The Last Great Event with Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison

When the World Came to the Isle of Wight. Volume 2

Caroline Foulk, Ray Foulk

1970 Isle of Wight Festival organizer, Ray Foulk, gives his authoritative account of organizing one of the biggest festivals in music history.
Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Medina Publishing
Illustration :
Full color and b&w photographs throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781909339583
Pages : 295
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
In stock


The Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 famously 'stole Bob Dylan' from Woodstock' and was the starting point and benchmark for all rock and pop festivals in the UK. What followed in 1970 was one of the world's greatest music gatherings of all time, attracting musicians and fans from across the whole music spectrum. The list of performers is a Who's Who of the then music élite, who are now legends: Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, the Who, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell, Procul Harem, the Doors, Leonard Cohen, the Moody Blues, Emerson Lake and Palmer - the list goes on. This was Britain's 'Woodstock' and all on a tiny island off the south coast. It would also be Hendrix's last major performance - 17 days later he was dead. But the organization of such a huge happening was inevitably far from plain sailing. It proved to be a roller coaster ride for the intrepid young Foulk brothers who navigated its course through a year of relentless political buffeting from local reactionary opponents and then from extremist counterculture militants who thought that they would prefer a free festival. Just as Island opponents were busily sabotaging the festival site and issuing death-threats, so too an unsavory cabal of radicals arrived from London under the banner of the White Panthers, intent upon undermining the event. For the first time, Ray Foulk, joint organizer, gives his own full, frank and authoritative account, delving into pivotal texts from all sides of the divide. Many remember this festival as a magical, life-changing experience, encapsulating the sixties trip of sex, drugs, rock'n'roll and a political yearning for a better world. But for the others, a question looms large over history: did this final festival precipitate the end of the dream of an alternative society, or did it reflect the changes already taking place? This most controversial of the festivals was aptly promoted by the Foulk brothers as 'The Last Great Event'.

About The Author

Caroline Foulk has worked with her father, Ray, for many years, researching, writing, and co-promoting the in-schools project, Blue Planet Day. Together they have recently completed a screenplay for the cinema about the invention of modern art.

Ray Foulk is a renowned curator and author on French Art Deco masters and twentieth century decorative art, and has also written on the 1960s counterculture and rock festivals. He is also an award winning environmental architect, Ray lives and works in Oxford, near his four grown up children and grandchildren.


" will absolutely love this backstage look at a great moment in rock history."

- Ray Connolly, The Daily Mail

"At the end of August 1970, I packed my steel string harmony Sovereign into its hard case and made my way out to the A74 south of Glasgow and raised my left thumb. I was on my way to the second major Isle of Wright festival. ...weaves the separate strands of the festival together- the nightmare of administration, the dream of having Leonard Cohen in the passenger seat, the hallucinatory days and nights- Foulk doesn't mention drug taking, the sleep deprivation was enough- and the battles with the locals who only wanted a quiet life. he book offers not just the lie up of each band, including some little known ones, but where possible, the set lists...I did however see Jimi Hendrix, for whom extraneous noise meant little. It was to be his final UK concert: he dies 18 days later. If asked before I read The Last Great Event, I would have said with the same certainty that I would to claim to have heard Free at Glastonbury the year before - that his piece de resistance was The Star Spangled Banner. After all, I was there. Ray Foulk was even more there. He says it was God Save the Queen."

- James Campbell, The Times Literary Supplement

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