Isle of Wight set to blossom as Visit Isle of Wight launches 2106 Wight in Bloom competition

Residents, community groups, tourism businesses and schools are being encouraged to enter the Island’s 2016 Wight in Bloom competition, which was officially launched at the National Trust’s Mottistone Gardens on Monday April 18th.

Wight in Bloom is an annual gardening and community competition that celebrates our fabulous Island and the efforts of our green-fingered community.

The free to enter competition, sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight since 2015, encourages and rewards those who take pride in their environment and make the Island a colourful and vibrant place to live and visit.

Wight in Bloom is part of Visit Isle of Wight’s Garden Isle marketing campaign, which this year coincides with Vist England’s Year of the Garden 2016 and the 300th anniversary of the birth of the 18th century garden designer, ‘Capability’ Brown.

Organisers of Wight in Bloom are keen to attract a bumper crop of entries from gardeners at all levels and in all 11 categories, especially from children – a sentiment expressed by Wight in Bloom’s patron and TV gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, who has said that he would like to see more kids in the garden this summer and beyond because he thinks it is vital children are connected to the earth.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:  “Without question, Wight in Bloom brings communities together and everyone involved does such a great job in transforming towns and villages and creating a blaze of colour across the Island.

“This year we want the Island to look even more fantastic and I very much hope that we get lots of new entrants, especially from younger people and those involved in the Island’s tourist industry.”

This year sees 11 categories in the competition, including Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Young People Initiative, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction, Best Large Tourist Attraction, Best Creative use of a Small Space, Best Coastal Garden and Best Edible Garden.

The closing date for entry into Wight in Bloom is 30th May.  Judging will take place from 27th June to 25th July when local horticultural experts will tour the Island to assess the variety of floral displays, community projects and school gardens.  There is a limited amount of funding available to support parish and town councils purchase plants.  For more information, contact

Entry forms and the list of 11 categories will be on-line at from 18th April.   Forms can also be picked up at Island tourist information points, including the Guildhall in Newport, and selected Island garden centres.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO, said: “As 2016 is the Year of the English Garden and the 300th anniversary of the birth of 18th century garden designer ‘Capability’ Brown, we are hoping Wight in Bloom 2016 will be one of the biggest yet. Gardeners of all ages are encouraged to enter one of the 11 categories to help ensure the Island is looking its best this summer.”

The awards will be presented by Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL at a ceremony at Osborne in September.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672,


Notes to Editors

In the foreground:  David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, and Jo Hampson,

Customer Greeter, Red Funnel Ferries.

Behind (in no particular order):  Winners’ from last year’s Wight in Bloom competition:

Heath Morgan from Aspire (Overall Winner and winner of Best Community Floral

Project 2015), Guy Eades, Healing Arts, IOW NHS Trust (Best Senior Citizen Complex 2015),

Ann Bunney, the Havelock Hotel (Best Accommodation Garden 2015), David Mansfield (Best

Small Front Garden 2015), Mandy O’Reilly from the Buddle Inn, Niton (Best Public House

Garden 2015), Robert Moore, Head Gardener, Mottistone Gardens (Best Tourist Attraction

Garden – Large 2015) and some of the children and their teacher from Bembridge CE Primary

School (Best Young People Initiative 2015). 

Categories for the competition are

1.         BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 5 metre frontage)

2.         BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 5 metre frontage)

3.         BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)

4.         BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)

5.         BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)

6.         BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)

7.         BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)

8.         BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)

  1. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)

10.       BEST COASTAL GARDEN (best use of the environment, use of plants tolerant to seaside location, recycling of coastal finds)

  1. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a Decorative display).

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Bestival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, IW Walking Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2016 Charity of the Year is Isle of Wight charity, Ability Dogs for Young People.

For further information or images, please contact Carswell Gould

Amy Grinstead
Tel: 023 8023 8001


Bestival 2016 – announce a corking array of artists for the Invaders of the Future stage











WILL VARLEY / THE WYTCHES / VANT / XOCKHA / ZIBRA / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr


Making Bestival the festival to discover new music is a big part of what keeps us buzzing. Finding an incredible new band that could change your life, or that one amazing unknown track that will blow everyone away is something that our intrepid curator Rob da Bank has made his life’s work. With his monumental musical knowledge helping him to sniff out a cornucopia of mysterious gems, Rob’s track record for discovering the next big thing is unparalleled, and the Invaders of the Future stage is Bestival’s cathedral of cutting edge sounds where you’ll find this year’s selection of bright young things who could just be your new favourite band in The Future.

Rob da Bank says: “Yup, we all love a stonking big headliner at Bestival, and huge DJs and bands that have sold millions of records smashing it on our stages, but mostly where you’ll find me across the weekend at Bestival is in our Invaders stage checking out the new bands. Once more we’ve gone mentally diverse from Radio 1 and SXSW darling’s Danny L Harle, Pup and Sunflower Bean through the amazing Eska and a takeover from the hottest label out there, PC Music, to local island talent Born Ina Barn and Xockha. See you down the front!”

Out on a mission to capture your heart and keep your feet moving at the UK’s official Best Major Festival, the Invaders of the Future stage will be bouncing all weekend long to sets from west London’s All This Noise, high-octane punks Asylums, atmospheric four-piece Black Honey, Island b-boys Born Ina Barn, and soulful pop types Clean Cut Kid, with appearance from Coco, Creeper and Saturday’s late night headliner Danny L Harle.

We’ll also have singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eska, beguiling trio Fatherson, pop outfit Fickle Friends, rock n rollers The Greasy Slicks, the darkly inventive HÆLOS, visceral Spanish indie quartet Hinds and the swirling sounds of The Japanese House.

Getting those in the know all hot under the collar there will be more Invaders of the Future action from the golden voiced JP Cooper, Illinois’s K.Flay, the folk musings of L.A. Salami, hotly-tipped Merseysider Louis Berry, emo four-piece Moose Blood, punk rockers Milk Teeth, hyperreal ultrapop label PC Music All Stars and Pinegrove.

Don’t miss the chance to check out Merthyr Tydfil’s Pretty Vicious, Toronto’s Pup, the hypnotic and pulsing Rationale, off-kilter R&B producer Royce Wood Junior, epic indie upstarts The Sherlocks, Mancunian powerhouse Spring King, mesmerising 12-piece Stompy’s Playground and incorrigible ravers Subgiant.

And make sure you catch amazing new music from Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean, Smugglers co-founder Will Varley, purveyors of surf-doom The Wytches, alt rockers Vant, the Island’s own Xockha and indie three-piece Zibra.

Collecting all our top tips for the future in one mind-blowing stage, head to the Invaders of the Future and discover what fires up Bestival’s soul.

There are still plenty of treats to be revealed for our Future paradise, including our Sunday night main stage headliners and much more, so head to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram / Tumblr

For all the latest information.




Adult Ticket (entry from Thursday or Friday) – £190

Adult Premium ‘Wild Copse’ Camping Ticket – £299 (more info)

Student Ticket (entry from Thursday or Friday) – £180

(For full-time students only. Valid NUS or ISIC ID required at the box office. No other student ID accepted)

Teen (age 13-17) Ticket – £120

Teen (age 13-17) Premium ‘Wild Copse’ Camping Ticket – £149.50 (more info)

Child (age 12 & under) Ticket – Free (but you must obtain a ticket)

Child (age 12 & under) Premium ‘Wild Copse’ Camping Ticket – Free (more info)

VIP Ticket (Standard Camping) – £295

VIP Ticket (Wild Copse Camping) – £390

Campervan Tickets – £90 (per vehicle) (more info)

Caravan / Trailer Tent Ticket – £100 (One car only per caravan/trailer tent, no exceptions – more info)

Advance Car Parking – £15

– All Tickets will incur a booking fee

– There are no Day Tickets

– All Tickets incur a £1 donation to the Isle of Wight Youth Trust* (see below for further info)


Bestival’s ground breaking weekly payment plan means you can get yourself a Bestival 2016 ticket for just £9 a week! Spreading the cost across 20 weeks, an initial £25 deposit payment (plus booking fees and p&p), followed by 19 weekly payments of around £9, gets you a ticket for the same price as paying in one go.

This offer is only available online from our official ticket partner Ticketline:


Once again this year we are adding on a £1 charity donation onto all Bestival tickets. The money raised will go directly to the Isle Of Wight Youth Trust (Reg Charity no. 1087163) to help fund their fantastic work offering counselling and support to young people aged 25 and under on the Isle of Wight. The Bestival Foundation is also a proud supporter of the Youth Trust.




Roll up Roll up! Cirque de la Quirk is returning to The Isle of Wight Festival with a BANG!

London warm up show announced for Friday 22nd April

Following on from the success of last year’s Cirque de la Quirk stage takeover, The Isle of Wight Festival today announces that Cirque is back for 2016 – and this time… for the whole weekend!

Over the weekend of 9th-12th June, festival-goers will get the chance to step into a worry free nonsensical world. From live body painting to strutting your stuff in their popular dance off, there is something for all ages, shapes and mental states at the Circus!

You’ll be able to experience the Backstage Creation Tent, aimed to relax and rest your ringing ears by hunkering down on bean bags and pillow pits or getting involved with colouring therapy, creative workshops and face painting. Head to the Wonky Races Tent to spice up the weekend with silly, challenging and competitive games, before heading to the pièce de résistance: The Main Stage! Compered by Cirque’s very own Jackie Jibbles and Madame Molly, Cirque de la Quirk will have musical treats to get everyone bouncing and dancing for the whole weekend. Electric Swing Circus, Dub Pistols, Benny Page, Far Too Loud and Freear (Slamboree DJ set) are just a few of the artists lined up to grace the Cirque, along with circus performers from the wonderful people at Forgotten Circus. There’ll be enough to make the most statuesque of tail feathers wiggle with verve and vigour!

Plus, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and Queen + Adam Lambert’s headlining slot on the Sunday, Cirque de la Quirk will be hosting a special tongue-in-cheek, very English (and slightly rowdy) tea party! Think bunting, chaps and moustaches with a dollop of electro swing beats provided by Cirque’s lovable favourites, Miles Metric and the Rumpsteppers!

Can’t wait ’til June? Well, a special warm up show has been announced! On Friday 22nd April at Mode in Ladbroke Grove, London, The Isle of Wight Festival will present ‘Cirque de la Quirk’s Warm Up Wiggle’. You are invited to get stuck into the music, life and festival spirit of the circus. Come and let your inner quirk shine through! Join the ridiculousness of the Wonky Races, experience the immersive performances from the Forgotten Circus and dance the night away in preparation for the start of Summer, The Isle of Wight Festival 2016!

Tickets for ‘Cirque de la Quirk’s Warm Up Wiggle’ available now from Eventbrite:

Check out Cirque de la Quirk at The Isle of Wight Festival 2015:

Cirque de la Quirk was launched in London, March 2015 by Molly McQueen and Jack Freeman. With their shared passion for the creative arts and pure determination to showcase un-seen talent, they decided to create a truly unique cabaret party. They bedazzle audiences with stunning circus performances, extraordinary musical artists and soul-enriching silliness to provide an experience to tickle all your senses!

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place 9th-12th June at Seaclose Park, headlined by

Stereophonics, Faithless, The Who, and Queen + Adam Lambert, go to for full line up and ticket information.

A full range of ticket, travel and camping / accommodation options are available for The Isle of Wight Festival

·      Weekend with/without Camping – £195
·      Student – £175
·      Teen – £145
·      Children under 12 – free
·      Disabled Access – Must be purchased via the Ticketmaster Special Access number 0800 988 4440

Boutique Camping:

  • Camp Kerala Mademoiselle provide Luxury Glamping backstage with room service and VIP transport
  • Tangerine Fields – Turn up and find your tent already pitched plus Tangerine Bar and Cafe and grooming facilities
  • Eve’s Tipis – Try something different and stay in a tipi, plus enjoy cocktails or champagne from the bar or some hot breakfast options to start your day right
  • Podpads – Bunk down in the colourful Podpads with solid wood or canvas options
  • Love Your Tent – enjoy an ethical camping experience plus hot showers and a Poodle Parlour!
  • Pink Moon Camping – Choose from a colourful collection of accommodation and enjoy your weekend with a unique camping experience!

A variety of travel options including ferry, speed boats, river crossing, Big Green Coach Company and National Rail can be viewed on the festival’s website.

For more information please contact:
DawBell PR
T: 020 3327 7111
Kate Etteridge –
Lisa Birch (print) –
Amelia O’Shea (online) –
Maria Barham (broadcast) –

The Isle of Wight Festival 2016 Line Up To Date

Stereophonics – Faithless – The Who – Queen + Adam Lambert


Adam Ant – Alabama 3 – Blossoms – Busted – Buzzcocks – Cast – The Corrs – The Cribs – The Damned – Everything Everything – The Family Rain – Feeder – Gabrielle Aplin – The Godfathers – Gutterdammerung – Half Moon Run – The High Kings – Iggy Pop – Jess Glynne – Joanne Shaw Taylor – The Kills – Lissie  – Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys – Mike + The Mechanics – Ocean Colour Scene – Pendulum (DJ set) – Reef – Reverend and the Makers – Richard Ashcroft –  The Second Sons – Sex Pissed Dolls – Sigma (live) – SIXX: AM – Status Quo – Sunset Sons – Turin Brakes – Twin Atlantic – The Wonder Stuff