Isle of Wight festival bans Jess Glynne for life after last-minute cancellation

Laura Snapes
Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA

Jess Glynne has been banned from performing at the Isle of Wight festival after cancelling her 16 June set at the last minute. Festival boss John Giddings told the Mirror that Glynne’s behaviour was “shocking” and “shows no regard for people that bought a ticket”.

He said: “She will never be booked to play the Isle of Wight again.” Glynne has not commented. The Guardian has contacted representatives for the singer.

A festival spokesperson clarified that Giddings made his remarks on Monday morning, after representatives for Glynne cited exhaustion as the reason behind her withdrawal, but before the singer explained that she was “incredibly weak and full of anxiety” and that “my body sometimes gives up on me”. She apologised to fans and added: “I had to do what was right for my physical and mental health.”

Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, told the Guardian: “Anxiety is a real and sometimes debilitating mental health problem. As with a physical health problem, there might be times when anxiety prevents people from working.

“Anyone experiencing anxiety to this degree needs support and understanding from their employer. We know that people still worry about disclosing their mental health problem at work, so we need employers to be clear that anyone who chooses to speak out will not be treated differently, or negatively, as a result.”

Glynne’s planned performance at the festival followed the conclusion of her stint supporting the Spice Girls on their comeback tour with the last of two dates at Wembley stadium.

Apparently responding to allegations that she had been partying with the group until past 5am on the morning of her planned appearance at the Isle of Wight festival, Glynne said: “It’s so frustrating and a load of bullshit and I refuse to be made to feel like a bad person.”

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She said she would be taking the week off “to get myself better and to step away from the madness”.

Glynne pulled out of the Isle of Wight festival in 2015 following vocal surgery, but appeared on the festival’s main stage the following year. She is one of the UK’s most successful contemporary artists. Having risen to prominence as a guest vocalist on tracks by acts including Clean Bandit and Tinie Tempah, she released her debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, in 2015. Her second album, Always in Between, released in 2018, was last year’s most successful new album by a female artist.

• This story was corrected to clarify when Isle of Wight boss John Giddings spoke to the media, owing to inaccurate information from a festival spokesperson. It previously stated that he commented to the Mirror on Sunday, not Monday morning.