Guitar Hero headlines the Isle of Wight festival

Five years ago, a person who suggested that videogames should be played at a grand music festival, would be laughed at. Well, yesterday’s insanity is today’s reality. Activision and The Isle of Wight Festival announced that rock ‘n rollers will be able to play Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on the same stage as The Sex Pistols, The Kaiser Chiefs and The Police. Concert-goers will be able to try out their shredding on dedicated Guitar Hero areas, and the performances will be shown on big screens throughout the festival area. The festival runs from June 13 – 15 at Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Those who handle their “axe” in the best way (I’m not sure whether that is measured in points or on-stage quality) will be invited to perform on the main stage in what will be one of the biggest public performances of the game ever. The current record is in front of 9,600 people.

John Giddings, Isle of Wight festival organizer, says “We’re delighted to have Guitar Hero at the festival. A few years ago, this sort of activity would have seemed out of place. Guitar Hero has shown that video games are for more than just the hardcore gamers. The game provides so much entertainment, we’re bringing it into as many aspects of the festival as possible. The main stage event is going to be truly spectacular.”

The Guitar Hero series has truly transformed the way many people look at videogames. It is the ultimate fusion of popular culture and gaming, and the phenomenon can be seen almost everywhere we look. This is a good thing, as it boosts videogame sales and makes gaming more widely accepted. One thing that bothers the rocker in me though, is the fact that undeadly songs such as Kansas’ “Carry on My Wayward Son”, Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction” and Danzig’s “Mother” now have become something a lot of youngsters only associate to the game.

To celebrate this year’s Isle of Wight Festival, Activision will release a downloadable track pack for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock featuring Kasabian’s master recording of “Shoot the Runner,” the Kaiser Chiefs’ “I Predict a Riot” and a live rendition of The Sex Pistols’ “Problems.” The track pack will be available June 12th on Xbox LIVE and the PLAYSTATION Store.