Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight Festival 1969

Bill Bradshaw

In 1969, Bob Dylan turned down his invitation to Woodstock. He opted instead to make his first pre-announced concert performance in more than three years at the Isle of Wight Festival of Music, off England's southern coast. This is the story of that extraordinary festival in the English Channel - and Dylan's huge part in it - 50 years ago.
Date Published :
July 2019
Publisher :
Medina Publishing
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781909339385
Pages : 176
Dimensions : 9 X 8 inches
In stock


2019 marks the golden anniversary of the mass musical gatherings that saw the hippie generation at their 1969 zenith. Two events stand out, staged within days of each other that magical August: in the United States, there was Woodstock, and in the UK the Isle of Wight Festival of Music. Woodstock drew 400,000 fans and a quality bill that was a Who’s Who of contemporary talent – all bar the main man the organizers hoped to lure on the doorstep of his home, Bob Dylan. Instead, Dylan opted to headline at the Isle of Wight, in front of close to 200,000 adoring fans. Here Bill Bradshaw celebrates the events of that summer 50 years on… and how the Isle of Wight, off England’s southern coast, staged what was then the nation’s biggest festival – and how it pulled off such a huge coup.

Along with Bob Dylan and The Band, other acts included The Who, The Moody Blues, Joe Cocker, Free, Marsha Hunt and Tom Paxton. Celebrities in the audience included John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Keith Richards and Jane Fonda.

Eyewitness accounts from fans, artists and the promoters bring alive that gilded summer and how it influenced both Dylan and the rock festival movement for generations to come.

About The Author

Bill Bradshaw is an award-winning Fleet Street journalist and editor. He was UK Sports Journalist of the Year and Britain's Sports Reporter of the Year for his Sunday People investigation into football corruption. He was assistant editor at both the Daily Express and Sunday Mirror and associate sports editor at The Observer. After moving to the Isle of Wight County Press as Features Editor, he helped the All Wight Now group organise a 50th anniversary celebration in 2018 to mark the inaugural 1968 Island Festival.

More from this publisher