Ray Foulk on The History of the Isle of Wight Festival (Podcast)

Ray shares his experiences of setting up the 1968-1970 Isle of Wight Festivals with VB

Last weekend we had the great pleasure of spending a few days on the site of the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

Ray Foulk: Original Isle of Wight Festival Organiser (Podcast)The occasion was the annual Hawkfest event which travels around the UK each year. We’ve got a number of podcasts coming out on VB over the next week or so, some with band members, others with organisers of the event.

Whilst we were there, we were lucky enough to spend some time with one of the original organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival, Ray Foulk.

Getting the facts straight
Ray talked us through the history of the three events, taking place in Godshill, Wootton and Afton Downs.

It’s a fascinating journey (including the fact that it was originally set up to raise funds for a swimming pool!), but what became apparent during our discussion was that over the years, the facts surrounding the 1970 event have been wildly distorted in books and through film.

It’s well worth grabbing a cup of tea and putting your feet up for 30 minutes to listen to the podcast lots of really interesting stuff in there

Share your view of the 1970 Festival
It may be 40 years since the event, but Ray’s now keen to ensure that the myths are busted. Along with his daughter, Caroline, he’s working on a project to gather views from the many people who attended the festival, whether they were on the inside or outside of the arena.

He’s keen to hear from any VB readers who might be able to share their experiences with him, so leave a comment below or get in touch and we can pass on your details.

Thursday, 2nd September, 2010 7:42pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/26Al

Filed under: Freshwater, Isle of Wight Council, Music, podcast

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32 Comments on "Ray Foulk on The History of the Isle of Wight Festival (Podcast)"

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I was at all three festivals. I was fourteen in 1968, and couldn’t believe my luck to be seeing Tyranosauraus Rex at Godshill. My main memories of 1969 were falling in love with a boy named Dermott and thinking that Richie Havens was awesome. He was definitely the best part of 1969 for me. I also remember getting lost and separated from my friends for about 4… Read more »
Leonie Frean
Hi Ray I was the receptionist/telex operator at Fiery Creations Ltd, Inglefield House in 1970, what sheer and utter madness, but what sheer and utter FUN, never has anything since come near the joy of working with the Foulk family! Memories are many, but still remember Eric bathing(!) in a discarded bath in the back yard of the house when I came into work one morning. Running… Read more »
Hi Leonie, Brilliant to see your posting. I have just completed my book/s on the IoW Festivals (working with my daughter, Caroline). Volume 1 (1969 & 69) is now with the printers and is due out in the spring. Volume 2 (1970) is due out later this year and there is still time to add more stories. Would love to meet up with you to hear your… Read more »
David Buckley
Hi Guys I would like to find out how my father was involved in the Isle Of Wight festival as I am tracking his history & apparently at some point he financed some part of this festival in 1970 linked to ski yoghurts. I know this as he secured our family home on the deal. Apparently the money from the festival was misplaced by someone & we… Read more »
Hello David, We have often wondered about your father, having lost touch with him 45 years ago. He was a great friend and supporter of the 1969 and 1970 festivals and features in my book being launched this summer. My brother and I remember Eddie with great affection. I would love to catch up with you and try and help fill in some of the many blanks… Read more »
David buckley

Hi ray I sent you an email thanks for responding


Good interview – I think I would be inclined to believe his version of events. I would love to know what he thinks of Brian Hinton’s books?

Ray Foulk
Brian’s books provide a good account of the events, and especially in the scholarly treatment of the performances. It is a pity, however, that neither I nor my brothers were invited to contribute our account of organisational matters. Brian quotes instead Ron Smith and relies upon him as an authoritative source. Ron was not one of the promoters. He was in charge of building the site (never… Read more »
Anthony Auger
Not alive when the festival happened but seeing the film. I was wondering if you ever heard of what happened to one of the american carpenters who built the stage in the film he is “Bud the carpenter” an interesting character. I hope he made it out the 70’s ok. It would be really interesting to do another film of you all now. But thanks Ray, Ron,… Read more »
Ray Foulk

Thanks Anthony for your kind words. We too would like to contact Bud (and Ron and Eric). So if anyone out there knows of their whereabouts please be in touch.
All the best,


Hey Ray…any luck on locating the ’70 site gang from California, Eric Rossi and the Almada Bros (Ron & Bud)?

Too young to have attended the island festivals but have seen Hawkwind many times in many of their incarnations over many years, at both festivals and venues. Great band who stuck with their roots never sold out and therefore never really achieved mainstream stardom although have always enjoyed a sizeable and loyal cult following. One particularly memorable moment which springs to mind was the Silchester free festival… Read more »

Saw Hawkwind, Ozrics and Ruthless Blues at The Marquee, Wardour Street in about 1987…think Dumpys Rusty Nuts where on the bill too

Debby Robinson
I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Ray. I was there (not paying) – sorry Ray, but I was very, very young. Memories, memories….buying wellies in Freshwater which are still serviceable. A young friend recently asked if they were, like, psychodelic. I had to give her a little wellie history lesson. In those days you could have black or black. Loads more tales to tell… Read more »
kevin webb

I think that the real star of the 1970 Festival was Bud The Carpenter. Should have been given a bigger part than jus the t2 or 3 cameos!!

Anthony Auger
I would like to hear his life story from the hippie days. but whats more interesting to me is what he did after that. Since buying the DVD I have had a keen interest in those who were in it so I kept an eye on what Rikki, Ron and Ray did after the event all the way to modern times, Lets hope Rikki gets out of… Read more »

Fear not Bud is alive & well. I’m close to connecting him as you’ll see below Eric just posted a few days ago.

Graham Swift
Attended this wonderful festival with a pal and a borrowed tent! One of the best lifetime memories for me (I am now 69.)Spent two years of my spare time painting a memorial poster in oils and decided to offer it online. If Ray Foulk would like a complimentary copy, please get in touch. I have also a small leaflet with a write- up of the event which… Read more »
Ray Foulk
Hi Graham, Wonderful to see your comments and I would be delighted to have a copy of your memorial poster. Let me know where the original is to be for sale because I should try and bid! It’s great to hear from people who have good memories of the festival/s (which is usually the case), as opposed to the way the media – especially certain films –… Read more »
Art Miller

What are Ray`s recollections of the controversy over the Official Isle of Wight Festival 1970 theme song, `Let the World Wash In` by I Luv Wight/Fairfield Parlour…..? It was released by Philips in a souvenir bag — but Rikki Farr famously `disowned` it during the weekend. Why…….?

richard bevan
My mom and dad had a stall selling tea and coffee at the festival. I remember the big tea urn with a tap on the side, but nothing of the famous stars playing at the festival since I was only four at the time. At least I can tell people “I was there”. The tea and coffee stall made a fortune, I think they bought a car… Read more »
Pauline Tyrell

Walked up from the Bay chatting to a chap who told me he’d worked on the stages of all the Festivals .. he’d been to see the Hendrix statue. Maybe that was Bud…

Tony Walton

Yeah, I was at all three and worked at the 1970 one – free food & access all areas. Too many memories to post.

I now live on the ‘island’ and its great to read all these comments about the 1970’s festival. I would have been over but was very pregnant with twins. I lived in Chelsea, Kings Rd and it was magic. Lots of famous people and amazing fashions with Flower power one end and Punks with fabulous coloured cherokee hair styles and spiky leather cloths. Chelsea, Kings Rd was… Read more »
eric rosse

Hey Ray its been a while but what fun it was I had no idea that that was the last festival for some time I got a copy of the film years ago and its still great memories Bud the carpenter is alive and well as am I eric

Hey Eric….I’ve wondered how you were for nearly 45 yrs! I once goggled a bit to find you, Ron, and Bud, but only found bits and pieces. I believe I found an obit for Ron??? Before that is what we all find from our buddies in the past let’s connect. I have a vague memory of going to your parent’s home on Strawberry in late ’70s for… Read more »

>>I believe I found an obit for Ron???<<

Ron Smith is my uncle and so far as I know he's still alive (as of March 2015). I live in Finland now but my relatives back in the UK would have told me the news :)

Hey Richard, sorry for confusion, we crossed our “Ron’s”, I was following on earlier posts where folks were wondering what happened to the three California guys that helped to create the IOW 70 site, The Trio from Mill Valley CA; Eric Rosse, Ron and Bud Alamda. Bud will live on as “The Carpenter” from the festival film, thanks to his in depth interview on the can. I… Read more »
Mick Ryan
I was at the 1970 festival with my best mate Frank who has since passed away,plus my elder brother and his girlfriend at the time.For many years and still today all i ever heard was that the festival was a shambles caused by the fence being torn down by those wanting the event to be free. We never experienced or saw anything of this;our experience was of… Read more »
Steve Barnes
I was at the 1970 festival as a callow 17 year old youth. A great time and experience for one so young. I still have a book I bought shortly after – “Isle of Wight 1970 the last great festival” – a picture record by Rod Allen. I have great memories of getting a lift to Afton Down on the back of a turf lorry (I have… Read more »
Was just reminded of going to the 69 and 70 ones, so found this page. Enjoyed the Podcast I went to both, Dylan and then Hendrix. There was another the year before, 68 I think but it was very small and I did not know about it. Climbed in the second time as did not have tickets…….sorry had no money!! No idea how! But I had help… Read more »
The numbers attending the 1968 IOW Festival have never been very clear. Over the years, myself and fellow organisers have commonly talked in terms of ten to 15 thousand. In the course of this long impromptu interview I stated the upper end of this range when I should have said ten to 15 thousand. Since the interview (2010) I have undertaken extensive research to write my book… Read more »