The Stranglers Jean-Jacques Burnel rocks the Big Top on Thursday. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
UPDATED SATURDAY 11:38*
THE organiser of the Isle of Wight Festival this afternoon (Friday) declined to underline an earlier promise to refund the tickets of those caught up in traffic chaos who went home.
John Giddings praised the good spirits of those at the event, although admitted he did not know how many had not made it.
After spending many hours in their cars, unable even to get to the Isle of Wight for hours because roads and ferries were choked, mainland festival-goers posted messages on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to say they had turned around and returned home.
The main festival carpark access was so muddy some vehicles had to be towed in by tractor. Queues built-up to such an extent that Portsmouth to Fishbourne car ferries could not dock.
Mainland motorists were diverted and if they got to the Island they sat, gridlocked, in traffic for hours.
Festival promoter John Giddings responded in a radio interview today that their £190 camping tickets would be refunded if people returned them to him.
He told BBC Radio Solent: "If you’ve got your ticket I have to refund you if you send it back to me...
"If someone has suffered that I don’t believe I should keep their money, what do you think...?"
But, several hours later, after traffic congestion had eased through a series of contingency measures including opening-up fresh car parking away from the Seaclose site, he refused to underline his radio commitment.
Asked whether refunds would be given, Mr Giddings would only repeat that people could now get to the festival.
Mr Giddings apologised for the hours of delay suffered by people trying to get into the festival site, caused by torrential rain which led to tracks sinking into the mud.
At one stage he was helping to marshal traffic and praised the good humour and supportiveness of those attending and said that no contingency plan in the world short of covering the site in tarmac could have succeeded.
"We are now looking to a positive festival enjoyed by 55,000 people. I have no idea how many people returned home, but my message is that they could get here," he said.
A spokesman confirmed today that refunds would not be given to those who were caught up in the traffic delays. Click here
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