Jimi, Joni and Bob '“ the original island festival

The Isle of Wight Festival gets underway today '“ the 15th year since it was successfully revived in 2002.

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 6:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3:39 pm

With sets from stars like David Guetta, Bastille, Arcade Fire and Rod Stewart, proper amenities for the festival-goers and a whole host of extra entertainments laid on, it is a far cry from the original festival on the island, which ran from 1968-70.

Those era-defining moments are the subject of an ongoing exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall, The Last Great Event: The Isle of Wight Festival 1968-70.

From its humble beginnings as a swimming pool fundraising concert through to convincing Bob Dylan to come out of hiding in 1969, and drawing crowds somewhere upwards of half-a-million in 1970, that final festival led to all future events being banned for another 30 years. But its bill included a who’s who of music at the time, from The Doors, to Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joni Mitchell and Miles Davis, among dozens more.

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Running as part of the Portsmouth Music Experience and curated by Nigel Grundy, it takes visitors back to those heady days with numerous photos and cuttings from contemporary newspapers and the music press, with contributions from Ray Foulks, one of the original promoters.

It runs until September 30 and is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. Entry is £3, £2.50 concessions. Go to portsmouthguildhall.org.uk