Bon Jovi play Isle of Wight Festival 2013

bon jovi playing isle of wight festival 2013
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Last Wednesday the team at ABLE2UK had a cunning plan how we could reach out to a wider readership. Our annual festival season reports carry a weekly preview covering the disabled facilities on site appealing to those who rely on the services, bearing in mind this is a specialised area we thought we’d publish a weather forecast as well. Sharing such outlook from a reliable website we prepared you for a wet Sunday at the Isle Of Wight festival warning Bon Jovi fans they will be seeing JBJ and the boys in torrential rain which would continue from the early hours of the morning.

It’s Sunday evening at Seaclose Park, the ice cream vans are running low on 99 flakes, unwrapped jumpers round waists are eventually being untied and wellington boots remain unpacked in tents and apart from one ABLE2UK journalist everyone is relived the third and final day at the IOW festival has remained dry and sunny. Over the past two days acts such as The Stone Roses, Jake Bugg, The Killers, a reformed Boomtown R ats and a host more have been compiled into another memorable festival line-up on the Island. Tonight though is the return of a living legend you either love or loathe...Bon Jovi.

Shaking up their set list from late last year, where the New Jersey rockers opened with one of their classics tonight begins with an odd track, ‘That’s What the Water Made Me’ from their new album, is neither a released number nor a potential crowd pleaser. Was this a subtle yet confusing link to playing on an Island?

Shooting through the hearts of Jovi devotees ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ leads into 60,000 festival goers raising their hands to a third track instructing them to do such an action.

As we pointed out, Bon Jovi may have a wide range of fans worldwide yet the seven letters can trigger off negative remarks. For instance, earlier on today after confiding to music industry representative we intend to catch the band in Hyde Park next month their reply was ‘Will you be the only person there?’ One of the problems with the band is unlike the U2s and the Madonna’s who ruled the eighties Bon Jovi have done little to reinvent themselves over the past two decades, a statement supported when Jon himself says he has been round long enough to call their latest album a ‘record’. (They were round floppy things which used to play music...As your Dad!)

bon jovi arriving by helicopter for iow festival 2013

The lead singer isn’t a whizz when it comes to cracking jokes either, before telling us he was ‘Born to Be My Baby’ he connects their current venue to being a Jersey Shore, sadly his one liners bare more comparison to a MTV reality television series of the same name.

There’s another lame witty quote after ‘Lost Highway’ when the band ‘change their engine over’ for ‘It’s My Life’ the music is picturesque although the worded landscape is quite an eyesore. A trio of unfortunate stage banter climaxes with introduction to new track ‘What About Now’ off their new album (sorry, record) with the same name. The unfamiliar track has apparently been ‘heard all over the radio’ although when the crowd are invited to sing back the chorus it seems they haven’t been tuning in to JOVI FM, even more cringeworthy is when Jon tells the arena they made a ‘Nice job’.

Crowd participation improves when ask just to ‘scream’ through the lyrics of ‘We Got It Goin’ On’ although when the hits reappear the band are eighties gold thanks to the likes of ‘Keep The Faith’, ‘In These Arms’ and ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’.

Towards the end of ‘We Weren’t Born To Follow’ Jovi’s last release in 2009 JBJ, sensing a lack of community spirit asks the crowd, most of which have been camping three days solid, if they were getting tired of him before playing ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ which some used as their soundtrack on their way to pack up their tents.

Those staying, and in fairness the numbers were in their thousands, were treated to a blistering, energetic closure to this year’s festival and one which ensures us we won’t be alone in a London park in a few weeks time.

First up there’s a cover of John Fogerty’s ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ shortly after we are spoonfed a dose of ‘Bad Medicine’ (the track which opened BJ sets during their winter dates.) Then there were the three classics played for the encore...’Wanted Dead or Alive’, ‘Have a Nice Day’ and, yes you’ve guessed it...altogether now...’ Whooah, we're half way there...Livin’ on a prayer’.

Even the naysayers can’t argue when Bon Jovi play the hits the music explains why they’ve been around for so long and as we so rightfully predicted in our ‘recently amended’ weather forecast last week the sun shined on the New Jersey icons rounding up another terrific weekend for the Isle of Wight Festival.

Bon Jovi Setlist – Isle of Wight Festival – 16 June 2013

That's What the Water Made Me

You Give Love a Bad Name

Raise Your Hands

Born to Be My Baby

Lost Highway

It's My Life

Because We Can

What About Now

We Got It Goin' On

Keep the Faith

In These Arms

Someday I'll Be Saturday Night

Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars

We Weren't Born to Follow

Who Says You Can't Go Home

Rockin' All Over the World

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead / Start Me Up

Bad Medicine


Wanted Dead or Alive

Have a Nice Day

Livin' on a Prayer

Disabled Access.

The main stage viewing platform was a significant size and very well maintained by security guards, although one of the two portaloos wasn’t working on Sunday evening, the other was quite blocked.

The disabled parking, which was ideally located although the festival is yet to provide a viewing platform for the Big Top despite being in business since 2002 which is a shame, as if the high level of attention to accessibility was given to the this arena as found at the main stage the Isle of Festival would not only excel in their disabled access but also lead as an example to other UK festivals.