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The Isle of Wight Festival is a music festival which takes place annually on the Isle of Wightmarker in the UKmarker. It was originally held from 1968 to 1970. These original events were promoted and organised by the Foulk brothers (Ron, Ray and Bill Foulk) under the banner of their company Fiery Creations Limited. The venues were Ford Farm (near Godshillmarker), Wootton and Afton Downmarker (near Freshwatermarker) respectively. The 1969 event was notable for the appearance of Bob Dylan and The Band. This was Dylan's first paid performance since his motor cycle accident some two years earlier, and was held at a time when many still wondered if he would ever perform again. Followers from across the world trecked to the Isle of Wight for what seemed like a 'second coming'. Estimates of 150,000 - 250,000 attended. The 1969 festival opened on Friday 29 August - 11 days after the close of Woodstockmarker. Dylan was living in Woodstock, N.Y. at the time and it was widely believed that he would perform there, after the event had been "put in his own backyard". As is happened, Dylan set off for the Isle of Wight on 15 August - the day the Woodstock festival began.

The 1970 event was by far the largest and most famous of these early festivals; indeed it was said at the time to be one of the largest human gatherings in the world, with estimates of over 600,000, surpassing the attendance at Woodstockmarker. Included in the line-up of over fifty performers were The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Joni Mitchell, The Moody Blues, Melanie, Donovan, Free, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Leonard Cohen, Jethro Tull, Taste and Tiny Tim. The unexpectedly high attendance levels led, in 1971, to Parliamentmarker passing the "Isle of Wight Act" preventing gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special licence. The 1970 festival was filmed by a professional film crew and directed by Murray Lerner produced by the Foulk brothers, but later taken over by Lerner in a legal wrangle. The footage wasn't released until 2003 when a television documentary was made. A DVD was released in 2005 entitled A Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Rock Festival, but sadly, Lerner had chosen to show scenes out of sequence, and over-exaggerate certain conflict, for the purpose of making the film seem more dramatic. A number of the performances by individual bands have also been released.

The event was revived in 2002 at Seaclose Parkmarker, a recreation ground on the outskirts of Newportmarker. It has been held annually since that year, progressively extending itself northwards beyond Seaclose Park along the fields of the eastern Medina valley. Many notable artists have performed since its revival including The Rolling Stones, Muse, Stereophonics, Donovan, Ray Davies, Robert Plant, David Bowie, Manic Street Preachers, The Who, R.E.M., Coldplay, The Proclaimers, Bryan Adams and The Police. It was sponsored by Nokia from 2004 to 2006. The promoters of the event now are Solo Music Agency and promotions. Apart from being held on the Isle of Wight, and featuring the now customary artwork of Dave Roe, there is no connection with the festivals of 1968–1970.

Original Festival details

1968 "Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 31 August 1968.

Attendance - 10,000 (approx)

Site - Ford farm, near Godshillmarker.

Headline Acts - Jefferson Airplane

Other Acts - Arthur Brown, The Move, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Plastic Penny and Pretty Things.

1969 Isle of Wight Festival

This took place on 30 and 31 August 1969 at Wootton, with an estimated attendance of 300,000.The line up included Bob Dylan, The Nice, The Who and The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

1970 Isle of Wight Festival

This event was held between 26 and 30 August 1970 at Afton Downmarker; attendance has been estimated at roughly 600,000. Arguably the best-remembered of the early versions of the IW festivals, due to its lineup, attendance and news coverage. The line up included Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, The Doors, The Who, Joan Baez, and Free

Revived Festival Details

2002 "Rock Island"

Held 1 June 2002

Attendance - 8,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Saturday) - The Charlatans, Robert Plant

2003 "The Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 14 June – 15 June 2003

Attendance - 15,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Saturday) - Paul Weller, Starsailor

Headline Acts (Sunday) - Bryan Adams, Counting Crows

2004 "The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 11 June – 13 June 2004

Attendance - 35,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Friday) - Stereophonics, Groove Armada

Headline Acts (Saturday) - The Who, Manic Street Preachers

Headline Acts (Sunday) - David Bowie, The Charlatans

2005 "The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 10 June – 12 June 2005

Attendance - 50,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Friday) - Faithless, Razorlight

Headline Acts (Saturday) - Travis, Roxy Music

Headline Acts (Sunday) - R.E.M., Snow Patrol

2006 "The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 9 June – 11 June 2006

Attendance - 50,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Friday) - The Prodigy, Placebo

Headline Acts (Saturday) - Foo Fighters, Primal Scream

Headline Acts (Sunday) - Coldplay, Richard Ashcroft

2007 "The Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 8 June – 10 June 2007

Attendance 60,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Friday) - Snow Patrol, Groove Armada

Headline Acts (Saturday) - Muse, Kasabian

Headline Acts (Sunday) - The Rolling Stones, Keane

2008 "The Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 13 June – 15 June

Attendance 55,000 (approx)

Headline Acts (Friday) - Kaiser Chiefs, NERD

Headline Acts (Saturday) - The Sex Pistols, Ian Brown

Headline Acts (Sunday) - The Police, The Kooks

2009 "The Isle of Wight Festival"

Held 12 June – 14 June

Headline Acts (Friday) - The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Pendulum, The Ting Tings

Headline Acts (Saturday) - Stereophonics, Razorlight, Maxïmo Park

Headline Acts (Sunday) - Neil Young, Pixies, Simple Minds

2010 "The Isle of Wight Festival"

To be held 11 June - 13 June

Headline Acts (Friday) - Jay-Z

Headline Acts (Saturday) - The Strokes, Blondie

Headline Acts (Sunday) - P!nk


On the 6 November 2007, the Isle of Wight Festival won the award 'Best Major Festival' at the UK Festival Awards. The performances by Muse and The Rolling Stones at the last festival were a major influence. As well as this, the event's top man, John Giddings, won the award for 'Outstanding Contribution' to UK festivals. He was presented the award at the UK Festival Awards at London’s Koko Club in Camden, after Virtual Festivals, which curate the awards, selected him as the most deserving recipient.

See also


  1. accessed 17 June 2008

External links

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