A REDUCED capacity of 50,000, more handwashing facilities, no scrimping with the stages, and an exciting line-up coming soon.

We spoke to a happy John Giddings and got the lowdown on the Isle of Wight Festival 2021 — now set for September 16 to 19.

"I'm feeling relieved after all this time and all the negotiations, and with our fingers, arms and legs crossed we can go ahead.

"We went for mid September to get us as far as possible out of Covid, as we didn't want to be the guinea pigs and go first, we wanted to be two to three months along and be confident," he said.

Last time we spoke, John said he thought the festival would feel like the Roaring Twenties with everyone more than up for a good party on its return.

He thinks that even more so now, and the evidence is there in the sales of tickets for other festivals announced for later this year.

"Other festivals are selling out. People want to go out in the open air and party — they are desperate to go out and have a good time.

"Nothing beats a music festival, it's a bonding experience, you can talk to a complete stranger standing right next to you because you are sharing an experience."

Capacity will be reduced to 50,000 for 2021 — but the site will remain the same size complete with main stage, big top and campsite — "nothing will be scrimped" we are assured.

One addition will be more handwashing facilities, as part of the "robust" Covid measures the team will put in place.

John said: "We had to up our security and police before due to (the threat of) terrorism, and we will adapt to protect our audience by doing whatever is required for Covid.

"We don't want to be responsible for the fourth wave. Everyone is being vaccinated now, and I've had mine, it's the magic bullet that's got Boris Johnson off the hook.

"I don't envy the government but this time round they've been very professional and now we can see light at the end of the tunnel."

The line-up will be confirmed in two to three weeks time.

All the acts scheduled for June are being invited for September, but in reality they won't all be able to commit to the new date.

John said: "We are talking to all the artists and everyone is welcome. I think our reputation precedes us and we will deliver something people will love.

"All the UK groups just want to get out there and entertain people."

Among those in talks are Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne and Lewis Capaldi.

There will be a slightly different vibe being later in the year.

John believes the benefits include university students being able to party before term starts, and the second-on-the-bill acts playing in the dark after the sun sets — not just the headliners.

Instead of being the festival that launches the summer music season, it'll be the festival to bring the house down at the end.

"The weather in September is always fantastic and the Isle of Wight is always the sunniest place in the UK," John said.

He's already sold tens of thousands of tickets for the postponed event, which will roll over. It means people will have to move quickly to snap up the remainder.