Steve Kline Ages of Rock
1970: The Isle of Wight Festival is wrapping up.
The preceding Isle of Wight Festivals had gained a good reputation in 1968 and 1969 by featuring acts such as Jefferson Airplane, T. Rex, The Move, The Pretty Things, Joe Cocker, The Moody Blues (performed at the 1969 festival), The Who, and Bob Dylan in his first performance since his 1966 motorcycle accident. The 1970 version, following Woodstock in the previous year, set out to move one step forward and enlisted Jimi Hendrix. With Hendrix confirmed, artists such as Chicago, The Doors, Lighthouse, The Moody Blues, The Who, Miles Davis, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Jethro Tull, Sly and the Family Stone, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Free willingly took up the chance to play there. The event had a magnificent but impractical site, since the prevailing wind blew the sound sideways across the venue, and the sound system had to be augmented by Pink Floyd‘s PA. It is a strong, but inconsistent line-up, and the logistical nightmare of transporting some 600,000 people onto an island with a population of fewer than 100,000 makes things tough. It will be the last Isle of Wight Festival for 32 years.