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Isle of Wight 1969: All Wight Now announces Million dollar bash - A full-day 50th anniversary festival…

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Bash promises to be a superb one-day gig, honouring the music, memories and the legacy of Bob Dylan and Co with an all-star bill. Get your tickets - £44 including booking fee (half price under-18s and kids under-10 go FREE) - on this site NOW!!! Discounted Island sales at That 60’s Place, Cowes, and at Dimbola, Freshwater: £40 adults; £20 under-18s.

Go to our Events page for tickets!!!

Then click ‘book tickets here’

**Breaking News**...MILLION DOLLAR BASH announces it is partnering with PLAYLIST FOR LIFE, the leading UK music and dementia charity, as it plans to make the Bash the world’s first ‘Dementia Friendly’ rock festival. And...CARERS GO FREE! Carers accompanying a ticket-holder with dementia will have FREE admission. See our dedicated WE ARE DEMENTIA FRIENDLY page.

BIG SAVING ON FERRIES TO THE BASH...GO TO OUR RED FUNNEL OFFER PAGE!!!

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’69 IoW poster

’69 IoW poster

Bob Dylan at the Iow 1969: ALL wight now celebrates 50 years on with Million dollar bash…

Man in a white suit: Bob Dylan plays the Isle of Wight, August 31, 1969. ALL WIGHT NOW is to celebrate this historic event.

Man in a white suit: Bob Dylan plays the Isle of Wight, August 31, 1969. ALL WIGHT NOW is to celebrate this historic event.

 
 

date for your diary: Saturday, August 31, 2019:

Million dollar bash: Tickets on sale NOW!

The weekend of Saturday August 31 is exactly 50 years since the ground-breaking 2nd Isle of Wight Festival of Music when Bob Dylan, The Band, The Who, The Moody Blues, Free, Joe Cocker, Julie Felix et al drew 150,000 fans to Woodside Bay on the east coast of the Island...the biggest festival ever in the UK at that time.

WISHBONE ASH will be at the Million Dollar Bash on August 31,2019, as they join an all-star bill to help celebrate the 1969 IoW Festival’s golden anniversary.

WISHBONE ASH will be at the Million Dollar Bash on August 31,2019, as they join an all-star bill to help celebrate the 1969 IoW Festival’s golden anniversary.

So ALL WIGHT NOW, following its successful celebration of the 1968 festival’s golden anniversary last year, is to mark the 1969 event with a special celebratory festival on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Tickets are now available on this website for a full-day Island event featuring acts who played alongside Dylan on that famous weekend - or who now carry the torch for a new generation. We’ve combined with Ashley Hutchings MBE, the acclaimed founder member of Fairport Convention, who is our event director. Already confirmed are Wishbone Ash, celebrating their own 50th anniversary this year; legendary folk-rocker Richard Thompson is now confirmed to appear as special guest and Dylancentric - a star-packed band assembled by Hutchings - will pay homage to Bob Dylan at this event. We can now reveal blues rocker’s Free’s 1969 festival appearance will be represented by Kossoff: The Band Plays On, featuring voalist Terry Slesser, founder member of legendary Free guitarist Paul Kossoff’s last band. We can also confirm the wonderful Julie Felix and fellow ‘69 veterans, Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle, and The Pretty Things’ Dick Taylor and Phil May, will be at the Bash, giving an autentic 1969 flavour to the event! This is poised to be a memorable, family-friendly gathering at an established open-air IoW concert site - the County Showground, between Cowes and Newport. It is planned to be weather-proof with our huge big-top capable of holding approx 2,500 fans. It will be loved by anyone who has been touched by the music of the era or its influences down the years. Look out, too, for upcoming details of festival-related exhibitions and other attractions.

Stand by for more announcements on the bill to honour Bob Dylan and the star-studded roster of the Island’s never-to-be forgotten 1969 Festival of Music.

 
 
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events & tickets

 

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW — click the link below!

All Wight Now presents: MILLION DOLLAR BASH 2018 @ The IoW County Showground, Nr Cowes, PO31 8QU.

Saturday, August 31,2019

LINE UP: DYLANCENTRIC, SPECIAL GUEST RICHARD THOMPSON, WISHBONE ASH, KOSSOFF: THE BAND PLAYS ON, JULIE FELIX, JACQUI McSHEE’S PENTANGLE, DICK TAYLOR and PHIL MAY of THE PRETTY THINGS PLUS, JUDY DUNLOP, DEANA (FROM THE VOICE), BANTER, BLAIR DUNLOP TRIO, KEN NICOL AND MORE!

THE 2nd IoW Festival of Music in 1969 put the Island on the map thanks to a star-studded line-up headed by the incomparable Bob Dylan. Among those joining him were The Who, The Moody Blues, Joe Cocker, Free, Marsha Hunt, Julie Felix and Pentangle.

This August 31, that festival will be honoured by a great bill of talent led by Fairport Convention founder member Ashley Hutchings’ Dylancentric, a band hand-picked by him especially for Million Dollar Bash. Fellow Fairports veteran Richard Thompson is now confirmed as a special guest while rockers are catered for with a 2019 UK festival exclusive appearance by Wishbone Ash, celebrating their own 50th anniversary this year. They will play the Bash ahead of an autumn tour.

If blues-rock is your thing, Kossoff: The Band Plays On are on hand to mark Free’s performance at the 1969 festival. The band is fronted by Terry Slesser, founded member of Free guitarist Paul Kossoff’s final band, Back Street Crawler. On guitar, John Buckton is regarded as the finest interpreter of Kossoff’s unique playing.

A clutch of 1969 stars are returning to play. Legendary Julie Felix is confirmed, as are Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle. Both Felix and Pentangle played superb sets in 1969 just a few hours before Dylan on the Sunday of that festival. The Pretty Things’s Dick Taylor and Phil May - also ‘69 veterans - to be backed by Island musicians J.C. and Angelina, are confirmed!

Rising star Deana Walmsley has already performed a brilliant set at the Bash’s media launch at That 60s Place, Cowes, on May 28. Deana will be back to play at the Bash in August.

So Million Dollar Bash is in good hands - Bob Dylan himself said of Ashley Hutchings (in September 2015): “Ashley Hutchings is the single most important figure in the history of English folk-rock.” 

Bag your Million Dollar Bash tickets now online, at £40 plus £4 booking fee, by CLICKING THE LINK BELOW. Under-18 tickets are half price, £22, and under-10s go FREE!!


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OUR 2019 MILLION DOLLAR BASH LAUNCH …

Our launch party for Million Dollar Bash at THAT 60’s PLACE, High Street, Cowes, on May 28, was a great success!

Special guest Deana Walmsley, pictured right - 2019 star of The Voice - performed. This is Deana in action on the balcony above a startled High Street below! Watch her sing Dylan’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ in the video below...

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OUR BIG 2019 EVENT.…and a note for next year!

All Wight Now 2019 - Million Dollar Bash @ The County Showground, Cowes.

Saturday, August 31, 2019. All-star bill.

All Wight Now 2020 - THE BIG ONE! @ East Afton Farm TBC

Dates and line ups and location TBC

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news/press

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FREE…their spirit lives with KOSSOFF: THE BAND PLAYS ON!

Free were rising stars at both the 1969 and 70 IoW festivals. At Million Dollar Bash, their blues-rock will be interpreted by Kossoff: The Band Plays On, led by Free guitarist Paul Kossoff’s final band vocalist Terry Slesser. Guitarist John Buckton is acclaimed as the finest interpreter of Kossoff’s blues playing. Click ‘Learn More’, below, for a video of them in live performance.

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SPECIAL GUEST RICHARD THOMPSON - A FOLK-ROCK ICON - IS CONFIRMED ON THE MILLION DOLLAR BASH BILL

BIG news at our May 28 launch party - Richard Thompson, famed for his work with Fairport Convention, his partnership with Linda Thompson and also with The Albion Band is now added to the August 31 bill.

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The Original IoW 1969-70 WEM sound gear is back…

Chris Hewitt, of CH Vintage Audio, is bringing a chunk of his vast collection of original Island festival WEM sound gear, including stacks and mixing desks, to Million Dollar Bash. Some musicians may be playing through the system on the day.

 

Million dollar bash’s lift off

 
 
Deana, star of The Voice, with the new book and All Wight Now T-shirt.

Deana, star of The Voice, with the new book and All Wight Now T-shirt.

August festival and new Dylan book launched at That 60’s Place, Cowes

MILLION Dollar Bash, the August 31 festival set to honour the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1969 ‘Dylan’ IoW event, officially launched on May 28 at That 60’s Place, in Cowes’ High Street. It was announced that folk-rock icon Richard Thompson would join an already impressive bill. Rising star Deana Walmsley, a star of ITV’s 2019 The Voice, entertained the attending media and general public with a fine set from the balcony of the 60’s rock-themed bar-restaurant. Deana was one of the first to bag a copy of a new book on the 1969 festival: Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight, 1969, by Bill Bradshaw. The book is published by Medina Publishing at £12.95.

 
Ray Foulk, IoW Festivals 1968-70 co-promoter, at the launch.

Ray Foulk, IoW Festivals 1968-70 co-promoter, at the launch.

…and here is the man who brought Bob Dylan to the IoW all those years ago!

RAY Foulk and his brothers, Ronnie and Bill, lived in Totland Bay on the west of the Island 50 years ago. Together they landed the coup of bringing Jefferson Airplane to their modest first festival in 1968 and Jimi Hendrix to the gargantuan 1970 IoW gathering. But their biggest prize was surely landing Bob Dylan to headline in 1969. Ray is staging a new exhibition in Freshwater, on the Island’s west coast,to mark the 50th anniversary - and Bash ticketholders will be admitted free of charge! Here Ray, left, introduces a Dylan film at the Millin Dollar Bash’s Island launch.

 
Richard Thompson: The Bash’s special guest

Richard Thompson: The Bash’s special guest

Watch classic Wishbone Ash here...

Bash partner: Playlist For Life

Bash partner: Playlist For Life

Richard thompson confirmed to play… and Wishbone ash ready to rock at 50!

RICHARD Thompson, one of the great names of British folk rock, has been in discussions for a little while to appear at the Million Dollar Bash and we were delighted to confirm his addition to the bill at our Cowes launch on May 28. Hailed by many as a supreme guitarist, Richard was one of the founders of Fairport Convention back in 1967 and played at the first Isle of Wight festival in 1968. He was also a mainstay of The Albion Band and had both commercial and critical acclaim for his work with Linda Thompsonin the 1970s.

Bash event director Ashley Hutchings is a fellow Fairports founder and there is every likelihood the pair will team up at some point on August 31.

Meanwhile, there is a treat in store for lovers of classic twin-axe guitar rock with Wishbone Ash set to play a UK exclusive with their appearance at Million Dollar Bash. This will be the band’s sole UK festival appearance in 2019 - the year they celebrate their own 50th anniversary - ahead of a later autuman and winter nationwide tour.

Wishbone Ash are led by Stepney-born Andy Powell, a founding member of the band back in 1969 and famous for their innovative use of twin lead guitars. They produce a driving, West Coast-influenced sound and scored significant chart success in the early 1970s with albums such as Wishbone Ash, Argus and Pilgrimage. Wishbone Ash have a loyal, worldwide fan base and continue to tour both in the UK and overseas.

Meanwhile, in June, All Wight Now announced that the Million Dollar Bash would become the world’s first “Dementia Friendly” Festival. As part of the move, the Bash is partnering with Playlist for Life, a leading UK dementia and music charity. More details to follow!

Richard Thompson: Great to be back after all these years!

 

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Is this man the best songwriter of them all (after Bob Dylan)?

Richard Thompson earned that lofty comparison from the LA Times, no less. And this folk-rock legend is back on the Island for the first time since the inaugural IoW Festival way back in 1968 - when was lead guitarist with Fairport Convention.

He is looking forward to playing again on the Island at the Million Dollar Bash and, when we caught up with Richard, he said:

“"Hard to believe it’s more than 50 years since the first IoW festival. It was cold, ran hours behind schedule, and was nowhere near as glamorous as the following year (1969), but the music was stellar, and we were proud to be a part of it!"

And that full LA Times quote? Well, it embraced the two biggest IoW Festival legends. Here it is:

“The finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix.”

Miss this man at the Bash if you dare...

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about us

 
It’s about the music, the memories and the legacy..
— Andy Knight, Founding Chair of the All Wight Now Group
 

Get your copy now…

 
Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight, 1969: this book takes a revealing new look on the 50th anniversary.

Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight, 1969: this book takes a revealing new look on the 50th anniversary.

 

‘it is a fantastic book and a great trip down memory lane…it will sell well because it is brilliantly done and brilliantly written’ - george galloway, firebrand former mp, broadcaster and arch bob dylan afici0nado

Award-winning Fleet Street journalist Bill Bradshaw takes an entertaining look back at Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight Festival of Music, 50 years on. It’s told through first-hand accounts from artists, the festival organisers and the fans who flocked to the Island to see Dylan, a host of other brilliant acts - and rock history being made. Click the button, above, to secure your copy at a special Million Dollar Bash price.

 
 

Million dollar Bash goes dementia friendly

 
 
The way we were: far out man, the 1969 IoW crowd enjoy the atmosphere at Woodside Bay.

The way we were: far out man, the 1969 IoW crowd enjoy the atmosphere at Woodside Bay.

Dementia carers get free admission

All Wight Now, the group behind the Million Dollar Bash, has decided all carers accompanying ticket holders with dementia will be admitted to the Bash free of charge.

Carers must accompany their relative/client ticketholder to the entrance at the venue (County Showground) where they will receive free admission alongside their ticket—holding client.

AWN’s Barbara Stephens, chief executive of Dementia Pathfinders, said: “We hope this will encourage both those people living with dementia - and their carers - to enjoy the festival.”


Making the bash a friendly place…

With the Million Dollar Bash celebrating the Isle Of Wight Festival of 1969, much of the music played will resonate with a generation of people - some of which may be living with dementia. The partnership with the charity Playlist of Life aims to allow this music to have a positive impact on all of those who attend...

  • All event stewards will have Dementia Friends training. This will give them the knowledge and ability to assist anyone living with dementia at the event in the correct and recommended manner.

  • There will be a separate Quiet Zone in a marquee separated from the crowds. This area will be for those living with dementia and their carer. This will allow those who become anxious a safe haven.

  • Increased seating areas; signposts will all be designed to be as simple to read as possible i.e. they will be black with white writing. Toilet facilities will be simple to operate with obvious taps, flush handles, door handles and more.

Pete Townshend, of The Who, in full cry during their IoW 1969 set.

Pete Townshend, of The Who, in full cry during their IoW 1969 set.


Barbara Stephens: music aids connections.

Barbara Stephens: music aids connections.

Music for Dementia 2020: Supports the Bash.

Music for Dementia 2020: Supports the Bash.

Playlist for Life & Million Dollar Bash: Music has the key to unlock memories

Barbara Stephens, chief executive of Dementia Pathfinders, who is developing links with the dementia community and leading on the initiative to make the Million Dollar Bash dementia friendly, said: "Memories of the 1969 Festival will be sustained throughout the course of the lives of the people who were there.

“Relating these memories - and the power of the music from this significant period in history - with the work of the charity Playlist for Life makes complete sense.

Playlist for Life encourages everyone to create their personal playlist - the soundtrack of their life - to ensure that the tunes and songs that prompt meaningful memories are known about by family and friends and are readily available.

“For people with dementia, music that has personal meaning fosters deep connections that do not rely on language, - promoting reminiscence, stimulating emotions and improving quality of life and enjoyment." 

Playlist For Life is an official partner of Million Dollar Bash.

Playlist For Life is an official partner of Million Dollar Bash.

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contact us

 
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Get discounted isle of Wight ferry travel to the Bash!

Solent ferry companies Red Funnel and Wightlink both offer great 20 per cent discounts to Bash ticket holders travelling to the Island for the festival…get yours now!

The award-wiining Red Funnel ferry service offers a first class, reliable ferry service to both car drivers on car ferries, such as the Red Falcon, above, and on its fast-cat Red Jet service for foot passengers only.

The award-wiining Red Funnel ferry service offers a first class, reliable ferry service to both car drivers on car ferries, such as the Red Falcon, above, and on its fast-cat Red Jet service for foot passengers only.

 

Save with ferry firms’ great BASH offer!

Part of the fun of any IoW festival has always been crossing The Solent to reach the Island. Million Dollar Bash has partnered with our friends at Red Funnel and Wightlink to offer a great 20% DISCOUNT on ferry fares from Southampton to Cowes (Red Funnel); Portsmouth to Ryde/Fishbourne and Lymington to Yarmouth (Wightlink).

For Red Funnel, simply click on this link - https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/MillionDollarBash - to book on the Red Funnel events page to secure this special deal. It’s an ideal way to get to the Bash.

For Wightlink’s routes, go to: https://www.wightlink.co.uk/explorer/detail/all-wight-now-million-dollar-bash/ This will secure 20 per cent off ferry travel for foot passengers, car and motorcycle bookings between August 30 and September 2.

For those heading to and from Cowes’ Red Jet terminal, the No 1 bus service runs in both directions, long into the night. Click the timetable link for details - https://passenger-line-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/southernvectis/SQ/1-timetable-20190320-8ae14513.pdf

THANK YOU to both Wightlink and Red Funnel for their generous support.

Both companies have ferried hundreds of thousands of fans to various festivals on the Island down the decades from 1968, through the giant events of 1969 and 70 up to the contemporary festivals of today.

 
Wightlink: serves IoW’s east and west coasts.

Wightlink: serves IoW’s east and west coasts.

Ferry good show: heading for the IoW Festival back in 1970.

Ferry good show: heading for the IoW Festival back in 1970.

Red Funnel: serving Cowes from Southampton.

Red Funnel: serving Cowes from Southampton.

MEET THE TEAM

Jonathan Bacon

Jonathan Bacon

Chairman and driving force, Jonathan is also a barrister, businessman and local politician. Where does he find the time...

Barbara Stephens

Barbara Stephens

Barbara is chief executive of Dementia Pathfinders and brings a whole new skill-set to AWN. Leading our desire to make MDB Dementia Friendly...

Bill Bradshaw

Bill Bradshaw

Award-winning Fleet Street journalist and author. Bill loves blues-rock and his time at the IW County Press. He gets the word out about what we do...

ALL WIGHT NOW MISSION STATEMENT: To educate, inspire and entertain the widest possible audience and preserve the musical and cultural legacy of the historic 1968, 69 and 70 Isle of Wight Festivals.

Peter Harrigan

Peter Harrigan

Peter is director of Medina Publishing and was PR executive of the huge 1969 and 1970 IoW Festivals. Despite that, he came back for more...

Roger Simmonds

Roger Simmonds

Roger Simmonds is our festival expert. He was at the 1968 IoW Festival and has seen more muddy fields than Baden Powell - with a hat to match...

Guy Portelli

Guy Portelli

Guy is a rock’n’roll sculptor and much more besides - bringing out AWN’s artistic side. Check out his festival panels and Bob Dylan cast...

All Wight Now Team…continued

John Medland MSc Econ

John Medland MSc Econ

John was temporary chair for much of the early planning for MDB. Parish councillor, author and waist-deep in community affairs. Twice elected as one of 40 county councillors of the Iow Council.

Victoria Hansen

Victoria Hansen

ALL WIGHT NOW VISION: To create a sustainable, world class cultural and visitor centre on the IoW to showcase and celebrate the unique heritage and legacy of the IoW Music Festivals on the modern cultural landscape.

Debbie Andre

Debbie Andre

Debbie is already well known among the MDB acts as she is head honcho for travel and hotel arrangements. Independent councillor for Sandown North.

Andy Knight BSc Hons, PGCE

Andy Knight BSc Hons, PGCE

Victoria is one of our advance scouts, tracking down artists for the Bash and also for Guy Portelli’s festival-related sculptures. She is pictured showing part of Guy’s hand-print panel.

Jan Peters

Jan Peters

Jan has the most difficult job in our ranks. As secretary she calls us to order and then tries to make sense of our chat. And she loves a good festival, too.

Andy is the man with the plan. Our founding chair and the guy who came up with the whole idea to celebrate. What’s not to like?

Paul Armfield

Paul Armfield

Paul is a musician, ex-bookstore boss, venue manager and experienced festival performer. A recent additiion to our ranks.