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The police cooperated with Fiery Creations from the start and there seemed a marked difference in attitude between the on site police and those elsewhere on the island . 150 people were arrested for drug possession , mostly on their way to the festival. Friends editor was busted in his car with many of his crew as he drove off the ferry. A standard procedure was established. With people being fined plus 40 or 30 days for first offenders or those possessing only one joint. Those possessing more than one drug were given longer sentences or larger fines . Release was in court every day giving advice to those charged and reporting on those in GAO so their friends could raise the money to bail them out or pay their fine. A bust fund was launched by the Freek Press on Friday and was announced by Fiery over the stage PA. 1380 pounds was raised and was immediately used to bail out those still in jail. Seventeen people were freed and the rest of the money is to go to paying the later fines. On Sunday , when a senior police officer was asked how the money should be handed over to the police he stated:" I think its absolutely disgusting that a whip around is being done in the crowd to help criminals out jail" But even some of his men were known to make contributions
As the festival progressed police reinforcements were called out. 250 were on site with another 250 standing by. However there were no mass raids on tents or mass removal of people from the site after the festival as at Phun City Police operated the "lost property" office and helped many kids over a wealth of problems including the cliff incident. No one was busted for indecent exposure, although thousands swam naked on the beach and were exhibited to the nation in the straight press and on TV . Many remarked about the efficiency with which the roads were kept clear all around the site. Admittedly traffic was minimised because of the islands siting, but even on the peak day Ð Sunday, it was possible to drive freely out to Freshwater and after a 10 minute one way routing and a bit of hassling , back in again. There were no farms anywhere which allowed the constant stream of buses easy access. The police , in fact , were obviously extremely well organised , briefed and behaved .
Detective Chief Inspector Durant and his merry band of hippies up plain clothes men seemed also to go out of their way to be reasonable and pleasant . It was down to rap sessions on drugs and underground press , pow wow style and the odd public relations beer in the press tent .
Police on site had a mobile analysis laboratory which detected that some crap was being sold to to unsuspecting kids. Saccharine was sold as pep pills , curry powder as hash. Hash was freely available and plenty of people dropped acid including the whole of Desolation Row. Freek Press estimated that a minimum of 1000 pounds of hash must have been smoked, and rumours suggested that some of this must have been stored in advance on the island. Police claimed that they would not arrest anyone under 17 who turned in their drugs. But there were many reports of police disguised as hippies arresting people. Cocaine seemed to be the prevalent drug amongst the performers , heralding the recurrence of a trendy fashion for those wealthy enough to afford it. It was remarked by several who were busted that as well as being treated , in the main, with deference, the overall police attitude to cannabis was one of boredom. "Its nothing personal you understand, just doing our job , you see" and of playing a game " Fun isn't it trying to tell ours from yours " (re: Hippie disguises ) It was the policewomen in particular who turned out to be the most offensive and bourgeois disgusted at the thought of dirty hippie girls . It was they who took the arrogant moral line .
"Its all a waste of time , we know we are not even skimming the surface of the problem really" plainclothesman.
Fiery sold food concessions at heavy rates so that caterers demanded higher than usual prices for their food. Inside the arena fence stores sold curry and salad which was an improvement over the hot dogs and hamburgers sold in the camping areas .People without concessions who tried to set up stores were greeted by heavies and shopkeeper vigilante groups, but in the end the weight of numbers of the non-concession stalls won over. Food lasted on sale right to the end of the festival, and even on the Monday, but the great problem was for those who had no who had no money to buy it.
On Sunday night, desperado's burnt some hot dog stands charging exploitative prices, but on Monday afternoon the caterers agreed to give away any perishable food they had left and so free food was distributed to the squatters who lasted on the island until Wednesday . The food exploitation during the festival didn't stir up the people into demanding cheaper aisle better food, even though trucks supplied the site daily. One truck picked up 2000 condemned fruit pies and sold the lot on the Island within a few hours. The willingness of people to accept crap food at high prices displays lack of discrimination and consciousness that alarms many of the underground revolutionaries.
"The land is for the people . The music is for the people , god bless you all at the Isle Of Wight Ð Telegram from David Crosby. "
" Yeah, well , as least it will
look good in the movie." Jeff Dexter.
Isle of Wight 1970 festival menu
updated March 2019
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
updated March 2019
The White Panthers
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1968 Isle of Wight festival 1969 Isle of Wight festival
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