Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Festival organisers defend folding-chair ban

Folding chairs
Image caption Folding chairs had to be left outside the festival site

Organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival have defended their decision not to allow fold away chairs to be brought on to the site.

About 100 visitors were told they had to leave their seats at the entrance to the site at Seaclose Park in Newport when they arrived on Friday.

The organisers said it was because of health and safety concerns and to improve the "audience experience".

Some visitors said they were furious at the new rules brought in this year.

Among them, Clive Woodford from East Cowes who said he needed to sit for medical reasons and there was no prior notification of chairs being banned.

He said: "I'm absolutely furious. It's 175 quid down the drain. [The organisers] need to treat the public with respect."

Tim McWilliams, Solo security co-ordinator, said: "Out of concern for the public, and to give the fans the best opportunity to view the stage, we have found that it works best to have minimum obstructions in the arena and we find by not allowing chairs it enhances the audience experience."

Other festival goers said they had brought chairs in previous years without a problem and chairs were being sold within the festival site.

Seventy thousand people are attending the annual festival with Kaiser Chiefs, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters among the headline acts.

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