Making the best of it: These festival goers are refusing to let the muddy conditions at the Isle of Wight Festival get them down as they eat lunch today
They may have expected to go without showers for three days – but they probably didn’t realise they would have to take a mud bath instead.
Revellers at the Isle of Wight festival found themselves soaked and stranded as torrential rain turned the site into a quagmire.
But the ones who had made it to the chaotic campsite were considered lucky by others who were left sleeping in their cars as traffic jams brought the island to a standstill. Roads to the site in Seaclose Park, Newport, ground to a halt yesterday after a month’s rain fell overnight.
The jam was caused by a blockage at the festival entrance after more than 350 cars became trapped in the mud. A five-mile tailback quickly formed to the ferry port in Fishbourne, with drivers queueing for up to ten hours.
Major problems: This car is just one of thousands stuck in the boggy carparks that have caused chaos at the festival
Peace but no love: A well-prepared music fan makes her way through the mud, left, while these pink boot-wearing girls are determined to have fun
Pulled out of a tight spot: One festival goer needed to have his van towed out of the mud by a tractor better equipped to deal with the damp weather
An estimated 55,000 festival-goers are expected to arrive over the weekend, each paying £190 for a camping ticket to the three-day festival, which features acts including Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen.
Mother-of-three Linda Dawson spent more than £500 on tickets for her family. After driving her daughters – aged 12, 13 and 16 – from the family home in Ashurst, Kent, she was forced to spend Thursday night in her car.
She said: ‘We could have turned back if we had known we would be in the car all night. Why did they let us get on the ferry when they knew there was nowhere for us to go?’
Water-logged: Blaise Franklin (left) and Nathan Mursall wallow in the mud at the campsite at the Isle of Wight festival
Beyond caring: One woman smiles through the dirt after a spot of mud wrestling while another begins the slog up a slippery slope
Alternative mode of transport: These festival-goers obviously got bored of trudging through the mud and got a friend to push them around in a trolley instead
All hands on deck: Even when drivers finally made it to their destination it still wasn't an easy ride with many having to push their vehicles the final few metres
Mark Bush, 27, and brother and sister Sean, 24, and Janine Keen, 27, from Romford, Essex, were also forced to sleep in their car on Thursday night after becoming trapped in gridlocked traffic from 4pm.
Mr Bush said: ‘It’s been raining for weeks so I don’t understand why the organisers weren’t ready for it.’ Hundreds of festival-goers also spent hours trapped on board three ferries forced to circle the Solent after stranded vehicles prevented them from docking in Fishbourne.
Dirty work: Four friends wade through the filth, determined to enjoy the first day of bands
Those who did eventually arrive at the festival site had to pitch their tents in fields of mud, braving heavy gales and driving rain.
Meanwhile, a lifeboat had to rescue a group of adventurous revelers who decided to sail a yacht across the storm-lashed Solent to reach the Isle of Wight Festival.
The RNLI lifeboat based at Cowes on the island had to put to sea during the night after the crew on board the 25ft yacht Hoka-Hey radioed for help.
They had been unable to make headway using sails with the waves whipped up by force eight gales and then their engine failed.
The yacht, which had set out from Emsworth in Portsmouth Harbour to sail across to the island for the festival, called Solent coastguards for assistance.
When the lifeboat arrived at the scene, it found one of the yacht's crew was too seasick to take an active part in helping steer the vessel.
Getting stuck in: Even a pair of sturdy wellington boots is not enough to prevent getting stuck in the deep mud at the festival
The yacht was towed to its intended destination at Island Harbour on the east bank of the Medina on the Isle of Wight.
And the water wasn’t the only thing pouring in. After a flood of complaints, festival organisers initially offered refunds to ticketholders who were unable to reach their destination – but then appeared to backtrack.
Last night, a message on the festival’s Twitter page said: ‘There are lots of rumours circulating about ticket refunds and we just wanted to clarify.
‘The situation has now been resolved and it is possible for everyone to access the site and enjoy the festival.’
Large parts of England and Wales are on flood alert tonight as a month's worth of rain is predicted to fall in just 24 hours. Parts of the North West in particular were today warned of flood risks, with up to four inches of rain expected to fall in some areas.
Forecasters at the Met Office have issued a severe weather warning for parts of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire, with 2in to 2.4in of rain expected across much of the area.
Downcast: Music fans trample through fields ruined by footfall after a night of heavy rain
Three flood warnings are currently in place, two in Lancaster and one in High Bentham, North Yorkshire, with 28 alerts in place across the North West.
The deluge is expected to batter the north west of England with heavy rain and high winds lasting until Sunday, experts warn.
Environment Agency spokeswoman Kate Marks said: 'A month's rain is predicted to fall in the North West in the next 24 hours. We would urge the public to remain vigilant and prepared for flooding, especially as river levels can rise very quickly.'
The news comes as England's third one-day cricket international against the West Indies in Leeds had to be called off, and at Royal Ascot, racegoers' top hats and glad rags were left soggy and mud-spattered as visitors struggled to negotiate the swamp-like car park.
A couple hold hands as they concentrate on keeping their footing amid the slippery muck
Faster on foot: Music fans laden down with luggage stroll past the queues
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