2020 Isle of Wight Festival marks 50th anniversary

The Isle of Wight Festival will be staged between June 11 and 14 in 2020, with another eye-catching line-up of music icons.


Traditionally the first major festival of the summer, the UK’s oldest music festival – first held in 1968 – will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s most iconic music festivals ever staged: the iconic 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.


Britain’s favourite music festival took root on the Isle of Wight in 1968 when The Great South Coast Bankholiday Pop Festivity took place on August 31 and September 1 at Hell Field, Ford Farm, near Godshill; and was followed in 1969 by the Wootton Festival with Bob Dylan…and in 1970, at the Afton Festival with Jimi Hendrix.


That event secured its place in pop culture history thanks to performances from Hendrix, The Who (whose set produced a live album), and Joni Mitchell. Hendrix’s legendary headline performance was his last in the UK, and the 1970 festival was the last on the island until it was resurrected in 2002.


That 1970 event was by far the largest of the early music festivals held in the UK, and the wildly unexpected attendance levels actually led, in 1971, to Parliament adding a section to the Isle of Wight County Council Act 1971 preventing overnight open-air gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special licence from the council.


This event itself was held between August 26 and 30 at Afton Down, when the attendance was estimated by the Guinness Book of Recordsto have been somewhere between 600,000 and 700,000. In addition to Hendrix, The Who and Mitchell, other acts that year included Miles Davis, Jethro Tull, Chicago, The Doors, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Moody Blues, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson, and Donovan.


This year’s Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park in Newport, meanwhile, will feature Lionel Ritchie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, The Chemical Brothers and Duran Duran, as well as special guest Pete Tong. Also confirmed to join the 2020 line-up are, Becky Hill, Dido, Example, Happy Mondays, James Arthur, JC Stewart, Kaiser Chiefs, Maisie Peters, Primal Scream, Sam Fender, Shed Seven, Sigma (DJ set), Supergrass and The Manor.


Onsite camping and glamping options are on sale with Pink Moon Camping (https://isleofwightfestival.com/where-to-stay/boutique-camping).


But the Island as a whole also offers a vast range of accommodation, which can be found here https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/accommodation.


Ticket prices for the Isle of Wight Festival for 2020 are (Weekend with/without camping) Standard £185, Islander £145, Student £170, Teen (13-17) £165, Infants (5 and under) free; and Day Tickets) on all days are priced at £70.  Details on how to book can be found at https://isleofwightfestival.com/info/tickets.


For all the latest updates from the Isle of Wight, visit https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/isle-of-wight-festival-p1464181.

IMAGE CREDIT: Callum Baker