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!”
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.