Island Industries Fair: dress rehearsal for the IOW Pop Festival

IF coverThe 1969 Isle of Wight Festival of Music was not the first large outdoor event with tents to take place on the island – every two years for ten years there had been an Island Industries Fair, held in 1969 at Ryde Airport. Both the standfitter/tent man for the IIF (Capt Bill Lewis) and the electrical contractor (Ken Blake) went on to do the same jobs for the Dylan fest.

I’ve been unable to find a single reference on the web for these shows, and am indebted to Chris Dorley-Brown, grandson of the IIF’s organiser, for sending me scans from the 1969 programme. The ‘Pop Festival’ is mentioned in a Red Funnel ad (see thumbnails); so is Captain Lewis, as I recall the oldest man in the UK to hold a pilot’s licence at the time. Bill Lewis brought (allegedly) the biggest marquee in the UK to the festival, which served as a disco and sleeping tent till hundreds scrambled onto it for a free view and it collapsed (see article about the site, below).

I have some home movies of Mountbatten at the IIF, taken on the same reel of Super 8 which shows Joe Cocker, the Who, Marsha Hunt and Free. Personally I found the latter names a lot more interesting.

One other boon of the IIF programme is that we now have a photo of the ill-fated Mark Woodnutt MP, first on the web!

If anyone else has any mementos of 1969, please let me know!


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