The 2020 Isle of Wight Festival has sadly been cancelled, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, however the dates for next year have been released.

The Isle of Wight Festival 2021 will take place on 17-20 June 2021.

For any customers looking to amend / cancel their Isle of Wight Festival 2020 Ferry Booking or tickets, go to our Festival / Events Booking Amendment page


Full line-up information for the Isle of Wight Festival 2021 will appear here when it is announced.

Keep checking back for updates.

Map of how to get to the Isle of Wight FestivalSouthampton is the gateway to the Isle of Wight Festival and is easy to reach by car, train, coach and plane from anywhere in the UK or Europe.

We operate passenger vehicle ferries from Southampton to East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and Hi-Speed passenger-only services to West Cowes. Whichever route you choose, we very much look forward to welcoming you aboard.


Taking a vehicle?

Loading up the car with your best mates and camping gear and heading over to the IW Festival is easy with Red Funnel.

Our vehicle ferries are the largest on the Solent and depart Southampton every hour for 55-60 minute crossing to East Cowes.

There's plenty of time to get something to eat and enjoy a pre-festival beer or two as you cruise down Southampton Water. On arrival, it's a short 10 minute drive to the dedicated festival car park for Red Funnel customers.

It's essential that you pre-book your car, van or motorhome in advance (you can do below) as the ferries will become fully booked.

Booking early ensures you get the best price and your preferred sailing times. Don't forget, our car fares include up to 7 people and we offer a free payment plan for vehicle bookings, pay just 25% now and the balance 30 days before departure.


Travelling on foot?

From Southampton you can choose to travel to East Cowes (perfect for campers) or West Cowes (quickest for VIP & non-campers). Our East Cowes service departs every hour and takes 55-60 minutes. Our West Cowes service has departures every 20 minutes at peak times and takes 23-25 minutes. The ticket price is the same and if you wish you can travel out one route and return on the other using the same ticket.

If arriving in Southampton by train or National Express, the Quayconnect bus service connects Southampton Central station with the ferry terminals at Town Quay. It's a 5 minute walk from the coach station to the bus stop at the train station. Quayconnect is free for customers with through rail or coach tickets to East or West Cowes. Leave the bus at Terminal 1 for East Cowes and Terminal 2 for West Cowes.

If arriving at Southampton Airport, you can catch a train from the adjacent station to Southampton Central (10 minutes) - see directions above.


Transport on the Island

Once you arrive on the Island, festival shuttle buses will take you to the festival campsite. Top tip: If you're not camping and are travelling via West Cowes we recommend that you leave the bus at Newport rather than continuing to the festival campsite which is quite a walk from the main arena. The main festival entrance is just a short walk from the bus stop in Newport.

For campers, there's also a River Shuttle Service which operates from East and West Cowes to Island Harbour (850 yards from the campsite entrance). The journey by water takes just 20 minutes and return tickets are available to purchase from our Isle of Wight terminals on arrival.

Where can I stay on the Isle of Wight?
The festival has large camping areas (and adjacent car parks) on farmland a short walk from the main arena. The campsites are colour coded and have basic washing facilities, toilets, rubbish bins, a bar, food stalls, a chemist and motorhome/camper van area. Fires, BBQs, glass & candles are prohibited and vehicles are not allowed in the campsite area. Please remember where you pitched your tent to avoid late-night confusion!

There is a wide range of other places to stay from quieter camping/touring parks through to boutique hotels with four star luxury but it is best to book as far ahead as possible. Red Funnel Holidays offer a wide selection - you can call the team on 0844 844 2690.

How long does the ferry take?
The Red Jet to West Cowes takes 23-25 minutes (passengers only). The Passenger Vehicle Ferry service to East Cowes takes a more leisurely 55-60 minutes.

What is a Red Funnel eTicket?
Festival tickets can be purchased with or without ferry travel in the same transaction. If you only purchased festival tickets, the email that you receive is your confirmation. If you also made a ferry booking the confirmation acts as your travel eTicket and must be shown at check-in for each leg of your ferry journey. It will not grant you admission to the festival; festival tickets are posted towards the end of May/early June.

If you wish to amend or cancel your ferry booking please call us on 02380 019192 and quote your booking reference number - charges may apply.

Can I amend my ferry booking?
Yes, please call 02380 019192.

When will I receive my festival tickets?
Festival tickets/wristbands (security coded) are posted by Red Funnel using secure mail to the delivery address you provided as soon as they are received from the Promoter (typically towards the end of May/early June).

As tickets require a signature on delivery please ensure they are sent to an occupied address (e.g. work). If you want to change your ticket delivery address please call us as soon as possible on 02380 019192.

If nobody is at home when the courier attempts delivery you will be left details of how to arrange re-delivery. Although we can accept no liability for lost or mislaid tickets we will do our best to help, please call us on 02380 019192 and quote your booking reference.

If you buy tickets from us after 5 June 2020 you will be able to collect them from Red Funnel's Terminal 1 Ticket Office, Royal Pier Dock Gate 7, Town Quay Road, Southampton SO14 2AQ. If you are an Island resident and purchase tickets you will need to collect your tickets from the East or West Cowes Ticket Offices.

What happens with ferry tickets?
Once booked you will be emailed an eTicket/Payment Confirmation. If travelling at a pre-booked time please present your eTicket at check-in for each leg of your journey.

Customers purchasing foot passengers tickets, shuttle bus or river shuttle tickets will receive them by post at the address provided. If your address has changed please ensure that you tell us by mid-May - you can contact us on 02380 019192.

If I'm travelling with a car, how long before my sailing should I arrive?
To help prevent traffic congestion, vehicles must be pre-booked and drivers are requested to arrive 30 minutes but not more than 60 minutes before their booked sailing time.

Please note: traffic returning via East Cowes on the Monday after the festival will enter a traffic management system which will be in place to manage the flow of vehicles entering the terminal. The above check-in times still apply.

How can I receive travel updates?
If you provided a mobile phone number with your booking then you will receive SMS updates from us. To apply a new number to an existing booking please go to SMS Preferences in My Red Funnel - alternatively you can email with your booking reference number or contact us on 02380 019192.

You can also follow our Travel News feed on twitter @RF_Travel_News or view the Service Status on this website.

I'm travelling as a foot passenger, how do I know which sailing I'm booked on?
• If your eticket displays an exact departure time please arrive at the terminal 30-60 minutes prior to your booked sailing and staff will tell you where to wait. If you miss your booked sailing you will join the flexible foot passenger line (see below).

• If you have a flexible foot passenger ticket (i.e. you are not booked on a specific sailing) you will be told where to queue once you arrive. Travel is on a first come first served basis.

What happens if I miss my booked sailing?
Vehicles will be placed in a stand-by lane and shipped as soon as non-booked space becomes available. Foot passengers who arrive late for a booked departure will join those guests with flexible tickets (if you are not sure what time you'll arrive please purchase a flexible ticket).

How do I get to the ferry terminals from Southampton Central station or National Express Coach Station?
Please catch the Quayconnect shuttle bus from outside Southampton Central station. The bus stop is just a 5 minute walk from the National Express Coach station (follow signs to the train station).

If you have purchased a through-ticket to either East or West Cowes please show your ticket to the driver to obtain free travel.

Where can I park in Southampton?
If you would rather leave your car in Southampton and travel as a foot passenger there are number of long stay car parks.

Triangle Car Park
Sited within a stones throw of Red Funnel's Southampton ferry terminals, the car park holds the Safer Parking Scheme Park Mark and has full CCTV coverage. Auto Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is also in use. It is not possible to pre-book so please pay on arrival at the car park either by credit/debit card, ticket machine or by mobile phone.

Ocean Car Parking
Ocean Cark Park is a 15 minute walk from the ferry terminals. Boasting 776 spaces over six levels, Ocean Car Park is a new multi-story and has been awarded the coveted Safer Parking Scheme ParkMark® honour that recognises that the car park owners, management and the police have worked together to achieve safe, reactive and high standard parking that will be beneficial to the public.

What facilities do you offer?
There's a wide range of hot & cold food and plenty to drink at the ferry ports and onboard. You will also find the usual amenities, free WiFi, TV, live entertainment and plenty of staff on hand to help answer any questions.

What are the festival opening times?
Campsite opens at 12 noon on the Thursday. Main arena opens 2pm on Friday. The festival ends on Sunday night. Campsite closes at 12 noon on Monday.

Can I get a bus to the festival from East or West Cowes?
Festival shuttle buses operate between East & West Cowes ferry terminals and the bus terminal at the festival (adjacent to the campsites). Shuttle bus tickets can be purchased with your festival ticket or with ferry travel from Red Funnel. They can be used to get the festival from either East or West Cowes on Thu, Fri & Sat, returning on Sun or Mon.

> If you are camping, we recommend that you take the ferry service to East Cowes, as the bus journey is quicker.
> If you are not camping it is quicker to take the Red Jet Hi-Speed service to West Cowes and catch the connecting festival shuttle bus. Please ensure you alight from the bus at Newport rather than continue on to the festival terminus, which is quite a walk from the main arena. The main festival entrance is just a short walk from the Newport bus stop.

Is there parking at the festival site?
Yes, you can buy day or weekend parking. Permits are cheaper if purchased in advance with your festival tickets.

How do I get between East and West Cowes?
There is a frequent chain ferry between the two towns which carries cars, small vans, cycles, motorbikes and foot passengers.

What arrangements are in place for the Disabled?
For festival tickets for the Disabled and special access arrangements please call Ticketmaster on 0800 988 4440.

Do I need a permit to stay in a camper/motorhome at the festival?
There is a dedicated area but admission requires a separate permit. Each occupant must purchase an IOW CAMPING ticket to gain admission. They must be purchased at the same time as the permit, if not, you must quote a booking reference in order to buy a permit. Campervan/Motorhome permits are NOT available online and can only be purchased from Ticketmaster. Permits are extremely limited and we also recommend that you book your ferry crossing ASAP to get the best prices and your preferred sailing times.

What do I need to bring?
Sunscreen, sun glasses, wellies & waterproof clothing (just in case!), a hat, your wristband/camper van voucher, money (there will be ATMs on site) and camping equipment.

What should I not bring?
Pets (or any kind of animal), glass containers of any kind, alcohol cannot be brought into the main arena, gazebos, tables, deckchairs, BBQ's, laser pens.

Is there anything special for children?
There is a dedicated Kids Zone and lots of stalls and rides suitable for all the family. Adults accompanying children aged 16 or under are responsible entirely for their safety and welfare and should use their discretion as to which acts they see.

Can I enter and leave the festival during the weekend?
Yes you can. All ticket holders (you must wear your wristband at all times) are allowed to enter and leave the festival site at will. Day ticket holders are not allowed access to the campsites.

How safe is the festival?
The campsite will be lit at night and security staff patrol the area, however, please don't leave anything valuable in your tent or vehicle. Fires, BBQs, glass & candles are prohibited. Cars will be parked away from the campsites in allocated zones. The campsite is for festivalgoers only; it is not open to the general public at any time.

Please do not crowd surf - you may be evicted from the festival. Work out where the nearest emergency exit point is. Always follow the instructions and warnings of security personnel & police. If you are distressed please ask to be taken to the welfare tent, try not to panic. If you feel ill, please ask to be taken to the medical tent.

Lost and found & welfare services will be located in the camp site and the festival arena.

What will there be to eat and drink?
You won't go hungry! Red Funnel offers a wide range of hot and cold food as well as fresh coffee, soft drinks (smoothies/juices etc) beer, wines and spirits on its service to East Cowes.

Once at the festival you will find a huge choice of outlets serving hot dogs, burgers, chips, fish n' chips, baked potatoes, noodles, ice-cream, sweets etc. The bars and stalls will be serving a variety of alcoholic and soft drinks, including cappuccino, latte, tea, smoothies and juices, hot chocolate, fizzy drinks, water, wine & beer. You have to be 18 years old to drink & purchase alcohol, please bring proof of age as you may be asked for this at the bar. Please note, no glass bottles, cans, containers, alcohol or food should be brought into the festival. Only water and non-alcoholic drinks in plastic bottles with unbroken seals up to 500ml are permitted.

What's the policy on drugs?
Illegal drugs don't become legal or acceptable because you are at a festival. The same penalties and risks apply. There are police on site throughout the weekend.

The history of the Isle of Wight Festival dates back to August 1968, where in a cold stubble field near Godshill, a hippie throng gathered for a one day event, which is now a legendary 4 day festival...


Compared by John Peel, Jefferson Airplane were the only major act on the bill but they were joined by the lesser known Arthur BrownThe MovePlastic PennyT-Rex and The Mirage. Tickets could be purchased in advance for just 25 shillings. 10,000 people arrived to see the acts play on a stage constructed from 2 trailers. It’s remembered as a rather primitive event, partly due to a large open sewer. It was however the first great UK rock festival and it sowed the seed for a far bigger event in 1969.


The promoters, Fiery Creations Limited had far more ambitious plans for 1969. Promoter Ray Foulk pestered Bob Dylan for over 6 months to headline the event. Dylan resisted, he was recovering from a serious accident and saw no attraction in performing his come-back show on an unknown island, south of Britain. Foulk took the initiative to appeal to Dylan’s artistic sensibilities and flew to NY with a colour film of the Island, depicting its remarkable natural beauty and literary history.

Dylan was wooed by the idea of performing on Tennyson’s home territory and promptly agreed to headline. The WhoJoe Cocker and Free joined Dylan on a bill which now spanned 2 days. In the days before the festival Dylan stayed at Forelands Farm in Bembridge, the Band rehearsed in the barn…. John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ringo and Maureen Starr and George and Patti Harrison joined the Dylans. Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Elton John and Pink Floyd also attended that year to see Dylan play to over 150,000. His set list included: - She Belongs to me, Mr.Tambourine Man, Lay Lady Lay, Like a Rolling Stone, All Along the Watchtower, Blowing in the Wind.



After the massive success of the 69 festival the promoters planned to 'further the dream' for 1970 with a gigantic line up featuring the world’s biggest acts. Jimi Hendrix agreed to perform and with this knowledge other artists clambered to be included. The WhoJoni MitchellMiles Davis, FreeLeonard CohenJoan BaezThe Moody BluesELP to name just a few. Sadly it was to be Hendrix’s last performance, he died a month later.

Incredibly over 600,000 people came to join in this mammoth 5-day music extravaganza that was regarded as Britain’s ‘Woodstock’. Unfortunately, an awful lot more people wanted to get in without buying a ticket and proceeded to break down the perimeter fence and create havoc for police and festival staff. With nearly 1 million rampaging hippies taking over the Island, the authorities decreed enough was enough.

"This is the last festival, it began as a beautiful dream but it has got out of control and it is a monster." Ron Foulk (promoter) September 1st 1970.  In 1970 the ‘Isle of Wight Act’ was passed by Parliament to ban all future festivals. Until 2002...



June 2002 saw the return of the IW Festival after a 32 year absence. The one-day event was held at Seaclose Park on the outskirts of Newport, just over 4 miles from East Cowes and the ferry service to Southampton.

Its return saw the mighty Charlatans headlining with support from Led Zeppelin’s front man Robert Plant paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix with a fine version of Hey Jude, also performing were AshStarsailor, The Coral, nu-metal stars Hundred Reasons and local heroes, The Bees, who were later nominated for the coveted Mercury Music Prize.

Thousands of music fans came from all over the UK to enjoy the festival’s revival and this was just the start.



2003 hailed a bigger festival, spread over 2 days with on-site camping, sun, beer, shades, tents, noodles, strawberries & cream, toilets... and some world class bands including The Burn, The Thrills, The Cooper Temple Clause, John Squire, Iggy Pop, Paul Weller, Jimmy’s Big Fish, Countermine, The Basement, The Raveonettes, The Darkness, Hell is for Heroes, Counting CrowsBryan Adams and Starsailor.

John Giddings, the man behind Solo Promotions (the new Promoter) was excited to see so many mainland festivalgoers travelling over to the Island, tracing the footsteps of those who'd made the journey 30 years previously. "Thirty years of hurt never stopped us dreaming - and we dream again, of what 2004 might bring."



Sunny blues skies at Seaclose Park, the rejuvenated festival expanded to 3 days with a line-up that might just have been on everyone's wish list. The Who and David Bowie supported by The Manic Street PreachersThe Charlatans and Steve Harley plus many more, indeed a dream line up and an unforgettable weekend.



Since 2005 the festival has gone from strength to strength with tens of thousands heading across the Solent each June to escape the rat race, chill and enjoy some of the biggest acts around. FaithlessTravis and Michael Stipes REM truly rocked the Island in 2005 and many thought it just couldn't get any better.

The appearance of a reclusive Coldplay the following year, supported by The Prodigy and the Foo Fighters was a real coup and many couldn't believe their luck when the venerable Rolling Stones were confirmed for 2007, supported by Ash and a polished Groove Armada.



Demand for tickets in 2008, 40 years after the original in 68, was massive and the festival was declared a sell out in days. 2008 saw new electronic wrist bands to deter ticket fraud but they certainly didn't deter enthusiasm to see the Kaiser Chiefs, the Sex Pistols (now 30 years since their debut album Never Mind the Bollocks... Here's the Sex Pistols) and The Police.



In 2012 the Isle of Wight hit the headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons. The wettest weather for 100 years made it nigh on impossible for cars to enter the car parks unaided and the Island's roads became gridlocked with traffic building up at even the mainland ferry ports! Once in, a fun time was had by all with epic sets from the likes of Springsteen and Tom Petty.



This year, Isle of Wight Festival is celebrating it's 50th anniversary. Click here to see this years line-up




Isle of Wight Festival 2016 Highlights

Isle of Wight Festival 2015 Highlights