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Museum reveals new Isle of Wight Festival exhibition

The celebrated 1970 Isle of Wight Festival is being brought to life in a new exhibition.

Dimbola Museum & Galleries has revised its existing exhibition dedicated to the music festivals held between 1968 and 1970. The superbly revamped display focuses on the 1970 festival which was headlined by Jimi Hendrix. This huge event attracted about 600,000 people was held close to Dimbola at Afton Down. It marked a turning point in UK music history and saw Jimi Hendrix’s last major performance and his final one in the UK.

Poet and musicologist, Dr Brian Hinton, chairman of the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust who run Dimbola, said: “We are very proud of our latest celebration of the festival. The Isle is a special place and by commemorating its important role in music history we are encouraging future musical innovation on the island and beyond”.

The reworked exhibition displays rare posters and photographs from the five-day event. It also features a montage of photographs by Charles Everest, a former BBC newsreel cameraman. He produced a series of images of acts such as The Doors, Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell.

A preview of the exhibition was held at the gallery on Friday 4 October. Opened by radio presenter Andy Peebles, other guests included fans who attended the 1970 festival and photogrpaher Chris Weston who took an iconic panoramic photo of the event showing the huge crowd.  

Andy, who is celebrating 40 years in broadcasting this year, said: “I originally heard about the exhibition via Andy Knight of Wight Island Radio. Not only is it an honour to open the preview it is fascinating to talk to the other guests. I saw Jimi Hendrix perform in Bournemouth but I never saw his appearance on the Isle of Wight. It is fascinating to talk to fellow fans who are privileged to have watched him perform at the festival”.

The exhibition is sponsored by Solo, the agency owned by John Giddings the promoter of the current Isle of Wight Festival.

Prints of Everest’s classic photographs will be available to order through the Museum Shop.