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The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. 26th - 30th August 1970. 


 

"Straight press "

August 27th 1970.

    

 
A town of Tents at pop festival.

 

From David Wilsworth- Freshwater, Isle of Wight . 26th Aug

   A town of tents has sprung up at Freshwater , Isle of Wight ,where thousands of students, hippies and music enthusiasts have gathered for the pop festival which got under way this afternoon. Not all the tents were of conventional material , as the plastic inflatable shows. Children accompanied their parents and one little girl is seen enjoying an open air breakfast .As the festival started officially policemen , wearing clothes in hippie style, mixed with music enthusiasts. The first groups appeared this afternoon.

    Policemen in plain clothes are watching foordrug abuse and dealing - although evidently , they intend to use the " softly, softly " approach and take action in only the most blatant cases. If they attempted to arrest everyone who smoked pot at the festival they would probably fill not only the Isle of Wights ample prisons but some on the mainland as well.

    Police say they have very intention of remaining in the background as much as possible and uniformed men will go onto the festival site itself only in cases of serious trouble.

   On the festival site, Desolation Row ,a ramshackle line of tents and other structures , is a stronghold of the 'heads' those who take drugs freely and often live communally. This morning I spoke to a man carrying a sackful of pot , who said he could not remember the last time he had not been" high "He was not willing to sell marijuana, but was happy "to share a joint. "

   Contrasting with the heads are the "straights "who may puff at a joint occasionally but who have come mainly for the music and the much vaunted "good vibrations "everybody is expecting .

   A young Belgian did a fairly good trade today by painting designs on peoples bodies . One young couple from Enfield , both artists, stripped to the waist and had their torsos painted under the scrutiny of press and television .

 

      The churches on the Island have united to to set up a Christian counselling service. About 100 counsellors, some of them monks , will take turns to give advice day and night. .


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