This guide to whats on 2008 events on the isle of
Wight is based on 2007 guide - it will be updated shortly.
Whats on on the Isle Of Wight February 2008
"The Blues Room" - THE IAN SIEGAL BAND
February 2008, The Venue at Ryde Theatre, Ryde
The first event showcases "one of the finest blues voices this side
of the Atlantic" - Ian Siegal and his band. Without doubt the most
talented musician to emerge from Britain on to the European blues
scene in years. He doesn't just perform the blues, he is possessed
by them. He doesn't just play the guitar, he talks to it...and it
Ian Siegal is THE hot property on the European Blues scene; a
singer, songwriter and guitarist who is putting the UK back on the
world Blues map.
His latest and second album “Meat & Potatoes” is described by MOJO
(Feb.06) as “awash with wit, lust and distraction…….one of the most
inventive Blues recordings ever made by a British artist.”
Whats on on the Isle Of Wight March 2008
SPRING BLUES 2008
Ventnor Winter Gardens, Pier Street, Ventnor
From the USA, Texas Bluesman EUGENE 'HIDEAWAY' BRIDGES
Eugene is a master of the blues, and some have dubbed him the next
BB King. He headlines Spring Blues 2008 to enchant us with his
Coupled with the expected mastery of his instrument, often the most
potent strength in Eugene's stunning range of talents is his voice:
at once mournful and yet hopeful, rangy but never overt, withan
ability to juxtapose honey-dripped melodies with gravel throated
And this is where the appeal of Eugene's music lies, for his sets
are deeply moving affairs: foot tappin', rockin' and rollin'
feel-good tunes are bookended by more sullen, sombre songs whose
stripped-down nature often exposes the true talent that Eugene
posesses: those of a songwriter whose sentiments can warm - or break
- your heart.
SPRING BLUES 2008
Whats on on the Isle Of Wight April 2008
RED FUNNEL EASTER CHALLENGE 2008
April 2008 - Cowes/Solent
The RORC racing season kicks off on Friday 6th March with the Red
Funnel Easter Challenge at Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. This will be
the 16th Edition of this popular event.
The regatta is the curtain raiser for what is sure to be a
marvellous season of sailing; with the Rolex Fastnet race also this
year it is bound to attract some of the most awe inspiring yachts to
the waters around Great Britain and Ireland.
The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is now a firm favourite on the yacht
racing calendar. Primarily a tuning regatta for the coming season,
this competitive event allows those taking part to brush the cobwebs
off their boats and to put the skill of their crews to the test.
Organised by the prestigious Royal Ocean Racing Club with the
support of Red Funnel, the regatta consists of a series of short
sharp races held over tight Solent course. Courses are set each day
depending on the wind and tide conditions.
Spectators can watch from Cowes Yacht Haven as the boats depart
their berths each morning and return in the evening after racing.
Please check racing times.
ISLE OF WIGHT JAZZ DIVAS FESTIVAL
April 2008 - Ventnor
Enjoy a weekend of jazz in with some of the finest female jazz
artists around. Set in the beautiful Victorian seaside town of
Ventnor, this whole weekend is dedicated to showcasing an
International line-up of Jazz Divas, performing many different types
of jazz, from New Orleans to contemporary.
With three fantastic nights full of over 30 different concerts, and
all situated within easy walking distance of each other, the Isle of
Wight Jazz Divas Festival really is an event to relax the body, free
the mind and sooth the soul.
ST. GEORGES DAY ANNUAL CELEBRATION
Presented by the Rotary Club of Cowes. April, Northwood Park,
Cowes, from 11am
After is great success in 2007, the 2nd annual St Georges Day
celebration in Cowes. Many other Patron Saints are celebrated, so
the Rotary Club have decided its time to revive a celebration for
our Patron Saint - St George.
The event starts with a procession, departing from East Cowes Town
Hall at 11am. This then leads to the ideal setting for the
celebrations at Northwood Park where there is entertainment for all
Come along in fancy dress and meet St George and a Dragon, whilst
enjoying dancing, bands, a tug-of-war tournament, craft stalls and
much much more.
Whats on on the Isle Of Wight May 2008
ISLE OF WIGHT WALKING FESTIVAL
The 10th annual Isle of Wight Walking Festival promises 16 days of
spectacular walks, and celebrates its reputation as the UK's largest
Step out and discover the island in the 2008 Isle of Wight Walking
festival. As one of the UK's best destinations for walking pursuits,
there are walks for all interests - families, fun, fitness, seasoned
ramblers and leisurely walkers.
Why not lace up your boots, catch a ferry to the Isle of Wight &
join the UK's largest walking festival. This year promises around
160 guided walks, from short strolls to longer hikes such as the
'Walk the Wight' for seasoned ramblers. Each walk has its own theme
-pub trails to dinosaurs, ghosts walks to lantern processions, local
wildlife trails to spectacular coastal hikes.
With an area of 147 square miles of well maintained, signposted
footpaths around dramatic coastlines and unspoilt countryside, it's
not surprising that the Island has long been a source of inspiration
to all of its visitors. With over 500 miles of bridleways and
footpaths, walking is one of the best ways of experiencing an Area
of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
RIBEX BOAT SHOW 2008
Cowes Yacht Haven
RIBEX is the world’s only boat show dedicated solely to Rigid
THE ULTIMATE ARENA FOR CHECKING OUT NEW RIBS
WORLD LAUNCHES OF RIBS AND RELATED GEAR
TEST LEISURE & PROFESSIONAL CRAFT IN OPEN WATER
GET EXCELLENT ON THE SPOT SHOW DEALS
FUN, EXCITING, FAMILY DAY OUT
RIB RIDES, DEMONSTRATIONS, ATTRACTIONS & DISPLAYS
EXCELLENT FOOD & BAR ON SITE
For ribsters - it is the show not to be missed!
WALK THE WIGHT - For the Earl Mountbatten Hospice
Get fit and get walking for charity. Join one of the popular 'Walk
the Wight', a long distance sponsored walk for the Earl Mountbatten
Hospice which takes place during the UK's largest Walking Festival.
Over £156,000 was received in sponsorships from the event in 2005!.
Walkers can enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery on the Island
and have the choice of three distances.
> Bembridge to Carisbrooke Castle - 12.5 miles.
> Carisbrooke Castle to Alum Bay (along the Tennyson Trail) - 14
> Bembridge to Alum Bay via Carisbrooke Castle - 26.5 miles.
All money raised goes into the Earl Mountbatten Hospice £1 million
Appeal towards financing the redevelopment of the Island's only
hospice. The walk is organised by the Hospice, supported by a small
committee and walkers are, therefore, asked to obtain sponsorship or
make a donation. Registration is compulsory but application forms
are available online or by calling 01983 528989
WIGHT DIAMOND MOUNTAIN BIKING FESTIVAL 2008
May 2008 - Ninham Farm, Shanklin
Summer begins with the 2008 Wight Diamond Festival! Come along for
the mountain bike party of the year! There are more events, more
entertainment and bigger prizes than ever!
Over the past ten years, The Wight Diamond has earned it’s
reputation as the best mountain bikers party on the calendar. This
year is going to be better than ever! The weekends events centre on
the two day Wight Diamond Challenge navigator race, which takes
place over Saturday and Sunday. This is the ultimate Navigator event
using the whole Island as it’s course. But if two days of all out
competition sounds a little too serious for you, enter the Trail Ale
Trail instead - the checkpoints are pubs and cafés and prizes will
be awarded for ‘entering into the spirit of the event’!
If you've still got more riding in you, take on the King of the
Hills on Monday, featuring the Hair of the Hog for the hung-over
hardcore. Alternatively, the Chill in the Hills will offer a more
laid back Monday ride before you head off for your afternoon ferry.
As usual the main events will be complemented by a whole heap of
side-show events and activities going on back at base. The big
marquee will be back, featuring its usual attractions of food
stalls, full bar and excellent live music (including the fantastic
Hanging Baskets who are back after last years absence for Sunday
nights prize giving party (always a lively affair, with music ‘til
late and the party going on into the small hours - perfect
preparation for Mondays Hair of the Hog!).
YARMOUTH OLD GAFFERS FESTIVAL
June 2008 - Yarmouth
Three days of free entertainment, spectacle and classic boats.
Yarmouth is a favourite stop for yachts making their way east or
west along the popular waters of the Solent. You don’t have to be
(or to own) an “old gaffer” to join in.
This is the 10th Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival and over 100
traditional boats are expected in Yarmouth Harbour this year. Some
very special guests will also be welcome, including sailing trawlers
from Torbay and friends from France, Belgium and Holland.
Yarmouth harbour will be filled with life and colour and many of the
boats will participate in a race in the Solent on Saturday morning
(the Pier and the Green are both good vantage points for
spectators), while on shore there will be a huge range of
attractions to keep the thousands of visitors entertained from
morning till night all weekend.
This popular location has a splendid Tudor castle, charming
cottages, well-stocked chandlery, unique shops, fine pubs and good
eating-houses. The harbour will be filled with gaff-rigged vessels
and the town square and quayside busy with craft stalls and a
farmers’ market. Free entertainment and ample parking is provided
for this splendid weekend of festivities. Make a date in your
diaries for this now well-established, annual event.
2008 BSO FIREWORK PROMS
July - Osborne House, Cowes
Set in the beautiful setting of Osborne House, the Bournemouth
Symphony Orchestra will bless the Isle of Wight with a classical
night to remember.
July sees the BSO see in the Last Night of Proms. With all the
favourites such as Nimrod, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, and
all the circumstance and pomp of the last night at the proms this
promises to be a spectacular classical firework evening.
SKANDIA COWES WEEK
With around 1,000 boats and 8,500 competitors taking part, Skandia
Cowes Week is the longest-running, largest and most prestigious
annual sailing Regatta in the World.
The 'Must Do' Event on the International Sailing Calendar. The 2008
Regatta marks the 13th Anniversary of Skandia's title sponsorship of
the most famous sailing regatta in the World, Cowes Week. This year
also celebrates the 43rd Anniversary of the Event's organising body,
Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC).
Skandia Cowes Week first took place in 1826 and has been held in
August every year since then (the only exception being during the
two World Wars). This famous Regatta has been part of the British
Summer social calendar for many years and is traditionally held
after Goodwood and before the start of the grouse-shooting season.
Cowes Combined Clubs was formed in 1964 to co-ordinate the racing
previously organised by the individual Cowes and mainland yacht
clubs. Over the years the Regatta has been visited by royalty and
other world-famous personalities as well as naval warships,
superyachts and square-riggers.
8,000 sailors race over eight days in the Central, Eastern and
Western Solent. Up to 1,000 boats compete, ranging from high-tech
racing machines to classic day boats. 35 different classes are
Thousands of spectators flock to Cowes to enjoy 'The Week'. Watch
the on-water action from the Green and from Cowes Parade - it is
estimated that there are 200,000 sailing and non-sailing visitors
during the Week.
The Fireworks display includes over 10,000 fireworks plus effects
and music. Up to 170,000 people watch in Cowes and from the mainland
- it's big, it's spectacular and it's noisy!
Onshore fun - Let's party!
Many thousands of non-sailing visitors come to Cowes each August to
enjoy the unique atmosphere that is Skandia Cowes Week. If you want
to know what's happening out on the water, you can keep in touch by
listening to the brilliant live commentary from Cowes Radio.
There's a fabulous festival atmosphere with street entertainers and
music, and don't forget the spectacular Fireworks display.
The town of Cowes provides excellent facilities for the sailor and
non-sailor alike, with plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes
to choose from. The expanded Cowes Yacht Haven which is the focal
point of activity during the Week, East Cowes Marina and Shepards
Wharf also provide entertainment, food and bars as well as berthing
(but book early as competition for berths is fierce).
The Yacht Haven's huge marquee and beer tent erected for Skandia
Cowes Week and other major events, makes it a central meeting place
for competitors and visitors alike. With fabulous food stands,
supplier stands and the huge sound stage, which attracts many
well-known groups, the Yacht Haven is certainly one of the places to
be. Visitors can also enjoy the Parade Village on Cowes Parade which
offers a vibrant atmosphere with relaxed entertainment. In recent
years this has also grown to become a key location during Skandia
So, if you're not planning to sail there is still plenty to do day
and night, and the High Street is a good place to start. It offers a
wide choice of chandleries, art galleries, antiques,
clothing/leisurewear and gift shops and plenty more.
You can enjoy street theatre every afternoon on the Parade and in
the High Street, or watch the starts and finishes on the Royal Yacht
Squadron line from the Parade. Just to the West, The Green offers a
panoramic viewing platform of the yachts cheating the tide as they
battle their way to the finish and it's also an excellent spot from
which to watch the Friday night firework display.
There's a lively week-long social programme ranging from the
renowned Yacht Club Balls and Cocktail Parties to an excellent
line-up of live bands performing in Cowes Yacht Haven; there's also
a superb choice of cuisine available to suit every palate. The
atmosphere on shore is carnival-like with plenty of open-air
activities and street entertainment.
Skandia Cowes Week really is special to everyone involved, whether
sailing or not. Visitors to Cowes can enjoy a unique opportunity to
see the yachts afloat on the Solent waters and the people of Cowes
and its businesses really get behind the Event and pull out all the
stops to support this famous Regatta.
MOTTISTONE MANOR GARDEN EVENT
THE PIED PIPER
sponsored by Red Funnel and the Isle of Wight County Press.
FRIDAY 10TH AUGUST
Gardens open 1pm - 4pm.
Performance begins 2pm and lasts approx 1 hour.
Openwide children's theatre group perform the Pied Piper in the
grounds of Mottistone Manor Garden. Performance lasts 1hr so bring a
picnic to enjoy before it starts, follow the ratty trail and explore
the gardens which are not normally open on a Friday.
Suitable for ages 4 - 11.
COWES POWERBOAT P1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX
August 2008 -Cowes/Solent
This years event promises to be bigger and better than ever,
combining the P1 World Championship with the Cowes Classic, making
it one of the world's premier festivals of offshore racing.
The 2005 adn 2006 Powerboat Festival proved to be huge successes,
with a great weekend of racing being enjoyed by all. A combination
of ideal weather conditions, huge crowds and spectacular racing for
both years meant that these weekends have been some of the most
memorable in British Powerboat racing for many years.
The Cowes Classic, established in 1961, brings together in highly
powered twin-engine racing machines and their crews from across the
globe for four days of spectacular and highly competitive racing.
The 2008 festival will commence on Saturday 24th August and is set
to be just as popular as last years event. It will include a series
of national and championship rounds along with the British Grand
Prix, comprising of two rounds of the Powerboat P1 World
WHITE AIR EXTREME SPORTS FESTIVAL 2008
Monday 27 Aug to Sunday 3 September 2008 from 10am - Yaverland,
Sandown (& various venues islandwide).
Don't miss Europe's largest Extreme Sports festival, where the elite
compete in eleven awesome watersport and landsport championships.
Prepare to be amazed by the intense action and the sheer radical
style of some 500 Kiteboarders, Windsurfers, Surfers, Gravity Bikes,
Street Luge, Skate Vert+Street, BMX, Mountain Boards and more! Back
ashore, enjoy the biggest parties of the season with entertainment
every day and every night and make time to visit some of the UK's
premier trade and demo displays.
For the first time, Wight Air will host the 2008 World Windsurfing
Formula Championships with some 100 racers from 40 countries. In
addition, the festival features the usual mix of extreme sports and
great shore side parties for competitors and spectators.
WOLVERTON MANOR COUNTRY GARDEN FAIR
September 2008 - Wolverton Manor, Shorwell from 10am to 5pm
Sponsored by Red Funnel, this traditional country fair is a firm
favourite for gardener’s. Set in the splendid grounds of Wolverton
Manor, it recreates what might have been seen at the time the manor
was built in the late 16th century.
The grounds alone are well worth a visit but the fair features
musicians dressed in period costumes playing traditional music on
authentic instruments. You can explore the nurseries, browse the
interesting stalls, watch the craft demonstrations and explore the
garden exhibitions. Also look out for the Red Funnel Dog Show and
our great balloon race with a fabulous prize for the winner!
September - Robin Hill Country Park, Newport, Isle of Wight
Bestival is a niche dance festival from Sunday Best and a weekend
way of life for Radio 1 presenter Rob da Bank. This three day music
and arts event is the last festival of the summer and is held at one
of the country’s most magical parkland sites, Robin Hill set in the
heart of the Isle of Wight.
The event will host a unique blend of great music and a celebration
of fine food, good fun and the English countryside. Bestival will
boast a musical mix of bands and DJs from the Sixties to the 21st
century. That said, you’re as likely to catch an impromptu Morris
dancing display or a brass band trooping across the field as you are
the hottest new band or DJ from around the world!
ISLE OF WIGHT CYCLING FESTIVAL
September 2008 - Island Wide
Cycling events for all:- Road racing time trials, British National
Ladies races and mountain biking including the challenging Seven and
Fourteen Hills Killer trails. Alternatively, you could settle for
something more scenic and relaxing! Whatever your taste, dig out
your lycra shorts, pump up your tyres and head for the Island
APPLE DAYS FESTIVAL
Sat 22 & Sun 23 Sept 2008
10am to 5pm - Afton Park, Freshwater
The Apple Days event has captured people's imagination, with young
and old, locals and visitors attracted to the age-old traditions of
harvesting and celebrating Orchards as very special places.
There are a wide range of produce stalls, craft stands,
demonstrations, art, music and food on the menu. Families can help
with the harvesting, taste freshly pressed apple juice and dine on
apple & parsnip soup or freshly baked apple cake.
Apple Day Activities include:
tree pruning demonstrations
apple tree care and management
Apple Day Entertainment includes:
Island samba band
Isle of Wight beers, wines & cider
Traditional Coconut Shy
Stilt Walkers & Circus Workshop
Story Telling in the Willow House
Pony & Trap Rides
IOW Farmer's Market
Children's Apple Olympics
IOW Acoustic Music Club
Vectis Classic Cars
Wolfguard historical re-enactment