Category Archives: Festival Isle

“Pimp Your Gnome” in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice

Pimip my Gnome


8 April 2013

“Pimp Your Gnome” in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice

After 100 years of banishment, the cheeky garden gnome is to appear at the RHS Chelsea Show for the first time ever in gnome history and to celebrate the return of gnomes into gardening fashion, Robin Hill, in association with Rapanui, the Family Directory and Wightlink, is running a

“Pimp my Gnome” competition at the Isle of Wight Garden Show this year to raise funds for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

To take part, all you have to do is collect a blank gnome & entry card from either Robin Hill front entrance, any Hospice shop or the Rapanui shop, High Street Sandown, between now and 21

st April, (while stocks last) take him or her home and give them some bling! Then bring your “pimped up” gnome along to the IW Spring Garden Show on Saturday 27th April at Robin Hill for inspection by our special guest judges in the Gnome Garden.

There are 2 categories; ‘the most amazing children’s gnome’ for children aged 0-15 and ‘the most amazing adult gnome’ for anyone over the age of 16. Prizes include a coveted Family Directory Golden Gnome trophy, a slap up lunch for two at Rapanui’s cafe in Sandown and some very cool eco friendly clothing. There is also a pair of season tickets to Robin Hill & Blackgang Chine for the winner of each category and a Wightlink return ticket for a car plus 4. There will even be a special prize for the best gnome celebrity lookalike!

Darren J Cool, Park & Events Manager at Robin Hill Adventure Park & Gardens, said ”

If they’re good enough for Chelsea … then they’re good enough for the Isle of Wight too! We see this as a great opportunity to add some extra fun to the Isle of Wight Garden Show this year and raise funds for the Hospice at the same time.”

Darren continued, “We are looking for people to decorate a gnome in the most imaginative way possible, the more whacky and wild the better. These little people have been crying out for a fashion make over since the dawn of gnome time, so we’re looking for some great creativity using paints, fancy dress and fashion accessories, whatever you think will stand them out from the crowd.”

“Pimp my Gnome” is all about raising money for the

Earl Mountbatten Hospice and the official blank gnomes, which come boxed with paints, will cost £5.00 at the point of collection, with all proceeds going to the Hospice. Everyone that enters an official gnome gets £5.00 off the entry price to the Isle of Wight Garden Show. Tickets can be used on both days of the weekend and includes all of Robin Hill’s facilities too, making for a fabulous weekend out.

To raise even more money, the gnomes can be donated after judging to the Hospice to sell in one of their shops or even at the show over the weekend.

The Isle of Wight Garden Show takes place at Robin Hill Adventure Park & Gardens on Saturday 27 th and Sunday 28th April. Early bird discounted tickets are available up to 17th April from the show’s website: saving up to 20% on standard entry tickets on the gate.

For more information, visit Good luck!



 Please find attached images for your use

For further information, please contact Darren J. Cool at Robin Hill Country Park on 01983 556052 or Michelle Russell on 07929 847665


 spring show


7 April 2013


With spring finally in the air, it’s time to start thinking about the garden and outdoor living once again…and there’s no event better to get some inspiration than the Isle of Wight Spring Garden Show held at Robin Hill over the weekend of 27 th & 28th April.

Hosted by your favourite Isle of Wight Radio presenters, the show has a range of quality exhibits including displays from top UK RHS nurseries as well as locally grown plants from the Island nurseries. Other exhibitors selling gardening & outdoor products also feature with everything from lawn mowers to spas on offer. Arts & traditional craft exhibits are also on display including a live blacksmith’s forge.

Local and regional food is also featured at the event with the


Southern Co-operatives “Finest Flavours pavilion” hosting a range of tantalising food stalls and the popular food theatre with guest local chefs. New elements include some “Follow the Chef” cook a long’s with up to eight cooking stations for use by show visitors where you can learn how to fillet a mackerel or prepare asparagus to perfection.

The “World of Wine” exhibition will be another great draw for visitors and will feature wines to sample and buy from around the world. Celebrity guest Kate Goodman from the BBC’s Food & Drink programme will be hosting some very special wine tastings over both days too.

Two arenas, including one just for dogs and a petting farm for children will also feature as well as laser clay pigeon shooting and falconry displays to entertain the crowds. The

IW Chainsaw Carving competition will be bigger than ever in 2013 with no less than seven national and international carvers taking part to create amazing sculptures to auction for the Isle of Wight Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

A fine cream tea can be enjoyed at the traditional tea tent or visitors can simply chill out to live music at the woodland pond gazebo while enjoying a Pimms or cider.

Early bird discounted tickets are available up to 17


from the show’s website: saving up to 20% on standard entry tickets on the gate. Tickets can be used on both days of the weekend and include all of Robin Hill’s facilities too, making for a fabulous weekend out.

A few exhibitor spaces are still available, so please call the Show office for enquiries on 01983 556052 to reserve a space for your business.

For more information visit or call 01983 556052.



A wide range of images are available on request.

For further information, please contact Darren J. Cool at Robin Hill Country Park on 01983 556052 or Michelle Russell on 07929 847665.

Isle of Arts launches its 2013 festival line-up with Alan Davies and more…


Alan Davies, the star of QI and Jonathan Creek, brings his long-awaited stand-up show to

the Isle of Wight, to kick off the evening entertainments in the festival marquee on Saturday
20 April.
Alan’s acute brand of surreal observational story telling has arrived to much acclaim. The
tour that started at the Edinburgh Fringe last year has been honed, refined and perfected in
places such as the Sydney Opera House, Auckland Town Hall and London’s Hackney
Empire. And now we’ve got him in Ventnor!
The Skatonics, who are rapidly making a name for themselves as one of the best Ska bands
in the UK, will be unleashing some classic sounds from the 1960s and two-tone era of the
70s and 80s to bring the ultimate two-tone experience to the late slot in the marquee on
Saturday night.
Elsewhere in the programme, we will have an immersive and hilarious treat for fans of Jane
Austen and improvised comedy alike with Austentatious: An Improvised Novel, a comedy
drama in the style of one of Britain’s best-loved novelists is based entirely on audience

Elton John & Snoop Dogg are coming to the Isle of Wight!

The Bestival last night revealed the first names for its 2013 event including two main stage headliners in the legendary Elton John and international hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg! Celebrating its 10th anniversary this coming September the Bestival line-up looks to be its best yet, with some of the biggest names in music also joining the bill. Other announcements included; The Flaming Lips, who headlined the event back in 2010, M.I.A, Bombay Bicycle Club, Franz Ferdinand, The Roots, Sinead O’Connor, Chic (featuring Nile Rodgers), Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox and loads more artists, bands, DJs and performers!

Bestival 2012 Stevie Wonder on the Main Stage

Unbelievably they seem to have managed to top the 2012 line-up when Stevie Wonder closed the festival on the Sunday night. (image courtesy of

With this years theme you are invited to climb “All Aboard” HMS Bestival and sail away to the Isle of Wight for 4 days of music and entertainment. With one of the biggest and most diverse line-ups the award-winning festival has produced so far there really is something for everyone!

This year’s Bestival takes place 5th September to 8th September at Robin Hill Country Parkon the Isle of Wight. Line-up so far below, for tickets and further information visit

Bestival 2013 Line-up



The Ventnor Fringe is delighted to reveal Liam Bailey as the Friday night headliner of ‘The Spire Sessions’ a new micro-music festival taking place as part of the Fringe, with tickets for the event going on sale today (Monday 28th January).


Blending classic soul with a contemporary feel, Liam Bailey is a rising star with a sincere, authentic voice that sounds wise beyond his years. Originally brought to the public’s attention through the late Amy Winehouse who released his first two EP’s on her imprint ‘Lioness Records’ his performance at the Fringe follows a sell out show at London’s Union Chapel and performances at major festivals across the country in 2012. His has also collaborated with artists such as Chase & Status, including co-writing and providing the vocals for “Blind Faith” which reached No 5 in the UK Single Charts and his latest release ‘Please Love Me’ confirms a man of true talent.


Also joining the line up will be Fringe favourite Marques Toliver, MOBO Nominee Ayanna Witter-Johnson, L.A Salami, Seye, Fiona Bevan, William Carl Jnr, Joseph Reuben and Summer Pearl with more acts still be announced.


“The Spire Sessions” is a new collaboration between Ventnor Fringe Director Jack Whitewood and Love Is The Law Magazine and is set to be a highlight of the 2013 Fringe, with special intimate performances in and around Trinity Church over the 16th and 17th August 2013. Tickets for all events over both days start at £35, or alternatively individual tickets to Liam Bailey’s performance are available at £12 thought the Ventnor Fringe Box Office at

Brian Blessed to open Isle of Wight Walking Festival

Brian Blessed at Medina Theatre 2010

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival 2013 is set to be kicked off in style by the commanding personality of Brian Blessed. The world famous actor, author and explorer comes to Medina Theatre on the opening Sunday of the Walking Festival for a performance not to be missed.

Expect captivating stories from his acting days, with credits including a wide variety of films from Shakespeare to Star Wars, and also tales of his time as an adventurer – all delivered by one of the most unmistakeable voices in the business.

This year’s festival begins on Saturday May 4th, with Brian Blessed performing at 7.30pm on Sunday 5th to launch the 2 week calendar of walking events. On his previous visit to Medina Theatre Blessed played to a packed house, and wouldn’t leave the stage – avoid disappointment by booking you tickets now from

More information on the Isle of Wight Walking Festival can be found

Even more music added to Isle of Wight Festival 2013!

Isle of Wight Festival 2013 Announces latest additions

The Isle of Wight Festival is shaping up to be one of the best yet with another round of recent addition raising the bar even higher for the iconic Island music festival. Joining an already incredible line-up that includes The Stone Roses, Bon Jovi and The Killers will be Emeli Sande, Ben Howard, Palma Violets, Lianne La Havas, Laura Mvula, Hugh Cornwell, Levellers, Young Guns, Kids in Glass Houses and many more!

For more information, and for some great money saving ticket and travel packages plus the Isle of Wight Festival payment plan go to Don’t miss out on this unforgettable weekend of music and excitement!

Sail the good ship HMS Bestival for their 10th Anniversary



HMS Bestival

The Bestival will be celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year, and to celebrate they will be beating the drum for a decade of dancing on the Isle of Wight by inviting everybody to jump aboard HMS Bestival with their 2013 fancy dress theme!

HMS Bestival skipper and all-new Isle of Wight amabassador Rob da Bank said;

“All the nice girls love a sailor and all the boys love a mermaid. Think deckhands, anchors, beach parties, Moby Dick, tattooed ladies, Titanic, shipwrecks, Hawaii, Treasure Island, rum bars in scuzzy ports, message in a bottle, the crow’s nest, sea legends, monster breakers and tall-tales of life on the ocean waves. Nautical but nice! There’s no better time to join the good ship HMS Bestival and our trusty crew of merrimakers than now with Crimbo approaching, so get your Golden Early Bird Tickets and prepare to set sail me hearties!”


Rob Da Bank

In addition to the theme announcement the good folks at Bestival have announced a special Early Bird Christmas promotion to thank everyone for their support over the last ten years. If you buy a ticket to the Bestival 2013 before January 1st 2013 you will get the ticket at the 2012 price AND you will get an exclusive memento golden souvenir ticket! Early Bird tickets can also be bought through the weekly payment plan, so it’s even easier to join the party!


Even better news for Isle of Wight music is the announcement of the Bestival as “Best Major Festival” at the 2012 UK Festival awards. On top of that the Bestival Saturday night headliners New Order picked up the award for “Best Headliner”, and declared how much they enjoyed the the Bestival in their speech!

 Bestival 2012 site 2 (c) Vic Frankowski

Isle of Wight Literary Festival makes it’s debut

Isle of Wight Literary Festival Guest Speakers

Next weekend the Isle of Wight will play host to it’s very first Literary Festival. The Island already has a rich literary history with Keats, Dickens and Tennyson all writing from here. The festival is set to draw a number of Britain’s top authors to the Island to appear alongside some of our own local talent.

Some of the confirmed speakers include Philip Wells, Louis de Bernieres, Gyles Brandreth, Rebecca Chance, Anneka Rice and Philip Norman, who will be taking part in events and workshops across the weekend 12th to 14th October 2012.

The main location for the weekends events will be the stunning Northwood House in Cowes, a Grade II listed building which stands in a nine hectare park. As part of the ongoing renovation of Northwood House the Isle of Wight Literary Festival will also be donating all of its profits to the Northwood House Charitable Trust.

Friday 12th October includes a discussion by local resident and author Celia Imrie on her autobiography “Let’s Hear It From The Happy Hoofer”, a debate on the future of printed word and the impact of e-books, and will ends at Tonino’s Restaurant with Rebecca Chance reading an extract from her best-selling novel “Bad Sisters”.

On Saturday 13th October there are workshops on writing and new media, along with events and readings from horror writer Chris Priestley, Will Ellsworth-Jones who wrote the ground breaking biography of street artist Banksy, a personal introduction to “Dracula” novelist Bram Stoker from his great-grandson Noel Dobbs, and much more. Gyles Brandreth presents his own unique insight into stories and revelations about The Queen and her family in “A Right Royal Audience” at the Trinity Theatre, then a festival “pub quiz” takes place at the Moocow Bar in Cowes.

Sunday 14th October begins with “A Magical Mystery Tour Of The Isle of Wight Literary Haunts” with a bus tour of the beautifully breathtaking Island places that have inspired so many literary icons throughout history. For families and children local Island author Philip Bell will be presenting an interactive reading and nature talk from his children’s book “Jack and Boo’s Wild Wood”, whilst Philip Norman will be revealing an insight into the life of his latest biographical subject Mick Jagger. The last event at Northwood House sees Fire Poet Philip Wells produce a dramatic performance of his own work, and other famous poets including Lewis Carroll.

A full list of the weekends events can be found on the Isle of Wight Literary Festival Website, where you can still order tickets to many of the events.

To celebrate the arrival of the Literary Festival we are currently running a competition. If you fancy winning a 2 night spa break at Melville Hall, one of the Isle of Wight’s top hotels, then head over to our “New Year New You! Competition” to enter.