50 years after the Isle of Wight made history with the biggest rock festival ever staged in the UK, Experience 1970 is returning to the iconic and original Island site to mark the anniversary with a celebratory weekend festival in 2020.
Ticket details will be announced soon for Experience 1970, which will honour the 1970 IoW Festival greats including Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, The Moody Blues, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Free and Rory Gallagher.
Already a great raft of bands have been confirmed but major announcements are expected within weeks to unveil 2 major original rock acts from the 1970 IoW Festival roster, plus the appearance of fellow ‘70 veterans Pentangle, famed for their unique brand of folk rock.
Top bands will replicate the sounds of the late great Jimi Hendrix – the 1970 headliner – and the late Jim Morrison’s beloved band, The Doors. Their shoes will be filled by Are you Experienced and The Doors Alive, respectively.
The Who, who played on the Island in both 1969 and 1970, will be represented by Total Who, while Free, whose All Right Now worldwide hit lit up that far-off summer, will be in the safe hands of Kossoff: The Band Plays On, who went down so well at the 2019 anniversary gig marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 IoW Festival.
Also booked are Logical Tramp (Supertramp); Dayglo Pirates (Jethro Tull); Sinner Boy (Rory Gallagher) and Noddy’s Puncture, recreating the prog-rock sound of ELP, who debuted at the 1970 festival. In addition, a rising blues and country star, Rob Vincent, has been booked to appear. He lit up the Old Grey Whitstle Test TV show special “For One Night Only” in 2018.
The main performances are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday but a third date, Friday 4th September, has been added to kick off the weekend festivities. Many more acts are to be added and lead organiser Chris Hewitt, whose vast collection of original IoW Festival sound gear is to be featured, is excited about the original acts from 1970 already lined up.
“We have the ball now well and truly rolling and there are some great bands ready to recreate the vibe of that memorable event on the Island back in 1970. In addition, we are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on agreements to bring in two of the best-loved artists of IoW 1970. One of the acts features someone whose music lit up the following decades. Watch this space.
“We will add further names to the bill in the coming weeks and months but anyone who was there first time round – and indeed anyone who loves the sounds of this incredible era – will want to be there. We are incredibly proud to be staging Experience 1970 and delighted to be doing so on the very site where Hendrix, Morrison and Co strutted their stuff back in the day. It will be a great weekend evoking the music of the era.”
Hewitt is being assisted by Andy Sharrocks, until recently production manager on shows for Flying Music of London. Mirroring the original 1970 event, there will be a fence-side stage where Nik Turner (ex Hawkwind) and members of The Pink Fairies will perform. There will be a platform for acoustic artists and open-mic hours.
Experience 1970’s main stage will be an exact replica of the famous 1970 IoW stage. In addition, an exhibition area is being championed by the Experience 70/All Wight Now group, the originators of the 50th-anniversary events.
The 1970 IoW Festival of Music attracted an astonishing crowd of up to 600,000 and the scale of the event led to political controversy on the Island and put paid to any further IoW festivals for 3 decades. But its remarkable success inspired the immediate rise of Glastonbury in 1971 and continues to influenced festivals worldwide to this day.
Tickets for the Experience 1970 weekend are expected to be on sale in February and further announcements on ticket sales and the bill are expected very soon.