Isle of Wight Festival Avoiding The Curse of ‘X Factor’ Acts

Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight Festival

John Giddings, organiser of the Isle Of Wight Festival has said that he has “avoided” X Factor style acts when putting the festival together this year. The festival has hosted the likes of Parade, Pixie Lott, N-Dubz and Alesha Dixon in recent years, but Giddings has revealed that although he is quite prepared to host R&B acts at the festival, he won’t be playing host to mainstream pop acts again if he has his way.

Speaking recently about the festival’s line-up, Giddings said of his decision:

“This year I’ve deliberately avoided pop acts, X Factor type people. I did a couple last year, but I felt a bit uncomfortable about that this year. I don’t mind having R&B acts on the bill, I don’t having Professor Green or Wretch 32, but I don’t see them as straight pop acts. I think other festivals do straight pop acts and I was backstage at a couple of festivals and they seemed to be full of people I’d seen on TV.”

Giddings also said that he had not decided to deliberately to target an older crowd with his choice of Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as his headliners and had made sure the rest of the bill contained something for all age groups.

He said of this:

“Obviously we’ve got the older acts with Pearl Jam, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, but we’ve also got exciting acts like Elbow, Example and Noel Gallagher so we’ve got the best of both worlds. It’s not deliberate, that’s why we’ve got the variety of acts on the rest of the bill. Our audience is 15 – 50 and with likes of Example, Tinie Tempah and The Vaccines, I think we can entertain all age groups.”

Giddings also said that he was delighted to get both Petty and Springsteen, as he’d been trying to get them for years, adding:

” It [the bookings] just came together at once and was luck rather than deliberation, I’ve been trying to get Springsteen for years, Tom Petty, I’ve been trying to get him to come to the UK for the last 10 years.”

Isle Of Wight Festival takes place from June 22–24 this year, which is two weeks later than its usual spot, but Giddings made it clear that this will only happen this year and the festival will return to its usual spot on the calendar in 2013.

He said of this:

“It’s only a one-off, it’s because half-term is later this year and part of our site is school fields. So I didn’t want to conflict with them and the ferry companies told me they couldn’t cope. It’ll return to its normal spot next year.”

The confirmed line-up for the Isle Of Wight Festival so far is:

Bruce Springsteen
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Pearl Jam
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Biffy Clyro
Professor Green
The Darkness
Wretch 32
The Charlatans
Crystal Castles
Band Of Skulls
Joan Armatrading
Groove Armada
Black Stone Cherry
Boyce Avenue
Zulu Winter
The Milk
Penguin Prison
Terry Reid
Loick Essien
Noah And The Whale
The Vaccines
Clement Marfo & The Frontline
The Christians

For more information about the festival, see the official Isle of Wight Festival website.


Editor & Photographer. Eclectic music tastes and fan of a good beat. Can usually be found at a Gig across the Country or at a Festival in the Summer - More than likely with a camera surgically attached to me.

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