Swamped in a sea of mud: Traffic jams and soggy tents as downpours hit Isle of Wight festival
- Organiser promises to give refunds for unused tickets as queues leave 600 stranded on ferries across the Solent
- Heavy rain to batter Britain as month's worth of rain predicted to fall in just 24 hours
- North West alone has 28 flood alerts in place with severe weather warnings for Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire
- England's one-day cricket international against West Indies rained off
They may have expected to go without showers for three days – but they probably didn’t realise they would have to take a mud bath instead.
Revellers at the Isle of Wight festival found themselves soaked and stranded as torrential rain turned the site into a quagmire.
But the ones who had made it to the chaotic campsite were considered lucky by others who were left sleeping in their cars as traffic jams brought the island to a standstill.
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Making the best of it: These festival goers are refusing to let the muddy conditions at the Isle of Wight Festival get them down as they eat lunch today
Major problems: This car is just one of thousands stuck in the boggy carparks that have caused chaos at the festival
Peace but no love: A well-prepared music fan makes her way through the mud, left, while these pink boot-wearing girls are determined to have fun
Pulled out of a tight spot: One festival goer needed to have his van towed out of the mud by a tractor better equipped to deal with the damp weather
Roads to the site in Seaclose Park, Newport, ground to a halt yesterday after a month’s rain fell overnight.
The jam was caused by a blockage at the festival entrance after more than 350 cars became trapped in the mud. A five-mile tailback quickly formed to the ferry port in Fishbourne, with drivers queueing for up to ten hours.
An estimated 55,000 festival-goers are expected to arrive over the weekend, each paying £190 for a camping ticket to the three-day festival, which features acts including Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen.
Water-logged: Blaise Franklin (left) and Nathan Mursall wallow in the mud at the campsite at the Isle of Wight festival
Beyond caring: One woman smiles through the dirt after a spot of mud wrestling while another begins the slog up a slippery slope
Alternative mode of transport: These festival-goers obviously got bored of trudging through the mud and got a friend to push them around in a trolley instead
All hands on deck: Even when drivers finally made it to their destination it still wasn't an easy ride with many having to push their vehicles the final few metres
Mother-of-three Linda Dawson spent more than £500 on tickets for her family. After driving her daughters – aged 12, 13 and 16 – from the family home in Ashurst, Kent, she was forced to spend Thursday night in her car.
She said: ‘We 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?’
Mark Bush, 27, and brother and sister Sean, 24, and Janine Keen, 27, from Romford, Essex, were also forced to sleep in their car on Thursday night after becoming trapped in gridlocked traffic from 4pm.
Mr Bush said: ‘It’s been raining for weeks so I don’t understand why the organisers weren’t ready for it.’ Hundreds of festival-goers also spent hours trapped on board three ferries forced to circle the Solent after stranded vehicles prevented them from docking in Fishbourne.
Welcome to the British summer: The unseasonal downpour makes a bog of the festival site, prompting revellers to opt for the wellingtons and hotpants combo
Dirty work: Four friends wade through the filth, determined to enjoy the first day of bands
NOW A NEW FLOOD ALERT
Those who did eventually arrive at the festival site had to pitch their tents in fields of mud, braving heavy gales and driving rain.
And the water wasn’t the only thing pouring in. After a flood of complaints, festival organisers initially offered refunds to ticketholders who were unable to reach their destination – but then appeared to backtrack.
Last night, a message on the festival’s Twitter page said: ‘There are lots of rumours circulating about ticket refunds and we just wanted to clarify.
‘The situation has now been resolved and it is possible for everyone to access the site and enjoy the festival.’
Large parts of England and Wales are on flood alert tonight as a month's worth of rain is predicted to fall in just 24 hours. Parts of the North West in particular were today warned of flood risks, with up to four inches of rain expected to fall in some areas.
Forecasters at the Met Office have issued a severe weather warning for parts of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire, with 2in to 2.4in of rain expected across much of the area.
Happy feet: A pair of happy festival-goers are determined not to let it rain on their parade as they splash around in the mud at the Isle Of Wight Festival
Getting stuck in: Even a pair of sturdy wellington boots is not enough to prevent getting stuck in the deep mud at the festival
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Three flood warnings are currently in place, two in Lancaster and one in High Bentham, North Yorkshire, with 28 alerts in place across the North West.
The deluge is expected to batter the north west of England with heavy rain and high winds lasting until Sunday, experts warn.
Environment Agency spokeswoman Kate Marks said: 'A month's rain is predicted to fall in the North West in the next 24 hours. We would urge the public to remain vigilant and prepared for flooding, especially as river levels can rise very quickly.'
The news comes as England's third one-day cricket international against the West Indies in Leeds had to be called off, and at Royal Ascot, racegoers' top hats and glad rags were left soggy and mud-spattered as visitors struggled to negotiate the swamp-like car park.
Downcast: Music fans trample through fields ruined by footfall after a night of heavy rain
A couple hold hands as they concentrate on keeping their footing amid the slippery muck
My home for the weekend: A man stands ankle-deep in mud as he surveys the sodden campsite
Not phased by the mud: Others just collapsed on the muddy ground for a well-earned but rather damp rest from all the travel chaos and festivities
THE BANDS ROCKING IN THE RAIN
Fiona Gregory, from Salehurst in East Sussex, said that she had left home at 1.30pm yesterday and was still stuck in queues in the early hours of this morning, trying to get to the festival.
She told the BBC: 'I'm so upset. It's a complete disaster. On the island it has been a nightmare. There is no police, no diversion signs, nothing.
'Now we're about two miles away on a country lane and we have moved one mile in the last four hours.'
While thousands endured queues on the island, other parts of Britain were preparing for their own travel misery as downpours threaten to flood roads.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain across parts of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire, with 2-2.4 inches of rainfall expected across much of the area and up to 4 inches in some places.
The heavy rain could lead to surface water flooding of roads and land, and there is also a risk of floods from rivers in built-up areas which are quickly affected by large amounts of rainfall, the Environment Agency warned.
The Government agency has urged people in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, the Wirral, North Cheshire and Lancashire to be prepared for the possibility of flooding from this afternoon through to Saturday.
Parts of south-east England, East Anglia, the north and east Midlands and north and west Wales are also on alert for localised surface water flooding today and into the weekend, the Environment Agency said.
Matt Dobson, a forecaster with Meteogroup, said: 'The worst weather overnight has been across the North West and into Cheshire, where between 0.4 and 0.8 inches fell. Central and southern Scotland were also badly hit.
'Throughout the day the rain really is going to develop from South West Scotland, across Northern Ireland down into north-west England.
'It will be very wet in those areas, with the worst of it in Cumbria and the western Pennines, from Manchester up to Cumbria and across into south-west Scotland, and in north-west Wales as well.
'There will be 0.8 to 1.2 inches of rain quite widely, with maybe as much as 2 to 2.4 inches of rain over upland areas such as the fells of Cumbria and the western Pennines.'
The EA said it had mobilised teams across the North West to check flood defences, clear river blockages and monitor river levels to try to reduce the risk of flooding.
Standstill: Queues reach back to the port across several lanes
Faster on foot: Music fans laden down with luggage stroll past the queues
Grin and bear it: One festivalgoer appears to keep his sense of humour as he smiles under an umbrella
IT'S OFFICIALLY TOO WET TO SWIM
The public are also urged to remain vigilant and check the Environment Agency website and Twitter feed for the latest updates and warnings, with a number of flood alerts and more serious warnings expected.
People are being warned to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through floodwater.
Parts of England and Wales have been hit by flooding in recent weeks in the face of unusually wet weather, which came after two dry winters in a row that had left swathes of England in drought.
Firefighters in North Yorkshire said they responded to more than 25 flooding calls as a wave of heavy rain moved across the county last night.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said crews were sent to 14 different locations, many involving flooded properties, although the incidents are thought to have been isolated.
He said areas affected were around Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge in the west of the county and Bedale and Leeming Bar in the north.
There were also reports a house was damaged when it was struck by lightning in Osgodby, near Selby.
In Leeds, England's clash with the West Indies was abandoned without a ball being bowled after persistent rain at Headingley.
Umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Richard Illingworth made the decision to call off the game following a brief inspection at 1pm after the rain, which had also fallen all day yesterday, left the playing surface sodden.
England had already wrapped up the series 2-0 with the sides due to meet in a one-off Twenty20 international at Trent Bridge on Sunday.
Back on the Isle of Wight, revellers have been venting their frustration on Twitter over the past 24 hours, with one user - tweeting as @ClashCityWomble - telling followers how, by 5pm yesterday, he had already been stuck in Portsmouth for three hours.
At 7.40am today, the same fan posted a message directed at the festival's official account: 'no sleep for 24 hours, camped in a car on a road in the IOW for 10. #shambles #amateurs'.
Islanders who were not planning to attend the festival have also been affected, with local media reporting Wootton Primary School, in the north of the island, had been forced to close because staff were unable to get to work.
More than 50,000 people are travelling to the festival which is being headlined by Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.
In for the long haul: Cars wait to board the Red Funnel ferry in Southampton heading to the Isle of Wight
Are we there yet? A queue of traffic tails off into the distance across the rain-slicked tarmac
Washout: Two lone cricket fans in the stands at Headingley, Leeds, where England's one-day international against the West Indies was rained off
Entertainment started last night for those who had reached the site although the Big Top stage was evacuated at one stage because of heavy wind and rains - but it did reopen for headliners Primal Scream.
The Charlatans also played an exclusive warm-up gig at Spitbank Fort, a Napoleonic Fort in the middle of the Solent, organised by Absolute Radio.
....and it blew a gale at Ascot...
Floaty dresses, elegant heels and extravagant hats are of course the order of the day at Royal Ascot.
But racegoers yesterday would have been better off with waterproofs.
Gentlemen use their umbrellas to shield from the wind and rain during day four of the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting at the racecourse, Berkshire
Disappointed spectators at Headingley clown around with Hawaiian shirts and children's umbrellas
Racegoers at Royal Ascot were forced to pair formalwear with wellies and umbrellas
False start: A racegoer at Royal Ascot tries to move her Mercedes after it becomes stuck in swampy conditions in the car park
They quite literally had to hold on to their hats as they struggled to cope with howling winds and driving rain.
Strong gusts threatened the modesty of women as their dresses were flipped up, while umbrellas were turned inside out and hairstyles ruined. Some of the better-prepared swapped their heels for wellington boots after a shower hit the racecourse in the morning.
Even the Queen, no doubt well-supplied with hat pins, put a hand to the brim of her hat as she entered the parade ground in her carriage.
But despite the abysmal weather she smiled broadly as she watched her horse, Estimate, win the Queen’s Vase race – her 21st Royal Ascot win.
Battling the weather: A Belfast city centre shopper struggles with his umbrella in high winds and torrential rain
Poor visibility: Traffic slowed to a stop as heavy rain pounded down on the M6 motorway near Northwich in Cheshire
Riding through the rain: A bold cyclist braves the weather to make a trip in Blackpool despite the torrential rain and high winds
Wet weekend: Relentless heavy rain will hit the North West today, spreading across the north and into southwest Scotland. It will persist in the west into Saturday and will cover much of the UK on Sunday, when it will begin to let up
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163073/Isle-Wight-festival-2012-Music-fans-arrive-mudbath-UK-faces-months-rain-24-hours.html#ixzz1yZ40NPnb