A ROCK festival is to return to East Afton Farm — 50 years after the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival of Music.

Experience 1970 will take place at the Freshwater site on September 5 and 6, 2020.

The festival will celebrate and honour the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1970 festival when Jimi Hendrix and an all-star bill attracted a crowd estimated at up to 600,000.

It is being organised by the All Wight Now group, which has already staged anniversary events to mark the golden anniversaries of the first two IW festivals in 1968 and 1969.

They say Experience 1970 is their most ambitious event yet, spanning two days and returning to the original 1970 site.

Ticket details and line-up announcements will follow.

All Wight Now’s Peter Harrigan, who was press and publicity director of the original event back in 1970, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to an era-defining event on its legendary home ground.

“To secure the East Afton site from the landowners at Tapnell Farm is fantastic and we appreciate their help in making this possible.

“Our return to East Afton next year with Experience 1970 will prove compelling to both festival goers and performers and we are sure they will respond positively.

"We aim to put on a great show with a fine bill to mark this special occasion.”

The 1970 event captured worldwide attention and was the final major appearance by Hendrix before his sudden death, at just 27, in London just two weeks later.

Because of the hostile reaction to the festival by the IW political establishment at the time, an act of Parliament was passed which blocked any further major festival on the Island for more

than three decades.

It is hoped Experience 1970 will recreate the look of the original festival stage and will utilise the original 1970 event PA sound gear now owned by CH Vintage Audio.

The All Wight Now group will again partner with music dementia charity Playlist for Life.

The group’s long-term aim is to establish an Isle of Wight Festival visitor centre to honour the legacy of the original festivals.

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