Elton John will be among the stars performing on the Isle of Wight this weekend at Bestival.Picture courtesy of Emerson Loew.
BESTIVAL kicks off today (Thursday) having sold out for yet another year.
Around 55,000 revellers were expected on the Robin Hill site for the four-day festival, headlined by Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg and Sir Elton John and a £1 donation from each ticket will go to the Isle of Wight Youth Trust.
The award-winning event celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and as part of its party plans it has created a new arena, The Port, a landlocked port featuring some of the world’s top DJs, laser shows and pyrotechnics.
Revellers will be keeping their fingers crossed for good weather, with a mix of sunshine and heavy showers forecast.
Organisers have worked with the Isle of Wight Council, Island Roads and the police on a plan to keep traffic moving freely, including one-way restrictions on some routes and speed limits around the site (see map below).
Sgt Dave Sanderson, of the roads policing unit, said: "We’re running a specific operation to deter and detect drink and drug driving.
"My message and warning is simple, anyone caught over the drink-drive limit can expect to be arrested and taken into custody.
"I will not tolerate reckless motorists endangering the lives of revellers and residents who want to enjoy the weekend safely and responsibly.
"Our focus is preventing problems on the roads in the first place. Therefore, Bestival-goers this year will again have the chance to check themselves if they are fit to drive. You can take a voluntary breathalyser test by approaching police on or around the Bestival site.
"We won’t arrest you if you’re over the limit after a voluntary breath test, but you will be told not to drive. Think about the profound, sometimes fatal, consequences for others if you decide to get behind the wheel while under the influence."
District commander Supt Will Schofield said specialist officers would be at entrances with drugs dogs and anyone caught with illegal substances faced prosecution and being ejected from the event.
"Our policing operation aims to protect people from the dangers of drugs and substance misuse.
"We're grateful for the significant support shown by the organisers and their security teams."
He warned against the use of 'legal highs’ which can potentially kill and would not be accepted at the event.
He added: "Bestival has established a family-friendly reputation with low levels of crime.
"We want to help maintain this relaxed atmosphere with our approach to policing the campsites with high visibility foot and cycle patrols.
"A police office is open in the Bestival’s red campsite area between 8am and midnight each day during the event."
Organisers have said they will be enforcing rules this year to prevent excessive alcohol being brought on to the site.
Revellers will be allowed to bring what Bestival described as a reasonable amount, but will be asked to leave excessive quantities outside. They will not be permitted to re-enter with more alcohol.
The police will be using social media throughout the weekend to promote safety messages and keep people well informed.
See below for a list of useful Twitter, Facebook and web links as well as a map of the Bestival traffic plan.
@iwight Isle of Wight Council
@RF_Travel_News Red Funnel
@FestivalCop Hampshire Police
@HantsPolice Hampshire Police
@HantsPolRoads Hampshire Police
@IslandRoads Island Roads
@IowPolRoads Isle of Wight Traffic Police
@iwcponline Isle of Wight County Press