David Bowie’s tour promoter: ‘I always thought he’d play live again’

John Giddings adds that Isle Of Wight Festival will pay tribute to the late singer

David Bowie on stage in Bournemouth during the Ziggy Stardust tour
Curtain call David Bowie's tour manager John Giddings thought he'd play live again. Image Picture Mick Rock

David Bowie’s tour promoter has revealed that he believed the singer was going to play live again – despite not performing any concerts for the final 12 years of his life.

John Giddings promoted Bowie’s concerts since the 1980s. In his other role as the organiser of Isle Of Wight Festival, Giddings staged what proved to be Bowie’s final concert in Britain, when the singer headlined the festival in 2004.

Giddings told Loaded: “I always thought David would come back and do a few shows. I never thought he’d do a full tour again, but I always thought he’d reappear somewhere down the line.”

Bowie died in January shortly after his 69th birthday following an 18-month battle with cancer. Giddings said: “I knew David was a bit ill, but I honestly didn’t think he was that ill. It’s tragic.

“David was an incredible artist, with an incredible influence on the world. You can see that the outpouring of grief is still going in. It’s like Princess Diana.”

David Bowie with his tour promoter John Giddings
Starman David Bowie with his tour promoter John Giddings.

Last year’s Isle Of Wight Festival saw fans given Jimi Hendrix masks to wear to mark the 45th anniversary of the late rocker’s appearance at the first festival on the island in 1970.

Giddings revealed that a similar style of tribute to Bowie would happen at this year’s festival on June 9-12. “With David passing and Isle Of Wight being his last show in the UK, we’re going to do something for David at the festival,” said the 62-year-old. He added that further details of the tribute would be revealed nearer the time.

Bowie’s final concert was headlining Hurricane Festival in Germany in July 2004, where he suffered a heart attack on stage. He joined Alicia Keys on stage in New York two years later to perform his hit Changes.

As head of Solo Promoters, Giddings is also the tour organiser for The Rolling Stones, Pharrell Williams, Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Charlatans, Sting and Little Mix.

This year’s festival is headlined by Queen on June 12, with Stereophonics and Faithless joint headliners on June 10. The Saturday headliner is yet to be announced.

Other artists to appear will include Iggy Pop, Jess Glynne, Everything Everything, Busted, Adam Ant, Reverend And The Makers, Sigma, Blossoms, The Corrs, Twin Atlantic, Half Moon Run and Feeder.

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Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn

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