When the World Came to the Isle of Wight: The Last Great Event tells festival organiser Ray Foulk’s story of the 1968, 1969 and 1970 Isle of Wight Festivals. Volume 1, Stealing Dylan from Woodstock, recalls the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, Bob Dylan’s one and only full concert appearance in seven-and-a-half years and one that played its part in a highly transformative period of the artist’s life. The book tells, from a unique perspective, of an extraordinary event that seismically altered the lives of the author, his family, all those involved with it and many of those who attended. After the festival famously ‘stole Bob Dylan from Woodstock’ in 1969, and was the starting point and benchmark for all rock and pop festivals in the UK. The following year, documented in Volume 2, The Last Great Event, would also be Jimi Hendrix’s last major performance – 17 days later he was dead. Many remember this festival as a magical, life-changing experience, encapsulating the sixties trip of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll and a political yearning for a better world. But for others, a question looms large over the history: did this final festival help precipitate the end of the dream of an alternative society, or did it reflect the changes already taking place?
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The Last Great Event£22.95
When the World Came to the Isle of Wight
This special edition of When the World Came to the Isle of Wight comprises Stealing Dylan From Woodstock and The Last Great Event, shrink-wrapped and packaged in a psychedelic bellyband. When the World Came to the Isle of Wight records festival organiser Ray Foulk’s experience of the 1968, 1969 and 1970 Isle of Wight Festivals which featured musical legends including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Who.
“Ray Foulk and his brothers, Ronnie and Bill – it is incredible what they did – it is incredible”
Sid Griffin, BBC Radio 6
Caroline Foulk has worked with her father, Ray, for many years, researching, writing, and co-promoting the schools environmental project, Blue Planet Day. Recently, together they have completed a screenplay for the cinema about the invention of modern art. Caroline trained and worked as a teacher and lives in Oxford with her husband and three children.
Ray Foulk, now based in Oxford, has fostered many passions since his early days as a promoter. After the dizzy heights of the Isle of Wight Festivals and stadium events in London, the Foulk brothers were head-hunted by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation to help plan the leisure content of their new city. Through this Ray brought the inventor/scientist/designer Buckminster Fuller, to the project, embraced his environmentalism, and eventually trained as an architect himself at the University of Cambridge. Combining design, education and promotion he spent much of the nineties and noughties as an environmental campaigner, and led the ambitious in-schools project, Blue Planet Day, rekindling the satisfaction, and more, that the festivals had brought to his youth. Recent years have been dominated by environmental architecture and writing.