Now in its thirteenth year since its revival in 2002, the Isle of Wight Festival returns this weekend. The event’s unique location means that it provides some much-needed escapism from normal life, whilst still being a valuable asset to the UK festival season. Across three days, some of the music industry’s most influential acts will be gracing the stage at Seaclose Park.
This year is especially poignant as the festival celebrates 45 years since Jimi Hendrix made his last ever UK performance there in 1970. In homage to the great guitarist – who believed that music was his religion – the main stage has been christened ‘The Electric Church’.
From rock to pop, via country and electronic, these are the crème de la crème of the Isle of Wight festival performers:
Fleetwood Mac: The Electric Church, Sunday
[Image: @HayeurJF – Fleetwood Mac]
Making their Isle of Wight debut, legendary rockers Fleetwood Mac are joined by keyboardist Christine McVie, who retired from the band over 15 years ago.
The Sunday headliners have a history as rich as the festival itself. Mick Fleetwood is the only original member from the band’s formation in 1967; joining him at the weekend’s festivities are John and Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks.
The incomparable British-American rock band are perhaps most well known for their hits ‘Everywhere’, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Little Lies’, and ‘The Chain’.
The band, who were apparently persuaded to rock the island by former headliners Kings of Leon, are sure to bring some of their biggest anthems.
As if Fleetwood Mac were not enough, the special guest is none other than Scottish dreamboat Paolo Nutini. The world is crying out for a Nicks-Nutini duet on ‘Landslide’. Make it happen, Paolo.
Jessie Ware: The Electric Church, Saturday
[Image: Rene Passet – Jessie Ware]
London songstress Jessie Ware is bringing her soulful style to the island this weekend.
Since she arrived on the scene in 2013, Jessie has established a colourful career; her collaborations with Disclosure, SBTRKT, and Nicki Minaj have secured her place as one of the country’s best singer-songwriters.
In 2014, her album Tough Love climbed into the Top Ten and features hits you can expect to hear at the festival, including ‘Say You Love Me’, ‘Champagne Kisses’ and ‘You & I (Forever)’.
Her smooth falsetto promises to echo around the island long after her set ends.
The Prodigy: The Electric Church, Friday
After a six-year break, the stalwarts of live music are back. The recent album from the Essex three-piece, The Day is My Enemy, entered the charts at No. 1 earlier this year. The Prodigy are bringing their unique acid house style to the Main Stage as they kick off the first day of the festival.
Since bursting onto the music scene in 1990, the Essex three piece have established themselves as pioneers of the ‘big beat’ genre. Their heavy break beats and synth loops contrast the private, clandestine nature of the Isle of Wight in perfect artistic fashion.
The Prodigy’s assault on the charts is in its 25th year and has produced classics such as ‘Out of Space’, ‘Omen’ and ‘Voodoo People’. They are, of course, also bound to set the island ~alight~ (sorry) with smash hit ‘Firestarter’.
First Aid Kit: Electric Church, Sunday
Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit may be one of the lesser-known acts to appear over the weekend, but this only adds their appeal.
Something of a sister act, First Aid Kit are made up of guitarist Klara Söderburg and lead vocalist Johanna Söderburg. For their 2015 appearances, they are joined by drummer Scott Simpson and pedal steel guitarist Melvin Duffy.
With the tracks from their 2014 album Stay Gold gaining a loyal fanbase, the Isle of Wight festival has come at a perfect time for the Stockholm sisters.
Blur: The Electric Church, Saturday
The Saturday headliners at the Isle of Wight festival need no introduction. Since their formation in London in 1988, Blur have achieved six number one albums, and countless hit singles. It has been over 20 years since the group’s well-documented rivalry with ‘Madchester’ band Oasis, but Blur show no signs of slowing down.
Their recent album, and their the seventh to go to No. 1; The Magic Whip, was a triumphant comeback that features tracks including ‘Lonesome Street’ and ‘Ghost Ship’.
If the success of The Magic Whip is anything to go by, from Albarn and Co. we can expect a performance that is innovative and dynamic, with new records alongside classic anthems such as ‘Parklife’, ‘Country House’, and of course, ‘Song 2’.
One thing is for sure: the hit makers are sure to please all the Girls and Boys with their performance.
Best of the rest:
Kodaline: I’ve got High Hopes for their performance.
Billy Idol: Hear Billy’s Rebel Yell at the festival’s Big Top.
Pharrell Williams: You’re bound to feel Happy watching him on the main stage.
Jess Glynne: She’s Right Here! Well, on the Isle of Wight.
Kool and the Gang: Join the Celebration!
James: Worth watching to see if anyone does actually adhere to his request to Sit Down.
The Courteeners: Go on- overdo it, Doll.
For the full line up visit isleofwightfestival.com/line-up