A ONE-DAY festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1969 Isle of Wight Festival — when Bob Dylan snubbed Woodstock for Wootton.

The Million Dollar Bash has been organised by the All Wight Now group, established to celebrate the memories, music and legacy of the three original Isle of Wight Festivals of 1968, '69 and '70.

It will take place at the County Showground, Northwood, on Saturday, August 31, featuring a top line-up – including several veterans of the 1969 event.

Fifty years ago, Bob Dylan stunned the world by turning his back on the Woodstock Festival and agreeing to play at the second Isle of Wight Festival of Music.

This golden anniversary tribute will honour the likes of Dylan, The Band, The Who, The Moody Blues, Free, Joe Cocker, Julie Felix and many more acts who drew more than 150,000 fans to Woodside Bay, on the east coast of the Island — the biggest festival ever in the UK at that time.

The Million Dollar Bash will feature Dylancentric, a talent-packed band assembled specifically for the event by Ashley Hutchings, founder member of Fairport Convention and lauded by Dylan himself as 'the single most important figure in English folk music.'

Acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson, hailed for his work with the Fairports and his partnership with Linda Thompson, is in advanced talks to appear.

For rockers, there is Wishbone Ash, celebrating their own 50th anniversary this year.

They are playing their only 2019 UK gig at the Bash.

Kossoff: The Band Plays On, featuring Terry Slesser on vocals, a founder member of Free guitarist Paul Kossoff’s final band, will represent Free’s contribution to the 1969 festival.

More main-stage acts — including legendary veterans from the 1969 event — will be announced soon, along with others who will play in the acoustic marquee.

There will also be performances from leading poets, including Roger McGough.

Also on site will be an exhibition of the original 1969 festival sound gear presented by Chris Hewitt’s CH Vintage Audio.

Among other pop-up exhibits will be a photo display including Charles Everest’s festival photography.

Acclaimed contemporary sculptor Guy Portelli, who shot to fame on TV’s Dragon’s Den, will showcase his sculpture of Bob Dylan and also a glass mosaic panel featuring hand prints from many of the festival artists.

The 2019 event follows a successful first celebratory event to mark the 1968 festival’s 50th anniversary last year at Tapnell Farm. All Wight Now’s founding chairman, Andy Knight, said: "It’s about the music, the memories and the legacy."

Alongside the event, a new book, Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight, 1969, illustrated with historic photos of the festival, is about to be published by Medina Publishing.

Author Bill Bradshaw, an award-winning Fleet Street journalist and former County Press features editor, tells the story of the remarkable event, drawing on the testimonies of those who organised it, those who starred in it, and those who were there in the throng to witness it.

A media launch for both the Million Dollar Bash and the new book is planned for May 28 at That 60s Place, a rock’n’roll themed restaurant and bar in High Street, Cowes. Tickets will be on sale shortly.

For further information, visit www.allwightnow.com

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