Giddings: 'I'll cancel festival if there are no good bands'

IOW Festival boss said he'd book X Factor acts as long as they were entertaining

Giddings: 'I'll cancel festival if there are no good bands'

Photographer:Tom Oldham

Daniel Fahey - 18 November 2010

Speaking exclusively to Virtual Festivals, the event boss said that it is ‘shocking the way bands come and go’ but that he’d happily book JLS if they were entertaining enough.

“If you look over the last ten years, the bands still around are the ones that were headlining second on the bill,” Giddings said, “If you look down the bill and you see the likes of The Thrills and the Darkness, who were God’s gift to the universe at the time,where are they now? It is shocking the way bands come and go.

“The Isle Of Wight [Festival] will be there as long as there is good music to perform.But the year that there isn’t, I won’t do it.”

When asked why he thinks that bands are so short lived these days, the festival chief said, “Because they are forced to be successful much, much quicker. A band like Free trod the boards before they came into the public domain.

“The slightest bit of ability now gets put on YouTube and it gets fast-tracked to releasing a record and being on TV and you haven’t actually leaned your craft, so youend up at Wembley Arena before you’re capable of it.”

In a candid interview, Giddings also thought record labels were partly to blame. “They’re desperate to get money quicker,” he added, “I think it would be hard for a band like U2 or Simple Minds to be creative these days and you add reality TV to that and the 15 seconds of fame. The X Factor is now the modern day Top Of The Pops, if you’re not on that, you’re not in the charts.”

Does that mean fans could see a X Factor contestant play the Isle Of Wight Festival? “Absolutely,” said Giddings, “I think Diana Vickers is really good, I saw her the other night.”

He continued: “I would look at anything that I would consider to be entertaining. We’ve had the Sugababes and we’ve had The Saturdays. People laughed when I booked the Sugababes and there were 15,000 people trying to cram into a 10,000 people tent. I think that speaks for itself. Not everybody wants to see a rock band at 8 o’clock on the main stage.”

Click here for the full John Giddings interview.

Kings Of Leon, Foo Fighters and Kasabian are set to headline the Isle of Wight Festival 2011 line-up with Pulp and The British Pink Floyd Show also confirmed.

More names are expected in the coming months.

Vodafone customers will have the chance to buy their Isle of Wight Festival 2011 tickets early, thanks to the Vodafone VIP service.

Music fans on the network can buy pre-sale tickets for the event now before the tickets
go on general sale tomorrow (19 November).

Click here to read more about Vodafone VIP.


This year tickets will be priced at £175 for an adult weekend camping, £87.50 forchildren (7-13 years) and under 7s go free but require a ticket. Non-camping passesare available too.

A ticket link will appear on Virtual Festivals when they on general sale.

Ferry tickets from Red Funnel are on sale. Book now to avoid the rush and the disappointment of not being able to get onto the Island.


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