IOW boss John Giddings speaks to eFestivals

on today's announcement, plans for next year, and more

published: Mon 30th Nov 2009

John Giddings

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th June 2010
Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2DN, England MAP
£130 adult weekend no camping, £65 for a child ticket (7-12 years)
daily capacity: 60000
last updated: Tue 15th Jun 2010

eFestivals got the chance to have a quick chat with John Giddings, festival organiser of the Isle Of Wight Festival about today's announcement (see news here), and his plans for next summer's festival.

John Giddings
The Strokes have just picked up the 'NME Album of the Decade Award' for their 2001 debut album 'Is This It' and are poised for an explosive return as Saturday headliner.

Rap and hip-hop idol Jay-Z will headline the main stage on Friday 11th June. Having overtaken Elvis Presley's record of number 1 albums in the Billboard 200 Jay-Z is a modern day icon and music phenomenon.

Hi John, how are you?
Very well indeed, very pleased to the reaction to our first announcement this morning. It took a few people by surprise.

I think it did both The Strokes and Jay-Z as headliners, how do you think the Jay-Z announcement will go down, with regard to the furore over his Glastonbury appearance?
He was incredible at Glastonbury, incredible with Coldplay, he's had a number one album, and he's one of the world's superstars. Our audience are younger than Glastonbury's and so they appreciate that kind of artist more.

You are quoted as saying. "Jay-Z and Pink are two of the best live acts I have ever seen." Where did you see them both?
I saw Jay-Z with Coldplay at Wembley Stadium, and at Alexandra Palace, and I've seen Pink in concert before and she's stunning.

Will Pink be bringing her whole carnival show with her?
Oh yeah, she'll bring the lot! The kitchen and all! So, I'm trying to work out how to do the production so we can get her off stage and get the headliners on stage. She's second the bill, and she's selling out stadiums on her own at the moment.

How much of next year's line-up have you finalised?
I'm in the process of booking it, I announce as I go along. It depends, last year I went on sale without booking an act. This year I've booked six and announced. You get to put a jigsaw puzzle together of artists.

It's certainly different to have acts announced before tickets go on sale.
Yes, I thought I'd do it differently this year, I've got lots of offers out there to other acts, we shall see.

I was half expecting you to announce PiL (Public Image Limited) as you mentioned them on your twitter?
That's because I'm their agent it doesn't mean they're playing the festival.

The Acoustic Stage was a new addition for this year, any more additions in store for 2010?
I think I'm going to have to do something about the football because that's the first weekend of the world Cup so I'm thinking of turning an extra field into a football field, to keep it away from the main stage. You don't want 5000 people traipsing into town, and you don't want it broadcast on the main stage either, so I might embrace the concept. I think there will be a couple of other surprises too, definitely.

You mentioned an 'inland beach' when eFestivals interviewed you in the summer is that going to happen?
Yes I know, I'm trying to get someone to sponsor it at the moment, I've found out where to get the sand from. It could happen, the inland beach could occur.

And The Acoustic Stage will be back next year?
Yes, I like the concept of booking acts on it and not announcing them, because there's that element of surprise, and acts from the main stage enjoyed playing it, just turning up. I will definitely do that again.

Can we expect some surprises?
It's also the 40th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's performance, so I'd like to put something on concerning him, I was there, along with 600,000 other people.

Talking of that, there's no plans to increase capacity?
Nope, we're just going to make it better for the audience. Make it more entertaining and fun every year. Why would I want more people?

Err... more money I guess?
It's not about money, it's about fun, if you have fun you make money, if you don't, you don't?

Was there anything you learnt from this year?
What I learnt was by programming the Main Stage and Big Top with different artists at different times I created more flow around the site. So I'll definitely do that again. Saturday afternoon in the Big Top will be indie bands, and it will go pop and dance (Orbital) in the evening when the rock bands (The Strokes) appear on the Main Stage. I haven't worked out the other days yet.

Will there be a curator for the Big Top again this year?
This year it's me (laughs), I can't think of anyone else, so it's me I'm afraid.

People are talking about the impact of the Olympics 2012 on festivals do you think it's likely to effect your IOW plans?
No, not at all, they can come and practice on the site. We could do the long jump and the athletics.

Any idea when we expect the next announcement?
Absolutely none, probably there will be a couple more of the bands announced before Friday when we go on sale with tickets, but let's see.

Good luck with ticket sales, hope you have another scorching summer festival.
Oh god, so do I, thanks, bye bye.


Tickets for the 2010 Isle Of Wight Festival will go on sale at 9am on Friday 4th December, and eFestivals will have links for you to buy them then.

Tickets will be priced at £150 for adult camping which includes entertainment in the campsite on Thursday night, and £75 for a child ticket (aged 7 to 12 years). The price of an adult ticket without camping is £130 and £65 for children (aged 7 to 12 years). All children 6 years old and under on 11th June 2010 can go for free but must still have a ticket. A campervan permit is £250 (all occupiers must also have a valid Camping ticket).

All Special Needs customers should call Ticket Zone on 08705 321 321 to purchase tickets.

interview by: Scott Williams

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th June 2010
Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2DN, England MAP
£130 adult weekend no camping, £65 for a child ticket (7-12 years)
daily capacity: 60000
last updated: Tue 15th Jun 2010


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