BOB Dylan has released a new poem — exclusively for the Isle of Wight — 50 years after his legendary appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.

He is sending the words to be read out at the Million Dollar Bash — the new event which honours the anniversary of the 1969 festival.

The remarkable gesture means a previously unpublished and unheard Dylan composition will be heard exclusively for the first time at the event on Saturday, August 31.

Dylan famously turned his back on the Woodstock Festival in New York State to perform instead on the Isle of Wight in front of more than 150,000 fans.

Half a century later, to the day, Million Dollar Bash has been organised to salute that legendary event when Dylan was joined by a stellar bill including The Band, The Who, The Moody Blues, Julie Felix, The Nice, Tom Paxton and Free.

Dylan made contact with Million Dollar Bash’s curator, Ashley Hutchings, a founder member of Fairport Convention, to pass on a special poem and acknowledge the work going into the event.

Ashley has put together a one-off band, Dylancentric, to pay tribute to Dylan’s songs, and assembled a high-class bill.

Ashley said: “I got some very touching and personal messages from Bob, much of which must remain personal, but I can say he has passed to me a special poem, fittingly something he wrote about 50 years ago, for me to pass on to fans when we play at Million Dollar Bash.

“This is going to be a great celebration. I will read out Bob’s poem, a composition that is previously unpublished and unheard. I am looking forward to it.”

Hutchings said Dylan’s messages also indicated he acknowledged the hard work going into the Bash’s salute to his 1969 appearance and that he fondly recalled his own time on the Island 50 years ago.

Million Dollar Bash, promoted by All Wight Now, takes place at the County Showground.

Discounted Island tickets are available from Dimbola Galleries and Museum, Freshwater Bay, and That 60’s Place, High Street, Cowes.

A new book, Bob Dylan at The Isle of Wight Festival, 1969, by Bill Bradshaw, has been published by Medina to commemorate the 50th anniversary.