Isle Of Wight boss: ‘If boring acts like Ed Sheeran are the future then we’re all screwed’

Giddings said the music business doesn’t invest to "build" a band enough, leading to lack of headline-quality acts

Isle Of Wight Festival organiser John Giddings has hit out at the lack of viable festival headliners – and said Ed Sheeran is “boring”.

Speaking at the Live UK Summit 2014 on a panel about festivals, Giddings said the music business doesn’t invest to “build” a band, leading to a lack of headline options for festival bookers.

According to a report by Virtual Festivals, Giddings said: “We’re not building headliners anymore. Nobody can invest in building a band over five albums. And if boring acts like Ed Sheeran are the future then we’re all screwed!”

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Giddings told NME that his comments were “tongue in cheek”.

The festival entrepreneur also spoke out about the difficulties of putting on a festival, recalling the financial troubles the festival faced when it was revived in 2002 following a 31-year gap.

Giddings said: “The council lost £500,000 on that first one and I put on the second year myself and lost another half million. It was only when someone said, look, this is a holiday place, you need to make it longer, and I realised they were right, that we really started to sell tickets.”

In August, Giddings replied to a festival-goer on Twitter who’d reached out to say “need to see Ed Sheeran at iow festival 2015”. Giddings’ response suggested he’d looked into the possibility of booking Sheeran: “They have told me that @edsheeran will be in the u s of a that weekend…”

Isle Of Wight 2014 was headlined by Biffy Clyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kings Of Leon.

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