The Isle of Wight Festival will be back in September 2021.

That's more than a year after 2020's event was postponed due to Covid-19.

Here's all you need to know about the hugely popular music event that made a name for itself in the 1960s and 1970s, before staging an amazing comeback in 2002.

Since then, of course, it's gone from strength to strength.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Who's playing in 2021?

Most of the acts booked for the postponed 2020 festival were re-signed for 2021, but that was when it was expected to happen in June.

Promoter John Giddings told the County Press on March 2 that talks were underway with Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne and Lewis Capaldi, among others.

We'll know the September line-up in the next few weeks.

Capacity will be 50,000 but there won't be any scrimping on the site, said John.

  • Scroll down for a link to buy tickets...

When was the first ever Isle of Wight Festival?

Think 'Isle of Wight Festival', think Jimi Hendrix, playing in front of (up to) 600,000 people at Afton Down, in the West Wight.

But it had actually started two years earlier, promoted and organised by the Foulk brothers and was originally set up to raise money for a community swimming pool.

In 1968, they staged an event at Ford Farm (near Godshill), welcoming Jefferson Airplane, Arthur Brown and Fairport Convention to the stage - along with 10,000 music fans.

In 1969, it moved to Wootton - securing prize-catch Bob Dylan and the Band as headliners and clocking up celebrity audience members, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Keith Richards and Jane Fonda.

It was the 1970 event that was the biggest - and wrote the Isle of Wight Festival into the history books.

The Guinness Book of Records estimates around 600,000 to 700,000 may have turned up to watch - hundreds of times that of the Isle of Wight's actual population. Organisers said numbers were fewer, though.

Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, The Who, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Joni Mitchell, The Moody Blues, Free and Leonard Cohen were all on the line-up. The clear-up operation led to the Isle of Wight County Council Act 1971 - preventing overnight open-air gatherings of more than 5,000, without a special licence from the local authority.

What happened next?

After that, the music went silent and the speakers were switched off...until 2002 - when the festival came back with a bang - under the banner 'Rock Island.'

It was a much smaller affair - held at Seaclose Park, in the centre of the Isle of Wight's main town of Newport.

Around 8,000 people were there, there was limited camping, and Ash, Robert Plant, Starsailor and The Charlatans were on the bill.

A year later, in 2003, it was renamed the Isle of Wight Festival - with Paul Weller, Bryan Adams and Counting Crows among those to cross the Solent.

The event was firmly back on the summer calendar and rest, as they say, is history.

Over the years, who have been the stand out acts?

There have been scores of incredible performances on the Seaclose Park stage.

In 2020, when the event had to be postponed because of Covid-19, we put together our favourites.

Did you agree...?

Other highlights

Let's face it. It wouldn't be the Isle of Wight Festival without the Big Wheel.

You've almost certainly got a picture of yourself on it, high above the main stage.

Share it with us, so we can create a gallery of photos! (scroll down to find a link to click on).

Plus, there's the beer.

The place all Islanders gravitate to - the Kashmir Cafe - serves up a delightful fruity little number, alongside a host of local acts and (in 2017), Teenage Dirtbag hitmakers Wheatus and Dodgy has also appeared.

Then there are the football matches, now screened when the Isle of Wight Festival runs at the same time as international competitions.

Without the screens, in 2004 at his last UK show, it could easily have been a choice between the two Davids - headliner David Bowie, or captain David Beckham! Thank goodness we didn't have to pick.

As an aside, remember 2016, when the crowd wore Bowie masks in tribute?

Isle of Wight County Press:

It's not all about Main Stage, either. There's a host of other stages, the ecclectic Cirque De La Quirk and the rocking Big Top - which has produced its own incredible moments.

Cast your mind back to this one...

Spin offs

To mark the anniversary of the original festivals, events have been held on the Isle of Wight in recent years, with heritage acts on the bill.

In 2018, a BBC documentary team was on the Isle of Wight to recreate the original sound, at the Afton Down site.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Afton - Original IW Festival sound equipment back on the 1970s site. From left, Roger Simmonds with Dick Taylor, Chris Hewitt, John Giddings and Nick Turner.

A mosaic, a life-size statue of the late, great Jimi Hendrix (at Dimbola Lodge museum), an exhibition of photographs and a book covering the event's history have all been created.

And then there's the celebrity-led tv coverage, featuring hilarious interviews with merry festival-goers and musical snapshots.

Dress up

Dressed your best for the Isle of Wight Festival? Of course you have.

In 2018, festival-goers wore gold - from their beards to their fingertips.

See some of them here...The Isle of Wight Festival 2018 in pictures: Saturday

How to get Isle of Wight Festival tickets

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place on September 16-19.

If you're on the Isle of Wight, you can also visit The Price Is Wight.

Find out more...