The Killers, Depeche Mode and Kasabian will ride the ferry from Portsmouth to Ryde next year to feature in next year’s Isle of Wight Festival. The festival first convened in 1968 but has only been held annually since 2002. The first concert, a counterculture event, featured The Jefferson Airplane, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Pretty Things. Bob Dylan and John Lennon showed up the next year along with a slew of incredible musicians from their era. The 1970 event was said to hold up to 700,000 attendees. Since 2002, the festival has hosted mostly rock n’ roll acts and always attracts an audience.
The 2007 “Best Major Festival” in the U.K. takes place on the second-most populous island in England. The English have vacationed on The Isle of Wight since the Victorian era. It’s been a home to poets and maritime manufacturers. Its famed cliffs are filled with dinosaur fossils, and in 1970 it held the world’s largest rock n’ roll festival to date.
Bob Dylan performed for the first time after his motorcycle accident in 1969. The Nobel Laureate had hibernated in recluse for three years; his musical and public persona forever altered, always changing, returned to stage that night. Fans hoping to catch Dylan for the first time at Woodstock would learn eleven days later that he’d opted for the Isle of Wight instead.
The main import of the 1969 festival was Dylan’s return. The 1970 event set records that have yet to be broken. Featuring Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Miles Davis would surely be enough to attract hundreds of thousands; The Who, Gilberto Gil, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen also performed. To name more artists would be to plagiarize Rolling Stone’s list of the twentieth century’s most influential musicians.
The Isle of Wight Festival’s history makes it rich and its name attracts the best. This year, Liam Gallagher, Van Morrison and James Bay will be among the performers. It will take place from June twenty-first to the twenty-fourth. Find tickets here.
— Isle of Wight Fest (@IsleOfWightFest) December 4, 2017
Photography Credit: Raymond Flotat