Interview: Isle Of Wight Festival Promoter John Giddings

Continuing our festival coverage, Blue Banana has been fortunate enough to gain an insider perspective on one of the biggest and longest running festivals in the UK – the Isle Of Wight Festival!

We spoke to promoter John Giddings, responsible for booking acts and bringing three of the biggest rock bands in the world — The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro and Kings Of Leon — to the festival this year. He told us all about the plans for the festival this year as well as what ticket holders should expect!

Isle Of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings

Isle Of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings

Q. How excited is everyone involved with the Isle Of Wight Festival about this year’s headliners, Kings Of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers & Biffy Clyro?

We are all extremely excited, I have been trying to book the Red Hot Chili Peppers for years and finally I got them! When I book the acts I have to take many things into consideration, what is going to work where, have I got something for everyone, is the bill eclectic etc.

Q. Which artist do you predict will have the most exciting set at the festival this year?

Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris close the show for the first night of epic Main Stage performances on Friday night. This is the first time I’ve mixed rock and dance so the atmosphere is going to be electric. Also, Kings of Leon – need I say more, they are incredible.

Q. The Isle oIsle Of Wightf Wight festival has a proud history and tradition. How does the festival in modern times maintain that legacy?
Keeping the spirit and tradition of its roots alive is really important to me and we incorporate as many attributes as possible, from our artwork through to the look and feel of the Festival site. Artist Dave Roe created the original artwork and the intricate, colourful and iconic designs are still present today in our artwork – it is a nod back to the original Festival.

Although the 60’s are over, I try to keep the spirit of those times alive by bringing together renowned acts of the past, present and future.

Q. Which band on the smaller stages do you expect to be a surprise package this June?

Check out Soho Hobo in the Strongbow Garden, you won’t be disappointed!

Q. Which new bands should those attending the Isle Of Wight Festival this year definitely check out?

The Pretty Reckless – they’re brilliant!

As well as The Pretty Reckless I am really looking forward to seeing some of the new talent on the Hard Rock Rising Stage.

Q. Which non-related music things going on should ticket holders make an effort to see or do?CROWDS AT THE MAIN STAGE AT THIS YEARS LEGENDARY ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL

There is so much to look forward to – our beach is back, we have some great acts and DJs playing and it has real sand, deckchairs – all the fun and games of the seaside. If you fancy something a little different check out Bathing Under the Sky – our hot tubs.

Plus, fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway will be transforming the Cabaret Tent into ‘Land of 1,000 Dances’ and Tim Burgess of The Charlatans returns with his fantastic Tim Peaks Diner. We also have loads going on in the Bohemian Woods, Intoxicated Tea Rooms, Butlin’s Ballroom, and all over the Festival site.

Q. What tips do you have for those attending a festival for the very first time?

Make sure you have a good look around the site, check out all the new areas. Bring suntan lotion and toilet roll.

Q. What does the Isle Of Wight Festival offer that makes it stand out from all the other UK festivals?

What sets us apart? Three things:

The music: our music bill has something for everyone, bringing together some of the biggest artists in the world, alongside the hottest new acts.

The location: as soon as you set foot on the ferry you feel like you are going on holiday, the Isle of Wight is simply stunning.

And finally, the Festival goers who make it what it is – they are incredible, free-spirited, and friendly – every year they make the weekend one to remember.

The Isle Of Wight Festival starts June 12 and ends June 15 this summer and features the only Red Hot Chili Peppers appearance in the UK this year. Other top performers at the festival include Fall Out Boy, The 1975, The Specials, The Vamps, The Horrors and much more.


Tickets are still available from so hurry before they all sell out! Don’t forget to bring along some festival essentials from Blue Banana either!

If you’re planning to go to a festival this summer, check out Blue Banana’s awesome Festival Guide:

– Festival Checklist

– Festival Survival

– Festival Travel

– Interview: Andy Copping Of Download Festival

– Band Festival Advice & Stories (Including The Blackout, Funeral For A Friend & Suicide Silence)

Written By BlueBanana