45 years ago, The Isle Of Wight Festival took place from August 26th to 31st and made as much noise as their U.S. relatives, Monterey Pop and Woodstock, as it became legendary as well. The lineup included Jimi Hendrix, The Who,The Doors, Chicago and Lighthouse, just to name a few. Yes, that’s Toronto’s Lighthouse, who did two sets that weekend to an audience estimated of 600,000, (Woodstock had 400,000 concert goers). There were problems however and when the decision was made to make it a free concert (because everyone was breaking down the barriers to sneak in anyway) prompting the concert MC Rikki Farr to say “We put this festival on, you bastards, with a lot of love! We worked for one year for you pigs! And you wanna break our walls down and you wanna destroy it? Well, you go to hell!” Prompting confrontations between the audience and musicians which included Freddie Stone of Sly and the Family Stone being hit with a beer can and Kris Kristofferson was booed off stage. The Who however put on a stunning performance and for Jimi Hendrix it was ‘bittersweet” as this was his last appearance in the UK before his death three weeks later. The concert was filmed by Murray Lerner and highlights weren’t actually made public until 1996 as the movie, “Message to Love”.
Photo courtesy of www.lighthouserockson.com