“AN EXCUSE for dirty people to behave in a dirty manner” ­­— that extract from a letter to the County Press introduces this second part of Ray Foulk’s account of how he and his brothers put on the Wootton festival.

Ray recalls a bizarre press conference at the Halland Hotel, Seaview, where all the world’s press flocked to get a look at Dylan after his three years in seclusion ­— all press, that is, except the County Press.

A totally different beast to today’s County Press, the editor, despite a world coup dropping right into his lap, decided the festival was not to receive any coverage.

Not a word of the festival appeared until after the event, when the paper, aided and abetted by the local MP, Mark Woodnutt, launched an all-out attack on proceedings.

Meanwhile, with the festival just days away, Ray arranged the press conference.

He said: “Part of my agreement with Dylan’s management was that he wouldn’t get hassled by the press, he wouldn’t be expected to give any interviews, and we’d protect him from the long lenses and the snooping media.

“But we needed to sell tickets, and sell them fast, because we had a lot of money to raise and I’m getting it in the neck from the office saying we want more coverage.

“Can we get some interviews underway?”

It was very difficult, but they finally settled on a single press conference at the Halland Hotel, Seaview, and that would be it ­— just one media event.

“The press conference was surreal.

“There was a whole bank of cameras and microphones and they were asking rather stupid questions ­— one of the first ones was, do you think microphones are like guns?

“And then they started asking what Dylan thought about drugs, and he didn’t want to talk about that and he was looking around for someone else to answer it, and so on.

“It was not a great press conference ­— Dylan didn’t like the press.

“Help Bob Dylan Sink the Isle of Wight stickers were all over the place ­— you saw them everywhere.

“One day, Dylan wanted to go anonymously to Osborne House with his wife, and he was loaned a Triumph Herald by one of the staff.

“When he went to get in it, there was one of these stickers on the windscreen, and he starts trying to unpeel it ­— he didn’t want that on there ­— and it wouldn’t come off, and he lost his temper and said, damn these things, they’re everywhere, and stormed off.

“He was very angry, and I was a bit shocked at his outburst. He eventually ended up going off in his chauffeur-driven limousine instead.

“We had an excellent site at Wootton. The farmer, Mr Phillips, was great.

“I remember visiting him at his house and getting the contract signed, but a little later, the site designers put the stage right alongside his farmhouse ­— literally 50 yards away.

“I was thinking, oh my god, I don’t know what he’s going to think of that.

“I don’t think he had any idea of how big it was going to be, but he was alright about it.

“It was just a commercial letting of the field for him.

“I remember arriving at the site on the Friday night about six o’clock and I drove through the lanes, with lots of people everywhere ­— went backstage and I walked up on the stage and got a glimpse of the audience.

“That was the first time I’d seen the arena full of people and it took my breath away ­— that was an incredible feeling.

“Suddenly, I felt we’d done it, we’ve pulled it off, we’ve got this huge audience here.

“It was full ­— a massive sea of people with a group performing and everybody was enjoying themselves.

“That was really quite a wonderful moment. And then at various points I was just going around the site, talking to people who were doing various jobs and making sure everything was all right ­— and it was, the festival was a success.

“We learnt a huge amount from the ’69 festival. We learnt that we needed more toilets ­— that we couldn’t rely on giving concessions to caterers, because they ripped everybody off, so we should do it ourselves, and we learnt how to deal with the local authority.

“They could threaten us with injunctions and so we cooperated.

“We wanted to cooperate, we weren’t cowboys. We were young professionals trying to do a job.

“As for money, we’d been living hand to mouth prior to the festival.

“We had a little bit from our own resources.

“My printing business, which I set up when I was 21, was still running, and we were able to borrow a certain amount from the bank, so we just got a living.

“We didn’t take out much of an income. We weren’t the sort of people that were big spenders ­— never have been ­— so we were able to maintain a modest livelihood out of the situation.

“I think that I benefited from the festival ­— it gave us the confidence to do almost anything in the future.”

It certainly did. The following year, Ray and his brothers put on the 1970 festival, featuring The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors.

And in the crowd, taking it all in, was a 16-year-old boy called John Giddings.