to wear an additional wristband with VIP emblazoned upon it.

I, along with my two fellow travellers, was lucky enough to be wearing a blue “backstage guest” wristband which, on two separate occasions on the first day, attracted cash offers of up to £1,000.

Personally the passage of time has brought with it the need for a few home comforts.

No more camping or communal showers. We stayed in a beautiful farmhouse: ferried to and from our festival backstage less-crowded environment by taxi driven by the amazingly patient Ray.

Trust me, when one has spent the best part of 10 hours on one’s feet listening to Bon Jovi or the Killers, one is more than relieved to see Ray’s cheerful bearded face beaming back at exactly the right time.