Festival Frolics: Empire Stroke of Genius from the Isle of Wight Festival

There aren't a whole horde of islands on this fair Earth renowned for dinosaur fossils and music festivals above all else but Britain's Isle of Wight is a member of such a rare species. Famed primarily for its omnipotence towards the tail end of the 60s, the festival saw the likes of Dylan, Hendrix, Morrison and Davis grace stages scattered across the island's 148 square miles and this year's Isle of Wight Festival, at least in a modern context, matches the event's history every step of the way. Taking place from 11th-13th June this year's edition melds together pond-rippling newcomers alongside bonafide, gargantuan Gods of musical seas and shores. Returning to Old Blighty for one of two exclusive shows, Saturday night sees Julian Casablancas returning to the day job, fronting New York's primary pipe-legged urban guitar slingers The Strokes as they road test new material from their highly anticipated forthcoming fourth LP. Taking a bite out of the opposite side of the the Big Apple is Radio 1's fave rap icon with an Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z, bringing the final installment of his evolutionary Blueprint trilogy to the Isle on Friday. And completing the weekend's heavyweights, bringing proceedings to an almighty close on Sunday night is an immortal innovator whose influence has contentiously changed these shores, not merely musically but also culturally. An original Beatle, a national treasure, an effervescent ego: Paul McCartney. Elsewhere in and around Newport's Seaclose Park the sights and sounds of punky popstrel Pink, Debbie Harry's glam-pop comrades Blondie, Scottish anthemic artisans Biffy Clyro and swooning croons from Spandau Ballet will be, some more glamorously than others, on full view. Bearded beauty Devendra Banhart adds a definitive swagger to Saturday's Big Top line up, alongside electro pioneers Orbital and quiffed connoisseur of chart chaos La Roux.

This year's line up thus far is as follows:

Paul McCartney * The Strokes * Jay Z * Blondie * Biffy Clyro * Devendra Banhart * P!nk * Spandau Ballet * Paloma Faith * Editors * Local Natives * Squeeze * Orbital * James * Doves * La Roux * Vampire Weekend * Florence & the Machine * N-Dubz * Noah and the Whale * The Coronas * Reef * I Blame Coco * The Hold Steady * The Big Pink * Friendly Fires * Mr Hudson * Crowded House * Hockey * Juliette Lewis * Marina & the Diamonds * Bombay Bicycle Club * The Saturdays * Ocean Colour Scene * Calvin Harris *Daisy Dares You * Melanie * Suzanne Vega * Suzi Quatro * Shakespears Sister * Steve Harley & Cockney RebelThe Courteeners * Detroit Social Club * The Bluebyrds * Miniviva * Woman * Daisy Dares You * I Blame Coco * Semi Precious Weapons * Arno Carstens * OAR * The Alarm * Saint Jude * The Brilliant Things
Tickets for this year's festival are on sale right here, right now with weekend tickets selling for a rather respectable £150 with camping and £130 without.
For more info, the Isle of Wight Festival's official site is your best bet.