To some extent, all huge music festivals are the same. You’ve got your big names and your warm-up acts, your wall-to-wall crowds, your campsites, your event tents, your long lines, and your port-a-potties.
The Isle of Wight Festival, a yearly music extravaganza held on (where else?) the Isle of Wight in the English Channel, is a huge music festival in this usual mold.
What sets Isle of Wight apart is its storied history. The original Isle of Wight music festivals were held for three years between 1968 and 1970. The 1970 festival drew even more concertgoers than Woodstock — at least 600,000 people.
The line-up for that festival reads like a who’s who of famous names from the 60s and 70s, including Jimi Hendrix (two weeks before his death), The Who, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Chicago, and even Miles Davis and Tiny Tim.
The massive crowd led to so many logistical difficulties that the event was shut down the next year and not revived until a new, unrelated effort in 2002.
The 2012 festival will be held June 22-24. Scheduled acts include blasts from the past like Joan Armatrading and Big Country (randomly featuring an actress from Downton Abbey), newcomers like Lana del Ray and English indie rockers The Vaccines, and headliners like Pearl Jam and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Oh, and also some guy named Bruce Springsteen. (Trust us on this one: No one does a live show like Springsteen.)