Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Festival-goers face England dilemma

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing table football backstage at the Isle of Wight Festival
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing table football backstage at the Isle of Wight Festival

Music lovers at the Isle of Wight festival face a quandary between watching England's opening World Cup match or tonight's headliners the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The American rockers take to the main stage of this year's festival half an hour before England's 11pm kick-off against Italy in Brazil.

Festival promoter John Giddings has installed large screens for fans to watch as many World Cup games as possible in the sweltering sunshine at Seaclose Park, Newport.

Ex-England goalkeeper David James said: "I'm here working for BT Sport doing the Field of Dreams, where we're broadcasting the games and getting reaction from fans.

"This is the first festival for me. There's a few bands I'm going to see but the real problem is going to be the Red Hot Chilli Peppers because they are on at the same time as England. So I'll watch a few songs and then leg it over for the game."

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who spent part of the afternoon playing table football with their entourage, are playing their only UK show this year and their first British festival since 2007. Kings Of Leon are due to close the festival on Sunday.

Giddings said: "Finally - we've got the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. One of the most exciting rock bands of the modern era come to visit, and judging by the performances I have seen previously, will be a highlight in the music history of the festival."

Scotland's Biffy Clyro headlined the four-day festival last night with a pyrotechnic spectacular, with fellow countryman Calvin Harris closing the show.

Speaking to Absolute Radio, who are broadcasting from the event, Biffy Clyro bassist James Johnston said: "It's nice to be here, it's beautiful. We actually woke up on the ferry and feel like we've been at sea for the month. Takes a while to get your sea legs but it's a beautiful island and the festival has an amazing history. It's great to be part of it again."

He revealed the band are now working on their seventh album: "We've got a new one in the pipeline and we've got a fairly busy summer up ahead.

"There's around about 16 to 19 songs knocking around. We've been pretty creative working on new things and we get to play the music we like."

The Vamps, who signed their record contract only two years ago, made their festival debut in the Big Top before flying to New York.

Speaking after the show, singer Brad Simpson said: "It was really good fun. We've not played in a tent before. It was incredible, so much fun."

Asked about their first festival, he added: "It's really cool as you have to take the ferry and there's something really cool about that.

"And there are some great acts here as well. This year the line-up is amazing."

Drummer Tristan Evans added: "Our rise to fame has been a bit weird. We just put some covers out there and made some songs and now we are at the Isle of Wight which is weird and lovely."

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