Big BIG thanks to our sponsor Neil !
For information on today's festivals see eFestivals.co.uk
Updated September 2012, New pictures of the site and audience
Dec 2011 new photos of the Pye Recording crew and Miles Davis's engineer Stan Tonkel and producer Teo Macero
Best viewed at 1280 x 1024 res .
NB: MEDIA- If requesting contact details to use images for publication, please send the url, image file and name of Photographer to us so its easier to give you their contact details. Due to the impermanent nature of the web, people change addys frequently- so we don't have contact with all of our contributors.Articles from Frendz Magazine Oct 2nd 1970- Part 6.
The straight press.
Don't monkey with me doc. Down at Freshwater a week before the festival, an advance party feeling out . Cold windy and wet , gray corrugated iron paranoia walls with dogs looks like bad tripÉ. Reassured by St John's Doctor that everything's organised . "thank goodness we've had enough time to prepareÉ" No other doctors would be needed, all was arranged. Fiery boys deciding to fence off the downs,. Warned of the monstrous horror they will bring on themselves if they try, and the total medical burn out that they'll have if they insist on battling for the hillÉ for medicine is a part of life , even of a week old city by the sea and everyone's living can effect it,,, self helpÉ. Help each other , organisers and people not just in a bullshit crap for the newspapers , be a good audience for the English Woodstock movie way, but in a real tangible way.
Thursday, the festival is two days old , 200 people a day seen in the St John's Hospital tents. The vaunted arrangements had produced two doctors a day , two shifts , giving one doc on site , with 15 ambulance men /nurses, at a time. No field groups out in the mass, no radio links ,,, Release are handling bad trips without medical help ( which comes soon ) but beautiful warm people's bummers with contact alone no drugs necessary, but the medical arrangements Dr Kennedy is so proud of were apparent to anyone who waited in that cold white waiting tent a long line just like a National Health Hospital and hey ! Here they are getting everyone to fill in National Health temporary Resident Forms "I only want a couple of asprins for my headache." "That's all right dear, now whats the address of your doctor at home " blablablech. So the Gp's who signed you on folks were making 25/- a throw, 200 heads at 25/- =225 pounds, over 100 pounds each. Nice one. But the ambulance men are working their arses off for nothing.. Everyone has their hype, but this kind of bread should be shared communally.
Friday and the other, underground
/overground medical and help heads decide that the offered services are
ridiculous. Caroline "I shall be Released" Coon
gets some good pressure exerted, pushes along well and gets a direct promise
of increased forcesÉ.. The St John's Men
are made aware ! A meeting finally gets all the help heads together , Release,
Civil Aid (an incredible group of professionals with useful contacts),
Simon Community, other good church workers É..
worked out arrangements for free food , possible
sleeping space , how to provide the air of Tender
&Loving Care. By this stage not everything was possible.
But Saturday and now there are
40 ambulance men and two doctors , all straight. A new police radio
link to four moving posts in the field , should have been there from the
start but,,,, This radioÕs got from the Hampshire
Police by Civil Aid , who seems to own
everyone including Her MajestyÕs Navy
. Send a gunboatÉ. In fact it went reasonably well , most trouble
was minor trauma, bad tummys , headaches, alone , cold and miserable. Never
more than 250 patients a day. By contrast at
Bath we saw 400 plus
a day, with far more bad acid trips
( never announce that there is bad aciud around , there was a rush to the
hospital of scary freakouts at Bath after that one) and some quite heavy
medicine É. 3 miscarriages, appendicitis, diabeticsa , kids having
One worry. The crush & claustrophobia-corners in the arena at each side of the stage , points of great stress at the Dylan IOW fest, with some people fainting , fitting and freaking out , proved benign this year. Still, there should be pressure let off points, or best to have the stage like at Bath , Just right in the middle of the site. No corners. No pressure. Bath was colder, wetter, harder to exist, but there wasnÕt pressuring . Nor was there this year at the IOW . Energy weas directed against the walls, get a free festival , even if we are all conning ourselves in a grand masturbatory super media hype. El Gran Fiesta de Bullshit Internationale .
The weekend goes well and the sun is shining and the hill is high and the roly poly times are standing still .Night time and the heartbeat of the whole protoplasmic people pile comes from John Entwistles finger, dancing white flashes shooting out of the stage snatch , the festivals c**t and great orange breast nipples over the speakers each side of the stage , pouring out milk to the dazed babies . Too tired to be ill kids sleeping under the tripped out Salvation Army sign . Don't be left behind when God collects his children from this planet , register now for the Great Space Flight through the Eternal . I put my name down .Blast way off the island. Blood of Christ .
BS Shoes, MD, MD, MD
"These youngsters have nothing to fear if they bring drugs along to us . All we are concerned about is preventing them form getting involved in drug-taking "
Inspector George Cutcliffe. Police liason officer
" Playpower is the Mein Kampf of the International Conspiracy to overthrow the Anglo Saxon way of life ".
Rees Millington on BBC TV .
IS EVERYTHING OK ?
If the third Isle of Wight Festival was to be the last great event , then the popular press were determined to squeeze the last ounce of sensationalism out of the whole festival scene . From the beginning it was a dope fest for them . On Wednesday they latched onto Inspector Cutliffe , Chief PR of Hampshire Police and pursued him on a round of daily press conferences, about guess what ? Drugs. So much so that he later complained that his press stories were almost exclusively confined to dope news because that was all that the news men wanted to hear about. "Save the juicy headlines until 6 in the evening, it makes it easier for our morning stories ,"they pleaded. On Wednesday, that was the day I made the mistake of asking Cutliffe whether the whole drugs issue , with all those pre-festival stories of labs and special police radio masts on the downs was'Õt a bit of a hype. I was promptly shat on by three Fleet St press heavies, who more or less told me to piss off, because I must come from one of those music papers.
When they had milked the drug issue dry, they switched enthusiastically to VD. Unfortunately, Dr Kennedy , doc in charge of medical facilities at the festival, gave them a mouth watering lead with an ill timed statement about a few kids who required VD treatment . With half a million kids that was bound to crop up. It was picked up by a news agency and within hours it was being assiduously nursed by Fleet St into the great VD scare. The medical officer of health was rushed over to explain to the press at length that they had got it wrong . But they werenÕt going to let their headlines go that easily. I stood by at the press conference and watched the MOH trying to get the whole thing into proportion , while the News of the World and its Sunday cohorts , struggled even harder to trip the man into opening his mouth and producing some comment which would shore up their predetermined VD story. And if they had let the VD go by the board then they could always send sales soaring by combing the festival with photographers for naked tits, asses and full frontal nudity down by the beaches.
Not that the Fiery Creations press setup gave the press on the whole an easy job . . Getting into the press arena , before chaos set in, was like getting into Fort Knox. Press tickets were handled by Charles Everest, an ex ITV cameraman . A deal with Fiery guaranteed his firm, Press Lines ( two reporters and one photographer) exclusive onstage and backstage coverage, which would then be filtered out to the news agencies- at a price. Each newsreel cameraman was charged 150 pounds. The situation reached its comic high when photographer Shepherd Sherbell, who turned up with all the record company contracts in his pocket, was refused permission to go backstage. Sherbell a determined sort of guy , naturally managed to get there just the same, was ejected several times and finally locked up in a caravan .
As the weekend wore on Fiery and Everest rapidly lost all semblance of control of the press set up. In a pointless attempt to prevent press arena crashing ,passes were changed daily , anyone who cared to make a collection could have five or more different passes at any one time. And on the Sunday , when broke kids queueing to get off the site were being fed free soup, a worried Ron Foulk was heard chatting up members of the press. "Is everything Ok ?" He asked., Replied one well fed gentleman of the press" I think the food situation is bad, We can't even get a hot meal in the press bar anymore "
1970 festival menu
The Underground press- NB: opinions expressed in these articles do not represent our opinions of the organisers or any other people involved in the running of the festival, it is possible that they may be innaccurate in some details or facts.
Reports from the "Straight "press
The White Panthers
If you have any info you can contribute to the site, especially regarding the 1968 and 1969 festivals, such as details of recordings. recollections, programmes, tickets, pix or articles don't just sit there , Contact us
1968 Isle of Wight festival 1969 Isle of Wight festival
Back to the main Archive.