Cautious welcome from council leader for Isle of Wight Festival news

Council leader Dave Stewart said, “We have come too far to throw away all our hard earned efforts over the past 12 months to keep the Island safe during the Covid pandemic”

The big wheel at Isle of Wight festival

Today’s (Tuesday) Isle of Wight Festival announcement has been met with a cautious welcome by the leader of the Isle of Wight Council.

Cllr Dave Stewart said the event should only go ahead in September should it be safe to do so – both for those attending the festival and the wider Island community.

However, he said he was reassured to hear that organisers were working closely with the relevant authorities and Public Health England to ensure all necessary precautions were in place to keep everyone safe.

Stewart: Any plans must be predicated on it being safe to proceed
Cllr Stewart said,

“It is clearly good news that the festival is not happening in June as it attracts so many visitors and it would not be safe at that time – indeed, it would not comply with the government roadmap. However, I now understand there are proposals for the event to move to September instead.

“Although it is likely we will be out of lockdown and ‘open for business’ as an Island in September, this is not definite and any plans must be predicated on it being safe for the festival to proceed, which will ultimately be a decision based on public health grounds. We have come too far to throw away all our hard earned efforts over the past 12 months to keep the Island safe during the Covid pandemic.

“I appreciate the desire to recharge our economic recovery and there will be a number of events that, if they do take place, will help us on that journey. However, all must be safe to do so and I expect the Island’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) will be paying careful attention to this announcement as will Island residents.”

News shared by Isle of Wight council press office, in their own words. Ed

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11 Comments on "Cautious welcome from council leader for Isle of Wight Festival news"

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Globally we are facing some very worrying covid variants, no one knows whether or not our vaccines will be effective against them. Pursuing a festival at the present time, just to line the pockets of Mr Giddings and his friends, is pure lunacy.


How anybody can give a thumbs down is beyond belief. A festival is the last thing you want with thousands of people coming here from all over the country. ABSOLUTE MADNESS.


Allowing 50000+ people to congregate and then mingle with the general population is a mistake. I assume that the Council must have approved this, so why his cautious optimism? This is just spin by Dave Stewart. Maybe he’s hoping for some votes from this announcement. Well, he’s just lost mine.


What a dangerous person Dave Stewart is


Can anyone tell me if local football teams still play there matches at Seaclose Recreation Park I remember not long ago there were a number on the football pitches at Seaclose or has the music festival ruined the pitches altogether?

Roll on local elections. I would not wish to attend any “large” outdoor gathering of more than 50 people until everyone had vaccine, the variants were “controllable and treatable” and the certainty that no one would end up dying by attending a larger gathering. It would be interesting to know just how many people on the Island make money from this event, most of the side attractions… Read more »

What a disgrace you are Stewart how dare you talk about “all our hard earned efforts “ you, Seely and Myles are responsible for putting residents at risk by opening the Island up. You have failed to protect this Island. We don’t need or want a festival, again it’s all about the money and certain people’s greed.


Hands up all those who think the island’s COVID status is safe with Dave Stewart.

Steve Goodman
A fair point perhaps, given the horrible history of how the pandemic has been mis/handled here and beyond by the party he is proud to be part of, but at least now they seem to be more cautious about failing to act in accordance with the information and advice given to them by their own scientific and medical advisers – after a year and many avoidable deaths,… Read more »

Zero hands up, Dave Stewart should not be in post and has failed to protect this Island and it’s residents for the sake of business and profit above our safety and well being. Shame on him.


What lies and deceit from Stewart and co Ticketmaster are selling tickets now so it’s going ahead regardless of residents health and safety.