The Isle of wight festival 1968

Billed as “The Great South Coast Bankholiday Pop Festivity” by its organisers the Foulk brothers (under the banner of their Fiery Creations Ltd company), this event took place on Saturday August 31st, 1968, in Hell Field, near Godshill. This was Fiery Creations’ fledgling event; the Foulks very much “winging” things with little (if any) prior experience of putting on live music events. However, with acts such as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and The Jefferson Airplane (“Coming over from America especially for this festival to make their first live appearance in this country”) on the bill, together with legendary radio presenter John Peel undertaking comparing duties, the draw was enough to attract a crowd of c. 10,000 people who, despite the reportedly poor facilities and some changeable weather, seemed to come away having had a great time. 

 

Due to the relatively low-key nature of this event, available memorabilia is limited to a few pieces produced by the organisers themselves, together with only a handful of adverts and reports from various newspapers and music magazines of the time. Therefore, as you can imagine, some examples are now quite scarce. 

Unless specified otherwise, all artwork was designed by David Fairbrother-Roe (Fiery Creations’ resident designer) 

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Isle of Wight Festival 1968 Poster Memorabilia Gembral Gording

Promotional poster 

General promotional poster, published by Solent Graphics in blue, yellow, and white, and in two slightly different sizes (52 x 37cm approx. and 45 x 30 cm approx.) Current availability: Exceptionally scarce 

Ticket 

This colourful and sizeable ticket, printed by Solent Graphics, includes the “Mary the Gnomes best Fairy” story on the reverse side, which ties in with the associated newspaper advertising of that time. Measuring 21 x 9cm (including right hand ticket stub). Current availability: Plentiful

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Isle of Wight Festival 1968 Ticket Memorabilia
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Isle of Wight Festival 1968 Flyer Memorabilia

Flyer (2nd edition) 

Second edition of the associated flyer/handbill, published by Solent Graphics. Presumably aimed at a wider market due to its inclusion of details of how to get to the site from the mainland, and a list of the many ticket outlets throughout London and The South Coast. Measuring 25 x 19cm approx. Current availability: scarce

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Flyer (1st edition) 

First edition of the associated flyer/handbill, published by Solent Graphics, and measuring 22.5 x 17.5cm approx. Probably aimed more at the “local market” due to its mention of coach availability from “all parts of the Island”. Current availability: scarce 

Isle of Wight Festival 1968 Flyer Memorabilia

Flyer (3rd edition) 

A third, two-page flyer, published by Solent Graphics. Again, from the gist of the text, it is believed that this flyer would be aimed at potential punters from the mainland rather than the “home market”. Current availability: Exceptionally scarce

Small flyer 

Not a lot to say about this one, apart from “it’s a small flyer”, probably also printed by Solent Graphics. Red and purple on white paper. Considerably smaller than the others, with very limited information. Current availability: Exceptionally scarce

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Melody Maker Advert

Full page advertisement from the Melody Maker, dated August 24th, 1968, measuring 45 x 33cm. Featuring Dave Roe’s cartoon strip version of the “Mary the Gnomes best Fairy” tale as featured on the reverse of the ticket. Newspaper advertisements for the later events in 1969 and 1970 were many and common, so not necessarily worthy of inclusion in this particular catalogue of memorabilia; however due to the relatively low-key nature of the 1968 event (and relative scarcity of associated memorabilia), we feel this particularly charming advert is worthy of a mention at least. Current availability: fair

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