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Every year, people flock to the Isle of Wight. Located just off the coast of Hampshire, this beautiful island is a popular vacation destination for UK citizens and people worldwide. The Isle of Wight is known for their variety of festivals, so if you’re thinking about visiting, here are the best festivals on the Isle of Wight you might want to attend. 

1. Isle of Wight Festival 

The Isle of Wight Festival is one of the longest-running music festivals on the Isle of Wight and in the entire UK. The festival is held at Seaclose Park in Newport annually, usually in June. More than 90,000 music lovers flock to the island every year to hear music from various genres. 

Since starting 1968, artists such as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, and other superstars have taken the stage at this music festival. Even though it’s popular for young adults, it has family-friendly events, like theatre, comedy acts, and games. 

2. Isle of Wight Jazz Weekend

If you love Jazz, then the Isle of Wight Jazz Weekend might be the festival you’ll enjoy the most. It’s held annually (dates are not yet confirmed for 2023) in Newport. The weekend festival features Jazz musicians from around the UK with various styles.

The idea behind the festival is to promote local talent while sharing a love of music with people. There are food vendors, activities, and plenty of fun music. 

3. Riverfest

Riverfest is usually held every May in Newport. It’s a community event, but travellers have been known to attend, and it’s great for learning more about the local community on the Isle of Wight. 

The festival includes activities like gardening, learning about the local environment, looking at the Medina River, and more. In addition, many local charities attend, where you can learn about their efforts and make donations as you see fit. 

4. Isle of Wight Carnival and Mardi Gras

If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, the Isle of Wight Carnival and Mardi Gras festival is perfect. It’s held annually on the last weekend of June in Ryde and is welcome to people of all ages. 

There are tons of Carnival performances, music, food, and drinks. Local schools and colleges participate by teaching about traditions, putting on performances, and creating artwork. This is a flagship event that, if you happen to be in town, you won’t want to miss. 

5. Island Highland Gathering

The Island Highland Gathering is a unique festival held at Northwood House on the Isle of Wight. It’s a festival dedicated to the sounds and sights of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. You’ll be able to hear several of the UK’s best drum and pip bands and authentic Scottish music. 

While listening to the bands, you can play traditional Scottish games, watch re-enactment groups, and learn more about local charities. There are always food vendors too, which feature traditional Scottish and UK cuisine. 

6. Ventnor Fringe Festival

The Ventnor Fringe Festival was one of the most popular festivals on the Isle of Wight in 2021. It’s been an annual event since starting in 2010 and lasts for six days. The festival features over 300 artists worldwide, boutique venues, and fun pop-up bars. 

Some things you can do at the Ventnor Fringe festival include listening to music, watching cultural films, feasting on delicious food, yoga sessions, watching puppet shows, and partying late into the night. 

7. Isle of Wight Literary Festival

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival happens every October in Northwood House in East Cowes. It’s been happening for seven years and allows attendees to listen to different writers and artists present their work to the crowds. 

You can listen to authors who write about travel, maritime adventures, crime fiction, medicine, etc. On average, more than 60 writers and other presenters are at the festival. The festival lasts for four days and is considered a not-for-profit organization. 

8. Awakening Festival

Not all festivals have to be music festivals, and the Awakening Festival is one of the best non-music festivals on the Isle of Wight. During the pandemic, it was arguably one of the most missed festivals on the Isle of Wight in 2020. 

Its held annually in Totland and features a large outdoor space where people can reconnect with nature, their mind, body, and soul. The experience is all about self-care sessions, sound sessions, yoga, holistic therapies, and inspirational talks.

9. Garlic Festival

The Garlic Festival is exactly as it sounds. It’s a festival all about garlic! Every year in August, you can attend the festival in Newchurch. People of all ages can attend the festival where you can see star chefs, live music, children’s activities, and eat a lot of garlic. 

Since garlic is grown on the Isle of Wight, it’s no wonder they have a festival dedicated to this beloved bulb. Be sure to bring a breath mint or two if you attend!

10. Jack up the Summer Festival

Every summer, Jack Up The Summer Festival happens in Newport. It’s considered a vast Summer party on the Isle of Wight featuring tons of music from several genres. The music tends to be from the 80s and 90s, but even younger people love attending. 

Besides the music, food, and beverage vendors sell delicious cuisine and drinks to keep you hydrated throughout the festival. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes because the music makes you want to dance all day. 

11. Oktoberfest Isle of Wight

Lastly, we can’t forget about Oktoberfest on the Isle of Wight. Sure, there are several Oktoberfests you can attend around the world, but the one on this island is a favourite amongst UK citizens. 

Oktoberfest on the Isle of Wight is at Puckpool Park and features some of the best Bavarian beer and food around. You can sip on delicious beer, eat traditional Bavarian cuisine, and listen to Oompah Bands.

Final Thoughts

The Isle of Wight is a beautiful destination with much to see. Whether you’re into music festivals, family-friendly events, or Oktoberfest, there’s a festival on the Isle of Wight you’ll love. 

Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson is a recent University graduate who is now specialising in SEO and Digital Marketing with Minty Digital

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