The Wickham Festival went to a whole new level on Friday – Level 42 to be exact.
The jazz-funk fusion band was a slight change of direction but proved hugely popular with the crowd dancing in front of the Valley Stage.
Isle of Wight lead singer Mark King set the tempo with an upbeat performance making it clear just how much he loves the event as he reeled off the band’s hits.
With his trademark style of tapping two-handed, this virtuoso musician from Chicago held the crowd spellbound in wonder at his technique and speed of hand movement.
Over on the Village Stage, there was a reggae party going on – again showing the diversity on offer at this unique event.
Baka Beyond got things going with an energetic set following on 3 Daft Monkeys who made their slot with minutes to spare after a nightmare journey.
And Dreadzone brought the evening to a pulsating close to a rousing reception from a big crowd.
With the Spooky Men’s Chorale bringing their own unique brand of madness and Gordon Haskell showing why he is still one of the best around, this was another day to treasure.
But Saturday looks set to surpass it with Wessex Boy Frank Turner headlining on the Valley Stage preceded by evergreen Wickham favourites The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Grace Petrie, Dervish and the wonderful Cara Dillon.
On the Village Stage, Afro Celt Sound System will be beating out their dhol drums after Elephant sessions and Holy Moly & the Crackers.
With two other stages, plenty of good food and drink, craft stalls and free entertainment for children, it promises to be a fantastic family day out. A Few day tickets remain but will go fast with the day likely to sell out.
These can be bought at the box office, cash only and subject to availability. The box office is also accepting applications (cash and cheques) for next year offering a saving of up to £80 on a weekend ticket.