Isle of Wight Festival Recruit Headliners Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen for 2012
When Tom Petty headlines the Isle of Wight festival this year, it will mark the singer-songwriter’s first UK show in two decades. The three-day festival will take place June 22 – 24 next year, and Petty will headline the opening night. It was previously announced that fellow singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen will headline Sunday night, though Saturday’s big name hasn’t been released yet. Other notable performers at the festival will be Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds—the new band for the former Oasis guitarist—and the Vaccines, with more artists expected to be revealed in the near future.
Appropriately, the Isle of Wight festival is held on the Isle of Wight in England, and was first held in 1968. Though the festival was held the following two years, it was on hiatus after that point until it was revived in 2002, and has been held every year since. It has been estimated that 600,000 people attended the 1970 event, which has been called one of the largest gatherings of people in the world, and was more people than attended the Woodstock Festival the year before.
For the first show after the hiatus, Robert Plant headlined along with the Charlatans, and attendance was estimated at around 8,000. Attendance has steadily grown since, and last year’s festival gathered an estimated 65,000 concertgoers. Much of this growth has been attributed to the notable headliners that have played the festival throughout the years, which include the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., David Bowie and a reunited Pixies in 2009.
Though the first three shows (1968-70) have no connection to the new festival other than name and being held on the Isle of Wight, they have a special lore in rock history. Though many expected Bob Dylan to play the Woodstock Festival in 1969, since that was where he was living at the time, he instead played the Isle of Wight festival instead, which was held nearly two weeks after Woodstock. This was his first concert appearance since a motorcycle accident in 1967. Other performers at the notable 1970 lineup include The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.