Photos: Courtesy of CameronLife Library


Published at:

A major weekend rock festival will celebrate and honour the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1970 Isle of Wight Festival of Music – when Jimi Hendrix and an all-star bill attracted an astonishing crowd estimated at up to 600,000 to the Island.

The Island-based All Wight Now group has already staged anniversary events to mark the golden anniversaries of the first Isle of Wight Festivals in 1968 and 1969 but ‘Experience 1970’ is the most ambitious event yet.

The 2-day event on 5th & 6th September 2020 will be held on the iconic East Afton Farm site near Freshwater, where Hendrix, The Doors, Joan Baez, The Who and many other huge acts of the era performed in ‘The Last Great Event’ across 5 days over the 1970 August bank holiday.

Article continues below this advertisement

But the return to the original 1970 site at the foot of Afton Down – little changed from the area that greeted performers and fans half a century ago – will really capture the imagination of present-day musicians and festival-goers.

Peter Harrigan of All Wight Now, who was the press and publicity director for the original festival, says:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to an era-defining event on its legendary home ground. To secure the East Afton site from the landowners at Tapnell Farm is fantastic and we appreciate their help in making this possible.

“Our return to East Afton next year with Experience 1970 will prove compelling to both festival goers and performers and we are sure they will respond positively. We aim to put on a great show with a fine bill to mark this special occasion”.

Article continues below this advertisement

The 1970 event captured world-wide attention and was the final major appearance by Hendrix before his sudden death, at just 27, in London just 2 weeks later. Because of the hostile reaction to the festival by the Isle of Wight political establishment at the time, an act of Parliament was passed which blocked any further major festival on the Island for more than 3 decades.

It is hoped Experience 1970 will recreate the look of the original festival stage and will utilise the original 1970 event PA sound gear now owned by CH Vintage Audio.

The All Wight Now group will again partner with music dementia charity Playlist for Life. The partnership helped make the 2019 celebration of the 1969 IoW festival the world’s first Dementia Friendly rock festival.

Ticket and act information will be announced in due course.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cheryl Flowers

Lppk gorward to knowing the line up!


I always said the festival should go out there instead of in Newport (no room in Newport)
And the islander won’t have to avoid newport when they need a free wash.

Az-zahra Aziz

Wont’ be the same, as pooing on a stack of poop three feet high, is not the same as crouching in a gorse bush and hoping the handful of dried leaves don’t contain Holly or dried gorse needles.

David Locke

I was at this festival and it was incredible.
I enjoyed every minute of it.


I was there too 7 days on iow with just a sleeping bag no tent. Amazing. Can’t wait for sept.

s pike

In 1970 there were hardly any port-a-loos and the whole weekend there was a wall of men peeing up against the fences surrounding the site. There were very few food retail sites. We lived on jacket potatoes, tomato soup and corn on the cob. Will this be ‘re-created’ I wonder?


Bring it on

Az-zahra Aziz

Think of the wildlife there.

One minute, everyone is so GREEN, next, if it is something their selfish minds and bodies desire, it is a case of ‘stuff’ the wildlife, we wanna get bombed out of our skulls, listening to a wailing singer, as they crush grass hoppers, frighten nesting birds, and squash the tiny plants, the food source and life blood of many creatures.

At least at Newport site, it is only mono grass, mud, and very little habitat to damage, this is a site of beauty.


The rhythm tree festival manages to keep everything beautifully clean, its about being organized and asking people to clean up after themselves, and they do, every year


Rhythm Tree is enclosed so can be well organised and cleaned up afterwards,There will be many that will want to get a free view from Afton Down overlooking the site which is National Trust land, who is going to supervise the clean up of the Downs /Freshwater Golf Club , I cannot see the National Trust accepting this , in this day and age of environmental damage . We have an organised Pop Festival site with all the local facilities and amenities available .

mike sturt

get a life


Can’t wait

Leanne Klein

Can’t wait, eeeaaakkk

Football Betting Site Betway

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets