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

 Site photographs. Pt 36 

John McCoy Collection .  

All Images by John McCoy © to whom we offer many thanks !!!

I'm looking for any pix you might have taken at the festival.

Contact us if you can contribute


I was a Still Photographer, stationed at RAF Bentwaters, Suffolk, England at the time. I had just completed a 30-Day Leave hitch-hiking through Europe. I was a “G. I. Hippie”! Isle of Wight 3 was almost 50 years ago when I was 23; I am 71 now! I have forgotten most of the event! Many of the people are likely deceased now, so I hope that maybe the living will recognize themselves or experience once again this fantastic event.

I believe I was there Friday-Sunday. I used either a Nikon F or FTN with possibly a 20mm or 24mm, a 50mm, and a 105mm lenses! I owned a Weston Sekonic Ranger 9 light meter and Leica tabletop tripod, which I often used like a ‘gun stock’. I used Ektachrome slide film, which I processed and mounted shortly after! I just scanned them. I used Photoshop mainly to restore saturation to faded slides and to remove dust!

I have looked at the website’s photos of the event, and many were spectacular! I attended the festival to see and listen to many great bands, and to get stoned, but not to document photographically! I was with a few friends and we had great center location fairly close to the stage. Most of the time I stayed put and occasionally photographed. My photos are organized by daytime, nighttime, and experimental nighttime, although I’m uncertain which days or nights. The experimental slides include double and triple exposures, and moving the camera during Bulb or Time shutters! I used a Nikon Bellows Attachment and Slide Duplicator attachment afterwards to combine stage and night silhouettes on but a few.

I do remember leaving our location and wondering about for what appeared to be hours (I didn’t take photos). I was tripping all weekend and smoking hash! I was amazed that I found our spot among 600,000 people without looking for it…just wandering! I don’t remember sleeping at all, but I did lie down on our blanket and spaced on the music! Notably, I remember Joni Mitchel’s rebuke of the noisy and disruptive anarchists who were problematic all weekend! I remember Chicago, Family, John Sebastian, Miles Davis, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Richie Havens, and best of all, Jimi Hendrix! If anyone can recognize the people on stage, please let me know! The night shots of the stage, which are reddish, have Jimi Hendrix performing!

In conclusion, my photos serve mostly to illustrate ‘my trip’, which probably was experienced by many of us! I decided to share most of my photos without cutting them too drastically; viewers can decide which they like the best! Enjoy

© John McCoy

© John McCoy

© John McCoy

© John McCoy

© John McCoy


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Check out this link for more photos of the festival


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.


International Times.

Reports from the "Straight "press

updated March 2019

External links

The White Panthers

Other IOW festivals.
  • 1968 Isle of Wight festival
  • 1969 Isle of Wight festival
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