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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to Headline 2012 Isle of Wight Festival

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

Over the course of their 35 years as a band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have worked the road tirelessly, circumnavigating the globe countless times — but they’ve somehow managed to go 20 years without playing a major gig in the UK. That long drought will come to an end next year, when long-suffering British Petty fans will have their patience rewarded with a headlining slot at the 2012 Isle of Wight Festival.

It’ll all go down on Friday, June 22, when Petty and the Heartbreakers take the main stage for their first-ever UK festival appearance, joining an eclectic lineup that already includes Elbow, Noah and the Whale, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Festival promoter John Giddings, understandably enthused, said in a statement: “We are proud to present Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers at the Isle of Wight Festival finally — it has taken years to achieve but I’m sure it will be worth the wait — they are one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.”

Petty and the band have been mostly quiet this year, surfacing only to release a vinyl-only live EP and perform an intimate benefit gig after wrapping their 2010 tour in support of their twelfth studio album, ‘Mojo.’ There’s no word yet on whether their Isle of Wight appearance might signal a new album for 2012, but either way, this is one heck of a lineup for the festival. Tickets are on sale now.

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