The Isle of Wight Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend.

First held over a single night in 1968, it was abandoned after crowd chaos at the infamous 1970 event.

The festival was revived in 2002 at its current home in Seaclose Park near Newport.


Nearly 200,000 fans gathered for the second festival in 1969

Fans enjoyed acts including Bob Dylan, The Band and The Who

The 1970 festival at Afton Down drew an estimated 600,000-strong audience, more than five times the island’s population.

It featured performances from Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Joan Baez and others.

Jimi Hendrix died from a drug overdose three weeks after his famous 1970 performance

An estimated 600,000 people attended the event at Afton Down

Joni Mitchell, Jethro Tull and Donovan were among the performers

The 1970 festival led to the introduction of a new law after crowds tore down the fences in protest at being charged £3 a ticket.

The Isle of Wight County Council Act 1971 was brought in to license “larger overnight assembles in the open”.

The festival was not held again until current promoter John Giddings revived it in 2002.


The revived festival was moved to Seaclose Park near Newport


The Who returned as headliners in 2004

Wet weather in 2012 caused gridlock on approach roads, with motorists queuing for up to 10 hours.

Many people were forced to sleep in their cars as they waited for tractors to tow them on to the muddy festival site.


Torrential rain caused a mudbath in 2012

Up to 90,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event in 2018

In 2016, Isle of Wight Council said the event could be cancelled unless organisers Solo Promoters were able to reduce costs or increase ticket sales.

A deal for US firm Live Nation to take over the festival was confirmed the following year.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here