Help Dylan sink the Isle of Wight. . .

. . .was the slogan of the 1969 Isle of Wight Pop Festival, the UK’s first great outdoor music festival, featuring Bob Dylan, The Band, The Who and Richie Havens.  I’ve created this site while researching and writing a novel about the festival.  I was there, wiring up lights as a 14-year-old, but I’m keen to hear from anyone else with a story to tell about the event – or from people who weren’t there but have some link to it.

I’m putting up weblinks to anything I can find about IOW 69, and I’ll discuss the progress of the novel, provisionally called “69”.

Jon Blake

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Posted on July 26, 2009, in 1960s, bob dylan, Isle of Wight, pop festivals and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Hi . very interested in your research. I wasn’t there but was a toddling 2 year old -completely unawares.

    I am conducting my own research on the ( all 3) festivals for a project that I hope to commence very soon!!

    A different artform to your own …can’t say too much in case someone pilfers my idea- but I am sure that there might be very useful cross-overs.

    More soon……….

    • Teresa, good to hear from you. It seems nothing has been organised to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 69 festival, but I’m certainly going to campaign for an anniversary of both festivals next year. Maybe if that comes off you could contribute something towards it.

  2. I was there for the entire weekend and still have an original poster (B&W) for the event featuring Dylan and many more (Who, Moody Blues et al.) and an entry price, I think, of £2.75. It spent a number of years pinned to my bedroom as a souvenir.Is it worth anything?

    • John, firstly my regards to Peterborough – I taught English and Drama at Bretton Woods School from 1979-80, an experience so nightmarish it provided much of the material for my first teen novel, Yatesy’s Rap. On the poster, the people at Dimbola (see link) might have more idea as to its value, but if it was me I’d hang on to it! Love to hear any recollections – I can put them up on the Recollections page here.

  3. hi jon,
    really enjoying the festival stuff, I have an original poster for the ’69 festival, its on my sons bedroom wall. b y the way my grandad was the fella who organised the trade industries fair and he wasnt an MP or a councillor. my brother did a bit of driving during the 69 fest and ferried people between dylans house (bembridge) and the festival site
    cheers
    chris

  4. Hi Chris – great to hear from you. You’ve obviously picked up from another forum that my dad was a friend of your grandad, who he called DB. Sorry if I got it wrong that he was involved in politics. Doing the electrics for the Island Industries Fair was what got my dad the festival gig, and the IIF will be evoked in the novel – can’t find a thing about it on the web, so interesting if you have any knowledge of it. I’d also be fascinated to hear any memories your brother has of the people he ferried in 69.

    • hi jon,
      I’ll ask my brother about it, by some coincidence, I was on the Island this weekend and my bro gave a souvenir programme and official guide for the 69 trade fair! Inside it has an advert for the forthcoming festival, quite strange as this is the same crew who wanted the festival banned a year later. If you like I will do some scans of the booklet and email them to you. let me know your email address
      chris

  5. I’d absolutely love some scans of that booklet, Chris. My contact address is on the right-hand side of the page here.

  6. ok , will do
    while I think about it, I remember David Hurn the photojournalist has some great shots from the festival,
    he is with Magnum agency and based in Wales I recall.

    chris

  7. sorry , just seen you know that already….ahemm

  8. Yes, I wish David Hurn would get those photos marked up right – they’re all marked 1969 but clearly most (maybe all but the first 4 on the gallery) are 1970. The Robert Ellis (repfoto) pics, on the other hand, are all 1969 and a hugely valuable resource for me.

  9. I wonder how much of Dylan’s performance was recorded on stage, just the four songs on Self Portrait, or all. Hope there are better recordings than the audience ones and will one day be released. Secondly, has any one noticed just before The Band strike up to play Minstrel Boy, there is a heckler in the crowd with a scouse accent who sounds suspiciously like John Lennon who shouts something cheeky.

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