Isle of Wight organiser: ‘Michael Eavis said, ‘How did you get Fleetwood Mac?’ I said, I paid them!’

John Giddings says 2015 line-up puts the pressure on to secure even bigger names next year

John Giddings, the man behind the annual Isle of Wight Festival, has said that money was what convinced Fleetwood Mac to headline his event over Glastonbury this year.

Fleetwood Mac will top the bill at this year’s festival later this month, appearing alongside fellow headline acts Blur, The Black Keys and The Prodigy. The US band were among the favourites to headline Glastonbury this year but the Eavis family lost out to Giddings and his festival.

SEE MORE: Fleetwood Mac Kick Off UK Tour At London O2 – Live Report


Speaking to Music Week, Giddings (who is also live agent for acts including Madonna, U2 and Sting) discussed his long battle to book the ‘Rumours’ band and what it means to beat Glastonbury to the big name booking.

“Michael Eavis said, ‘How did you get Fleetwood Mac?’ I said, I paid them!” he joked. “Glastonbury are in a privileged position, whereby they sell out in advance. They could book my granny and still have a festival. The rest of us are still in the realms of having to book a decent line-up and make it attractive to people and want them to come.”

Giddings did, however, concede that this year’s bill puts the pressure on for next year. He said: “The trouble is as soon as you finalise a line-up and see people’s reaction when they find out it’s incredible, you start stressing about what you’re going to book the following year and whether you can top it or not.”

Isle of Wight Festival takes place between June 11-14. The festival line-up already includes Paolo Nutini and Pharrell Williams plus The Courteeners, Ash and The View, Billy Idol, Kodaline, Counting Crows, You Me At Six, First Aid Kit, Sheppard, Jessie Ware, The Struts, Jess Glynne and Kool & The Gang.

Last month (May 27), Stevie Nicks dedicated the song ‘Landslide’ to the watching Adele on the opening night of Fleetwood Mac’s UK tour.