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August 30th and 31st 1969.
|The 1969 Isle of Wight Festival was much bigger than the previous years bash which only had the Airplane as the overseas headliner and not a lot of other big names to back them up. The 69 line-up was far more heavy weight . With the BIG Z as the drawcard , none other than Bob Dylan himself , and bands like The Who and The Band taking support roles , this festival was guaranteed to draw many more punters than the earlier festival.
Pre-festival Hype .
JOHN AND YOKO INVITED TO BOB DYLAN
JOHN LENNON and Yoko have been invited to attend the mammoth Bob Dylan concert at the Isle of Wight on August 31! Blind Faith will be there, and the Rolling Stones have also ordered 16 tickets. Says a Stones spokesman:
"Mick Jagger, of course, won't be able to attend, as he is currently filming in Australia. But Keith Charlie, Bill and Mick Taylor will probably be there."
Promoter Raymond Foulk told the MM on Monday: "We sent John and Yoko a letter of invitation even before we knew Dylan would definitely appear. We haven't heard from them, but it is possible they might turn up, knowing their interest in Dylan." A spokesman for Apple, the Beatles London HQ towhich the letter was addressed, commented:
"John and Yoko are still recovering from the effects of their recent car crash and are not accepting
any engagements. We cannot confirm anything at this stage."
There is still a possibility that Fiery Creations Ltd. sponsors of the Festival, will stage a concert featuring other big stars on the Friday. At
present, the Festival is being held on the Saturday (30) and Sunday (31), Meanwhile, the Fiery Creations offices on the Isle of Wight are being inundated with ticket applications.
"We've had 2,000 letters in this morning alone," Raymond Foulk said on Monday. "To date, we've had 10,000. And half of the 81 shops around the country who are handling tickets are already sold out. People are chartering planes from America and from places on the continent."
Raymond Foulk further revealed
that CBS Records in Britain or American Columbia may record the Dylan concert.
But whether a recording is eventually issued would be up to Dylan. "This also applies to TV. A TV spectacular is always a possibility, but even two minutes' TV is up to the decision of Dylan's manager, Al Grossman."
SUPERSESSION AT ISLE OF WIGHT
THE supergroup to end all supergroups - George Harrison, Rolling Stones, Blind Faith and Bob Dylan on stage together -could be the grand finale to this weekend's Isle of Wight Festival. A spokesman for the Festival told the MM: "George Harrison has been in touch with Bert Block, of Dylan's management office, saying he would like to take part in a session with Dylan - with Dylan's approval, of course. "Blind Faith are flying in from Honolulu after asking if they could appear too. And Jack Bruce has also said he would be ready and willing to join them all on stage." The Rolling Stones - who, except for Mick Jagger, who is now filming in Australia - are staying on Keith Richard's yacht off the Island, and it is understood they also have expressed a wish to take the stage with Dylan after his performance. Bob Dylan did not arrive last Thursday, as previously announced, but flew into London on Monday night (25) and travelled directly to the island where his backing group, the Band, are already rehearsing.
By Monday, over 500 fans were already camping on the Festival site - including American students who had built a wooden hut and named it "Desolation Row," after the Dylan song. The Festival site has now been doubled in size and the organisers, Fiery Creations, say that tickets will now be on sale at the Festival gate. There is sufficient room to ensure that none wishing to go to the Festival need be disappointed. TV and radio crews from all over the Continent are heading for the Isle of Wight and Sweden, France and Germany are among those who will be carrying the music live.
Meanwhile Fiery creations are
expanding the size of the festival site which means there are still tickets
available. WEMS are supplying a 2,000 watts PA system which is claimed to be
the biggest ever used anywhere in the world.
British Rail are preparing for what a spokesman described as "a second Dunkirk" and are sending boats from all over the South coast to ferry up to half a million fans to the Isle.
The Band, Dylan's accompanying group, are to play for an hour on their own as well as backing the star at the Festival.
Ritchie Havens will arrive for the Festival on August 30, Tom Paxton arrives on August 28 and the Nice have postponed their American visit in order to appear. The Who have promised the organisers some nice surprises and Joe Cocker is flying in especially from the States.
Bob Dylan's appearance at the festival is acting like a magnet for artists and fans from all parts of the world. The response, in fact, has been so phenomenal, that promoters Fiery Creations Ltd are now staging an additional concert on the Friday evening,August 29.
It wiil be a free concert starring the Nice, Bonzo Dog Band and Eclection, plus another star name now being fixed. The Paris cast of Hair is also flying in specially.
Other groups and folk artists
are also offering their services for a free show on the Friday afternoon. "We've
had so many offers from artists who want to be present on this big occasion,"
said a Fiery Creations spokesman on Monday.
Site of the concert at Woodside Bay has been extended to 100 acres."Everyone will be able to get a good view" says promoter Raymond Foulk.
Meanwhile, applications for tickets continue to pour in from all parts of the world. Special ticket agencies have been set up in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo and Libya.
Hundreds of American fans are flying in in 15 charter planes, and it is expected that the total number of people converging on the Isle will be around 200,000 - nearly three times the local population!
Special catering arrangements,
including health foods, are being made, plus camping arrangements. The organisers
emphasise that prices will be kept to a moderate level.
A 2,000 watt PA system is also being flown over specially from the States. Rolling Stone Keith Richard will be living in a yatch moored off the isle, and other members of the Stones are expected to be present.
Fiery Creations Ltd emphasise that this will be Dylan's only appearance in England for quite some time.
You can view many great photos of the acts at IOW 69 here at Robert Ellis's photo site
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