Isle of Wight events are happening all year round, with something to suit a variety of interests. In total, more than 1,000 local, national and international events and concerts are staged on the Isle of Wight every year, making it the ultimate place to be seen, to compete and to party.
The Isle of Wight festival scene is a huge draw for visitors. The summer months see outdoor music festivals taking place from May to September, including the world-famous Isle of Wight Festival which draws a star-studded line-up from across the globe. Every year a new event is added to the busy calendar. Whether your thing is folk, pop, classic or world music, you’ll be sure to find your perfect gig on the Island.
Arts and literature
The Island has a long tradition of inspiring artists from Charles Dickens to Lord Tennyson, who often wrote about his home here. Thankfully arts and literature are enjoying a renaissance on the Island. As well as established galleries dotted across our towns, events like the Wight Proms, Literary Festival, Open Studios and, one of our favourites, the Ventnor Fringe Festival have firmly taken their place in the calendar.
As the global mecca of the sailing industry, even those of us not taking part are treated to spectacular sights as thousands of colourful spinnakers go up during Round The Island Race, or as the Sail GP boats pass. Throughout the year there is an event for almost every ability and pursuit – from triathlons to yoga festivals. The outdoor way of life here attracts people from far and wide, meaning novices can learn from some of the best teachers and instructors available.
England’s carnival island
From town carnivals throughout the summer months to charity swims on Boxing day and torch-lit Bonfire Night processions, the Island calendar is full of traditions being replayed and reinvented.
Upcoming events include...
Saturday 2nd May 2020 - Sunday 17th May 2020
Lace up those walking boots and set off on your very own adventure through the English countryside! The Isle of Wight Walking Festival is one of the UK’s longest running walking festival's. With over 100 volunteer-led walks on offer, local and visiting walkers of all ages and abilities set off on trails across the Island’s picturesque landscape.
Walkers will get up close and personal with the best of the Island's stunning scenery, as they journey from the beautiful chalky cliffs of the west coast to the lush green rolling hills of the east.
Thursday 14th May 2020 - Thursday 14th May 2020
Now in its 30th year Walk the Wight is the Earl Mountbatten Hospice's biggest fundraising event of the year, with up to 12,000 people taking part across four different walks. The main walk of 26.5 miles from Bembridge to the Needles at Alum Bay takes in some of the most beautiful sights the Island has to offer.
It's also possible to join for just a stretch - with those of us embarking on the flat route, schools walk or joining / ending at Carisbrooke Castle also getting a special medal!
Thursday 11th June 2020 - Sunday 14th June 2020
The Isle of Wight festival shot to popularity in the 1970's after appearances from the likes of Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix and The Who. Since 2002, it has been held annually at Seaclose Park. Headliners for 2019 included George Ezra, Biffy Clyro, Lily Allen, Madness and many more.
Head to the Kashmir Cafe for a selection of Isle of Wight Ales, local and up-and-coming acts, where all the proceeds are donated to the Quay Arts centre.
Wednesday 1st July 2020 - Sunday 30th August 2020
During the summer months, the Isle of Wight bursts into carnival season with over 20 of the Island villages and towns playing host to a local carnival. Performers, artists, bands, carnival queens and local characters come out to entertain the crowds.
Monday 6th July 2020 - Tuesday 7th July 2020
With Awakening wellbeing workshops, self-care sessions, inspirational talks and sound sessions alongside a blissful blend of yoga and meditation classes, as well as a delicious range of holistic therapies to enjoy throughout Saturday and a half day Nature Calls Big Chill session on Sunday.
Friday 10th July 2020 - Sunday 12th July 2020
The Rhythmtree World Music Festival is an independent music festival situated on beautiful farmland close to the famous West Wight Heritage Coast. Now in its fifth year the Rhythmtree has a great reputation for showcasing an extraordinarily diverse mix of world influenced music.
Thursday 16th July 2020 - Sunday 19th July 2020
Open-air picnic concert festival at Northwood House in Cowes celebrating classical music, musical theatre & comedy. Last year saw live filming for Songs of Praise as well as headline comedians Alan Davies and Shappi Khorsandi entertaining guests into the evening.
Tuesday 28th July 2020 - Sunday 2nd August 2020
Ventnor Fringe is the Isle of Wight's multi-award-winning arts festival. Take the pilgrimage and enjoy ‘pop up’ cinemas, basement bars, pianos in the streets, gigs in local's houses, mystery tours and intimate church shows in and around the eclectic hillside town of Ventnor.
Thursday 6th August 2020 - Monday 10th August 2020
The Great Wonderfest is a brand new family festival on the Isle of Wight, hosted by popular TV entertainers Dick & Dom. The festival's second edition will feature a fun-filled weekend of entertainment, including live music from pop acts and DJs, as well as performances from magicians, comedians and TV stars that'll have the little ones captivated.
Friday 7th August 2020 - Sunday 9th August 2020
Family friendly throwback festival celebrating the upbeat, hand-clapping sounds of yesteryear with party hits from feel-good chart topping acts from the 80's & 90's.
Saturday 8th August 2020 - Saturday 15th August 2020
Since 1826 Cowes Week has played a key part in the British sporting summer calendar and is one of the UK's longest running and most successful sporting events. It now stages up to 40 daily races for around 1,000 boats and is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.
Saturday 26th September 2020
The annual Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, is a one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, sponsored this year by Cloudy Bay. The race regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world.
Saturday 10th October 2020 - Sunday 11th October 2020
If you like classic buses, enjoy a pint or two of beer and are fond of a countryside walk, then boy do we have the event for you.
You’ll find speciality beers at many of the stops, perfect for quenching your thirst, while a selection of walking routes provide excellent, scenic respite for those who like a little exercise alongside their tipple.
Last year, around 90 classic buses and coaches took part, operating on 14 routes and visiting some 80 pubs – and you can expect more of the same in 2020.