There's no denying the historical significance of the Isle of Wight Festival, as you walk towards the main arena you pass a Jimi Hendrix sculpture which serves as a reminder in case you forget he played one of his final gigs on this very island. But in this day and age where there are more festivals than even the most die-hard of soap dodgers know what to do with, the most iconic must still tick all the basic boxes. Let's face it, if you don't like Razorlight, are bored by the current sound of the Chili Peppers and have never really got into the Smashing Pumpkins then what difference does it make that Nirvana played their famous Kurt in a wheel chair set at Reading? The point being that the ticket and ferry crossing costs a fair wack just to be able to say "wow man this is like where Hendrix played".

On the subject of the boat, this short part of the journey can majorly screw your weekend up if you're not careful. Those who didn't pre-book were left disappointed on the main land, and those who didn't bag their spot early found themselves with a mighty high credit card bill because, just like an airline when a British team gets to a major stage in a European football competition, suddenly the pound signs dazzle the eyes of those running the ferry and up goes that price!

Once you've got to the festival site, successfully negotiating signs that can leave a bit to be desired and stewards who know the basics but ask them something slightly more complicated and they say "don't know mate" all too quickly, you're in for a cracking weekend. It's cleaner than you're average festival, the bogs don't stink creating a several metre exclusion zone unless you're extremely desperate, and you can even find food that's reasonable value. The giant all day breakfast baguette where you wait for them to fry its contents for less than a fiver is easily the best thing I've eaten at a festival in seven years of going. The mixture of acts means a greater cross section of people than you'd find at Download or the Carling Weekend, families, students and old timers who might have been around in the festival's heyday gives a decent atmosphere. All of these make or break a festival, but ultimately it's the quality of the music where the success of any event is really judged.

As headliners go, this place had a trio to be reckoned with. Even if you don't much care for Snow Patrol you couldn't fail to be impressed when standing in the middle of the crowd when they play tracks like 'Run' and 'Chasing Cars'. Muse are right on the crest of a wave right now, about to play Wembley Stadium they're not lorded as one of the world's best live bands by anyone and everyone for nothing. The Stones have been known to say things like "we'll still be doing this when we're in wheel chairs" but given that this was their first UK festival appearance since 1976, who knows when the next one will be. Tracks like 'Start Me Up', 'Jumping Jack Flash', 'Satisfaction' and in particular 'Brown Sugar' are taken to a new level when played live.

If you've read any newspaper coverage of the Isle of Wight you'll know that the press spent half Sunday evening star spotting. Frankly it makes no difference to me if Pete Doherty was there or not, what's more important to tell you is that the fireworks that brought the festival to a stunning climax as David Bowie's 'Heroes' was blasted out from the Main Stage speakers beats anything I've seen before: even AC/DC at Milton Keynes complete with their cannon.

Although I've been referring to the "Main Stage", I could be getting away with saying the only stage. There is a section between the main arena and the camp site called Strawberry Fields that has various beverage sponsored tents that offered acoustic acts, DJs and so on, but the majority of the action happens in one spot. This means that from late afternoon onwards, those who want to be down the front for the headliners have to be in position and will risk not getting back there if they want to visit the bar or bog. At every other festival I've been to, with their being at least three stages, there's rarely this build up of crowd so early for the major bands. This festival is great as long as you're into most of the artists. If you like the Fratellis and Stones but hate Keane, you can't exactly nip off to a Radio 1, NME or beer sponsored stage to save yourself from extreme bordem.

The line up at Isle of Wight caters for most tastes, on Saturday the classic rock style of Wolfmother followed the soul/jazz of Amy Winehouse, who had taken to the stage after seventies hippy type Donovan. On Friday night Groove Armada were in between The Feeling and Snow Patrol, and on Sunday The Hedrons, Country Joe McDonald and former Spice Girl Mel C entertained in the early afternoon sunshine.

Aside from the headliners, memorable sets included Ash, the title track of their new album is a song of genuine epic proportions, Fratellis, with 'Chelsea Dagger' one of the anthems of the weekend both on and off stage, and Echo and the Bunnymen, a band who know that turning up and playing the same hand full of hits is all most people want them to do.

As ever there were a few interesting covers. The Feeling set the ball rolling on Friday with 'Video Killed the Radio Star', Amy Winehouse's version of Zutons hit 'Valerie' proved that it would have made for an excellent Motown classic, not to mention the Muse fan favourite 'Feeling Good'. Most random was Paolo Nutini wowing the masses with a song from the Jungle Book.

The Stones got in on the covers action too, with Amy Winehouse joining them for a Temptations track. Whether or not they were paid one million for this gig, in keeping with their reported Glastonbury demand, they certainly stole the headlines from the weekend. The press have picked up on their block booking of the 12.45 from Yarmouth back to the main land on Sunday night. Their police escort for a fleet of vehicles would have turned a few heads, but the cancellation of every ticket for that crossing will have pissed a few off in the process.

On a personal note I enjoyed Muse more, however it's the booking of acts like the Stones that will ensure that the Isle of Wight Festival holds its head up alongside Glastonbury, Reading and T in the Park for many years. With 2006's event featuring Coldplay and the Foo Fighters, to go with the big draw bands of the 2007 version, maybe it can create a few moments of recent musical history, 'man', giving talkability moments since it's resurrection to go alongside the heritage of the three years of its existence in the flower power days.

Click herefor reviews from across the weekend, including Snow Patrol, Muse, Rolling Stones, Ash, Kasabian, Fratellis, Keane, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wolfmother, Amy Winehouse and Paolo Nutini.