The Isle Of Wight music festival originally took place in 1968, 1969 and 1970. By far the biggest was in 1970 when over 50 performers played to a gathering larger than at Woodstock.
But the unexpected high attendance, suggested being approximately 600,000 (many turned up without tickets) caused health and safety problems when local amenities couldn’t cope.
The result was the “Isle of Wight Act” preventing gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special licence. The Act was passed by the Houses of Parliament in 1971.
In 1970 the cost of Isle Of Wight tickets was a staggering £3 for four days entertainment and camping from some of the biggest artists of the day including The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, Ten Years After, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Joni Mitchell, The Moody Blues, The Nice, Procol Harem, Donovan, Free, Richie Havens, and Jethro Tull. But it is also remembered as being the last concert ever played by Jimi Hendrix, just days before he was found dead in a London flat of a drugs overdose.
The Isle Of Wight music festival was resurrected in 2002 though it has no actual connection to the original festival, except by name.
Over the past five years the relaxed atmosphere and family-friendly atmosphere of the festival has attracted both old rockers and top contemporary acts such as The Who, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Paul Weller, Razorlight, Muse, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Primal Scream, Prodigy and Coldplay among others.
Last year’s headliners were The Sex Pistols, Ian Brown, Kaiser Chiefs, NERD, the Police & the Kooks. So the Isle Of Wight 2009 music festival has a lot to live up to. But with headline acts already confirmed for the three night festival should be another cracker.
On Friday the headline acts are The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Pendulum, and The Ting Tings. On Saturday, Stereophonics and Razorlight share the headliner spot; and on Sunday it’s retro night with Neil Young and The Pixies.