Isle of Wight Festival: Rain and mud cause travel chaos
Music fans have had to sleep in their cars after traffic became gridlocked when heavy rain turned the Isle of Wight Festival site into a mudbath.
The mud led to access problems at Seaclose Park in Newport and left thousands unable to get into car parks and stuck in vehicles overnight.
Police escorted some motorists stuck in traffic to Newport Football Club where shelter and refreshments were provided.
About 55,000 people are expected at the three-day event on the island.
The Isle of Wight has a population of just 140,000.
The problems came as various parts of the UK were braced for heavy rain and flooding. The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for various parts of England and Scotland and a more severe amber warning for the North West of England.
Met Office forecasters said the island would see very windy weather, with sunny spells and scattered blustery showers over the weekend.
Motorists queued for up to 10 hours to access the site.
Linda Dawson, from Ashurst, said she had been stuck in her car with her partner and three daughters aged 12, 13 and 16 since 18:00 BST on Thursday.
She said: "The two things I'm really annoyed about is this weather has been going on for weeks, so why were they not prepared for it? Second we weren't told the full story in Portsmouth and could have turned back if we had known we would be in the car all night.
"Why did they let us get on the ferry when they knew there was nowhere for us to go?"
Festival-goers have taken to social networking sites to complain about their treatment and a lack of communication from festival organisers. Some said they had given up and gone home.
Jo Wendel tweeted the message: "Awful! Would only recommend #iowfest to lovers of disorganisation, queuing and mudbaths."
Simon Perry, co-founder of site VentnorBlog, which covers the island, said: "Many readers questioned why the relevant authorities hadn't planned for this, given the unseasonable recent heavy rainfall."
Problems began on Thursday morning when the main car park had become waterlogged from heavy rain overnight.
Organisers were forced to open extra fields and bring in metal tracks so vehicles could be directed to overflow car parks. Many had to be towed because of the mud.
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