THE organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival are promising a few surprises at this year’s event.
The festival starts tonight with sets from The Alarm, Starsailor and Razorlight in the Big Top before it gets properly under way tomorrow.
Also slated to headline in Seaclose Park over the weekend are Arcade Fire, David Guetta and Rod Stewart.
Organiser John Giddings said: ‘The sun is out and it’s stopped raining, so things are looking good. We had some problems with the wind on Tuesday night, but even that’s okay now, and it helps dry out the ground.’
Now that it’s so close, John can’t wait to get the festival-goers on-site.
He said: ‘We’ve got a couple of new experiences this year as well for people. I won’t say what – that wouldn’t be a surprise, would it!
‘Everyone who comes will have a gloriously good time – it’s not just about the music. It’s all about the environment, the entertainment and the vibe, not everyone wants to watch bands all day.’
But that’s not to say he isn’t excited about this year’s line-up: ‘Between Rag’n’Bone Man and Bastille and The Kooks, I’m really looking forward to it.’
And he’s thrilled to finally have his old friend Rod Stewart on the bill, closing Sunday’s Main Stage bill.
‘I’ve done tours with Rod in the past, I’ve even been on holiday with him.
‘I saw him at a show for Gloria Hunniford’s foundation last October and I asked him: “How come you’ve never played at the Isle of Wight?”
‘He said: “No-one’s ever asked!” So I said: “I have now”.
‘He’ll be playing every single hit known to man, it’s going to be a great show.’
John is also already looking ahead to 2018.
‘I’m petrified about who I will book next year, who can I get who’s better than we’ve had already? We’ve already had The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Queen, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac.
‘We’ve not had U2. They did Glastonbury a few years ago. I think they prefer their own shows to festivals, but I never would presume to speak for them and never say never.
‘I’ll be working with them on their Joshua Tree tour later this year, so I’ll be spending quite a bit of time with them.’
Tickets are still available, from £195 for adults. Go to isleofwightfestival.com